DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — 80% of companies that are adopting artificial intelligence pledge that they will still retain and retrain existing staff, according to a report by tech and consulting firm Infosys.
The group polled 1,600 “senior business decision makers” at some of the largest organisations in the world in its report “Amplifying Human Potential: Towards Purposeful Artificial Intelligence,” released on Tuesday.
The report found that companies across the globe are counting on adopting AI to radically boost their revenue and streamlining their organisation’s structure. Meanwhile, in just three years’ time, 39% of those “currently or planning to use AI technology” believe that their group’s revenue will be boosted.
However, the biggest topic of concern that crops up is what happens to those who lose their job for more automated work.
The World Economic Forum said in a 2016 report entitled “The Future of Jobs” that 7.1 million jobs could be lost through redundancy, automation, or disintermediation by 2020. While the creation of 2.1 million new jobs — mainly in more specialised areas such as computing, maths, architecture, and engineering — could offset some of the losses, that’s still a net reduction of 5 million.
But according to Infosys’s report, it looks like many businesses are pledging — at least for now — to help retrain existing workers.
Here are the key responses from the report:
- 76% cite AI as fundamental to the success of their organisation’s strategy.
- 64% believe that their organisation’s future growth is dependent on large-scale AI adoption.
- 62% believe that “stringent ethical standards are needed to ensure the success of AI — most respondents seem optimistic about redeploying displaced employees with higher value work.”
- 85% “plan to train employees about the benefits and use of AI.”
- 80% of companies that are already planning to replace human jobs with robots “will retrain or redeploy displaced employees.”
“AI adoption is on the rise and we are excited to see the investments in AI that businesses are gradually making to derive meaningful and creative change. The achievements are remarkable and the opportunities AI is bringing forth are vast. As we are seeing AI mature and gain momentum, our research shows that the next four years will witness further spikes in interest, and general bullishness about the significant value and benefits that can be obtained through AI adoption,” said Sandeep Dadlani, president and head of Americas for Infosys.
“As an industry therefore, we must take necessary steps to ensure AI is developed morally and ethically across every part of society and that employees are actively engaged and provided with the necessary training to be central to this journey.”