Will AI replace more jobs than it will provide?

Apple, among other companies, has announced that they’ll be expanding AI staff. What does this mean for recruitment? Will AI take over people’s jobs?

Victoria Egba on December 28, 2023 Average reading time: 3 min
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Will AI replace more jobs than it will provide?

It’s a common concern, especially as big companies like Apple are expanding their AI teams. However, it’s not just about job loss—AI is also creating new opportunities. For example, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, recently announced plans to grow their U.K. offices specifically for AI-related roles. As companies like Apple announce plans to grow their AI staff, it’s crucial to recognize that AI isn’t merely a threat to employment; it also presents new opportunities.

However, A March Goldman Sachs report found that AI might disrupt over 300 million occupations worldwide, while the global consulting firm McKinsey anticipated that at least 12 million Americans would change careers by 2030. Additionally, experts in Credit Suisse believe the AI software market is expected to reach $1.09 trillion by 2030. This growth is likely to benefit industries like semiconductors, leading to a demand for specialized technical roles. Companies such as Intel and Analog Devices are already developing AI-specific hardware, sparking competition for skilled professionals.

Loss of Jobs?

The World Economic Forum (WEF) offers a comprehensive perspective through its Future of Jobs Report. While predicting the loss of 85 million jobs by 2025 may raise eyebrows, the WEF also anticipates the creation of 97 million new jobs during the same period—a net gain of 12 million jobs. This seesaw effect, where some jobs decline, but more jobs surface, paints a more optimistic picture of the evolving job market.

In the WEF’s vision of 2025, there’s a fascinating prediction – the time spent on tasks at work by humans and machines will be nearly equal. This forecast signals a monumental shift in work dynamics, indicating that humans will collaborate more closely with technology.

Contrary to fears of AI taking all the jobs, the WEF shows the resilience of the job market, with new opportunities emerging.

For employers and recruiters, the challenge lies in finding the right mix of tasks for humans and machines. Additionally, there’s a critical role in helping workers acquire new skills before it’s too late. The workplace puzzle in the age of AI integration demands a strategic and balanced approach, ensuring that everyone can adapt to these transformative changes.

Are companies preparing for the AI job market? 

An analogy drawn by Marcelo Schnettler, VP of engineering at Prudential Financial, likens the impact of AI on employment to the introduction of automobiles. While AI won’t replace every job, it will bring significant changes. Schnettler suggests that companies need to adapt their hiring practices and employee expectations, similar to the shifts seen during the transition from horses to cars.

The analogy emphasizes that while AI won’t replace every job, it will undoubtedly bring about significant changes in the employment landscape. In response, companies need to adapt their hiring practices and employee expectations to align with the evolving needs of the job market.

In the Generative AI and the future of work in America report from McKinsey, a compelling statistic emerges:

One-third of the jobs we have today didn’t even exist 25 years ago.

This profound transformation underscores the dynamic nature of the job market. Despite concerns about AI replacing some jobs, McKinsey’s findings remind us that new jobs continually emerge. Consider the jobs related to smartphones or social media; these roles didn’t exist just a couple of decades ago.

Looking ahead, the future of AI-related jobs is uncertain, but current trends suggest significant growth. It isn’t entirely certain that AI will take more jobs than it provides, but what is certain the growth and investment in AI in many sectors. As of July, companies have invested $142.3 billion in AI. Although major companies may not be hiring extensively for AI roles right now, job platforms like Indeed list over 30,000 machine learning jobs and 28,000 AI jobs. Such a surge in demand for expertise signals a changing landscape in the job market, indicating a need for professionals with AI-related skills.

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