With artificial intelligence comes the era of the augmented worker

The views expressed in opinion pieces are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editorial staff.

Posted May 1, 2022




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We are on the cusp of a new technological breakthrough that could ultimately disrupt the job market. The development of artificial intelligence solutions on entire sections of the labor market will have undeniable positive externalities, which are still too badly perceived by workers.

Structural transformations without massive destruction

According to the reference report “Automation, digitization and employment” of the Employment Guidance Council (January 2017), less than 10% of existing jobs will be threatened by artificial intelligence. Like all tertiarized economies, the French economy remains globally at little risk of a high substitution of workers by robots. The public authorities must, as of now, identify these positions in order to initiate a policy of training and career development for the workers affected in order to limit the risks of social breakdown for already poorly trained and precarious populations.

On the other hand, 50% of our existing jobs are likely to change significantly. All these professions are thus called upon to undergo substantial change. In marketing, the use of artificial intelligence improves knowledge of the market and the users of a product or service to open personalized content to consumers, sent at the right time and on the relevant channel.

In the field of rail maintenance, it is possible to improve the safety of installations by anticipating work, as the American company Remark Holdings, one of the leaders in the American market, is doing for example on the tracks of the company Brightline Rail in Florida. . Mortality on the line, one of the most accident-prone in the country, has been reduced to almost zero, compared to the period when surveillance was attributed to only humans and conventional cameras.

Finally, in terms of health, the possibility of exploiting gigantic volumes of data nourishes immense hopes pto better detect and cure cancer. Sometimes with results almost equivalent to those of specialists and human interventions, as evidenced by a recent study published by the Harvard Medical School.

Highlight the expected positive externalities to reinforce their social acceptability

According to a study conducted by PwC, one in three people consider the automation of tasks enabled by AI as a threat to employment. This is a mistake, unless we let other economies do it for us. It is necessary to rely on the positive externalities expected by the prospective studies to reinforce their social acceptability and thus lower the obstacles to change, in particular on two of them.

The two largest expected positive externalities are thus:

– improving employee productivity. For companies that implement it, artificial intelligence increases profitability by 38% on average, according to data fromAccenture Researchdue to the automation of some of the tasks.

– the long-term improvement of well-being at work, including its negative counterpart, malaise in the workplace, would have a social cost estimated between 2 and 3 billion euros per year, according to 2017 data from the Institute National Research and Safety Agency (INRS).

Here again, the process of automating tasks mechanically leads to an increase in the quality of work.

France must prepare for this systemic upheaval in the job market to make the most of it

More than ever, France and Europe must be positioned at the forefront of this nascent revolution. From agriculture to factories, artificial intelligence can help the French and more broadly the Europeans to fight on equal terms to win the battle of competitiveness without cutting back our standards in terms of labor law. Beyond the diplomas and training that must be encouraged throughout life, it must be understood that digital technology requires adopting an agile state of mind. Technologies are constantly evolving, so you have to constantly question yourself and acquire new knowledge.

Politicians also have a major role in demystifying technologies to society and the importance of staying in the AI ​​race. If we wish to defend French citizens and European jobs, we will do more by supporting European research than by developing circulars which complicate the work of researchers and slow down the emergence of new French champions. Counterintuitively, with increasingly complex legislation, we are strengthening the Chinese flagships that already have a head start.

By focusing only on risks, without a realistic and ambitious vision, we are likely to miss the positive prospects offered by AI and the era of the “augmented worker”.

We would like to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this remarkable content

With artificial intelligence comes the era of the augmented worker


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