Artificial Intelligence Won’t Take Your Jobs, AI-Savvy People Will

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According to an IBM study, artificial intelligence will force nearly 40% of the global workforce to get new skills to get jobs.

  • The study draws from surveys of 3,000 C-level executives from 28 countries and 21,000 workers in 21 nations.
  • STEM skills decline in importance while skills such as time management, teamwork, and effective communication rise to prominence.

A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study disclosed that 40% of the global workforce (approximately 1.4 billion workers) will need to acquire new skills within the next three years or they will lose their jobs.

The study, based on surveys of 3,000 C-level executives from 28 countries and 21,000 workers in 21 nations, predicts that AI implementation will reshape jobs but not necessarily replace human employees.

According to the research, while AI is set to create profound shifts in the workforce, the majority of executives, an estimate of 87%, anticipate that technologies like generative AI will enhance existing roles rather than eliminate them.

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, will impact entry-level positions most heavily, with 77% of executives reporting current effects and an expected intensification in the coming years. In contrast, only 22% foresee changes for executive and senior management positions.

These findings have triggered a discussion on the importance of skills. You see, previously crucial STEM skills have seen a decline in relevance, with skills such as time management, prioritization, teamwork, and effective communication taking precedence. This is a notable transformation from the past, where technical proficiency was paramount.

The research also suggests that those who successfully adapt to new technologies, including AI, not only secure their positions but also experience a revenue growth rate premium of 15%, with AI-focused employees enjoying a 36% higher growth rate.

Executives’ predictions align with the idea that “AI won’t replace people—but people who use AI will replace people who don’t.” According to the study, “On average, 87% of executives expect job roles to be augmented, rather than replaced, by generative AI. That figure is closer to three-quarters in marketing (73%) and customer service (77%)—and more than 90% in procurement (97%), risk and compliance (93%), and finance (93%).”

As AI evolves, so does its potential impact on our jobs, making middle managers pivotal in steering workforce adaptation. Notably, organizations with an effective operating model, incorporating agile methods, data-driven insights, and collaboration within ecosystems, are outperforming their counterparts.

In this context, HR has a critical role in guiding talent transformation, though more than 60% of surveyed executives view HR as primarily an administrative function. Aligning HR with strategy and prioritizing meaningful work can bridge the gap between technology investments and human needs.

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