Widespread job losses will not be a natural consequence of greater use of artificial intelligence (AI) by UK businesses, research released today by telecoms giant BT suggested.
In fact, a third of those polled by BT felt AI and automation said the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, would have the opposite effect: to create more jobs.
Respondents said businesses will need more programmers, algorithm designers and software engineers. This will lead to new job categories such as AI trainers, ethicists and lawyers.
Managing director of major corporates and public sector at BT Colm O’Neill said:
While some organisations clearly view disruptive technologies as a potential threat to the labour market, we believe the introduction of new automated technologies and business processes will play to the strengths of both people and machines.
However, other IT decision-makers surveyed did not agree it was good news for Britain’s workforce. A third felt technological advances could result in job losses.
Investment in AI and automation in the UK is gathering momentum. One in three of the 1,500 people polled said their firms would be investing in the technology in the next two years. Of these, 62 per cent believe that their organisations will be more effective as a result.