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The nature of work is ever-changing because technology is ever-evolving. Tech advances have allowed many to work from home during the pandemic, but in a broader sense, our technology has always shaped the nature of our work experience. In the new century, we've witnessed an increase of internet-dependent jobs in a global network with greater broadband access. At the forefront of our current digital revolution is AI, which brings with it new AI-dependent jobs. As tech continues to develop at a rapid pace, AI and its capabilities have the potential to impact our work experience more rapidly than we’ve ever seen before.
Imagine your workflow on a day when your internet is slow. It's a relatively new type of tedium we as humans endure when we have to sit and wait for a computer to think, a website to load, or a process to complete. We've become accustomed to high-speed internet as second nature. This is soon how the small, day-to-day processes of work will feel with AI. When all the repetitive processes you undergo in the course of your workday are automated, small tech annoyances will fade away and you will be suddenly free to do more fulfilling work. When people worry their jobs will be replaced by AI robots, they may picture a scary science fiction story. But in actuality, automation and AI have the potential to significantly impact how people work for the better.
Still, the fears of job loss with this new digital revolution are not unfounded. According to an analysis by Price Waterhouse Cooper, jobs most at risk of being replaced by automation over the next decade are manual labor jobs and clerical work. And when looking by industry, jobs in the transportation sector are at the greatest risk of disappearing over the next decade with the rise of driverless vehicles. But while the impact of AI and automation will shape the overall landscape of job sectors, it will also grow new types of jobs, and will ease and aid many aspects of people’s work functions in existing jobs—whether that is helping healthcare workers diagnose patients more quickly or making sound financial decisions via algorithms.
We can already see the beginnings of the impact of this digital revolution in the HR industry, which has embraced many benefits of AI and automation and led the way with the rise of programmatic recruitment. Rather than have to skim hundreds (if not thousands) of resumes, HR professionals can benefit from AI tech that can check applicant qualifications against the job description and employ natural language processing to select top-tier applicants. HR professionals can skip the tedium of doing a manual keyword search by simply letting the resume screening software do its magic.
More significant for HR may be the fact that job searching today very much takes place in a digital realm. AI doesn’t simply alleviate tedious tasks—it also does what is not humanly possible. Consider the way people discover jobs and apply for jobs. Now, it pretty much all happens in a digital space. So recruitment must navigate the world of digital ad technology and sourcing candidates via the internet, which can really only be done strategically using algorithmic processes. It is simply impossible for a human to scour the entire internet and determine the best job ad location given the millions of websites that exist. A hunch will always fall short, while AI will actually calculate the best place to advertise a job using data, how much to spend, and where to avoid spending. Programmatic recruitment platforms help HR professionals match quality candidates to job vacancies with a greater efficiency (in both time and money) by employing the smart-tech of AI decision-making. This type of tech may soon be second nature across all jobs.
While automation will eliminate more tedious tasks, the potential of AI really lies in the ability to allow people access to smarter decision-making—it won’t have to be a gut check, it will be an AI data check. The AI consultant in the form of apps or platforms on the job in so many industries may soon become as commonplace as internet access. This technological revolution can allow people to focus on all of the human interaction, communication, people skills, creativity, and cooperation with colleagues, clients, and customers that will always remain central to the work experience.