Will AI Create More Jobs Than It Will Eliminate?

Companies will still need humans to run their AI-infused products and services.

Article main image
Nov 2, 2023

It’s a common claim that AI is taking people’s jobs, but the argument often overlooks the opposite. AI also creates jobs. Take Apple .CEO Tim Cook recently announced that Apple’s U.K. offices would be growing with staff dedicated to AI.

Apple isn’t the only tech business expanding its AI staff. Amazon is also pouring money into AI, including investing in the company Anthropic, which has a ChatGPT competitor called Claud. The aim is to improve Alexa and provide a better customer experience.

Amazon is no stranger to AI technology. In 2018, the company announced that it  had scrapped an AI recruiting tool because of profound levels of gender bias. The problem was that Amazon’s tool was “developed using a decade’s worth of resumes submitted to the company,” explains Shiran Danach, CEO of work tech software provider Informed Decisions. “However, it came under scrutiny when it was found to exhibit a pronounced gender bias, favoring male candidates for technical roles. This bias emerged because Amazon’s historical technical workforce was predominantly male.”

Credit Suisse predicted that by 2030, the AI software market size will be at $1.09 trillion. It also forecasts that the semiconductor industry will benefit the most from the increase in AI technology — and while the predicted growth in this industry may not have started, the use of the technology certainly has. Intel advertises its “Flexible AI Hardware,” while competitor Analog Devices touts its “Ultra-Low Power Artificial Intelligence (AI) MCUs.” How those areas will grow (or not) remains to be seen, but there will be a battle for talent for highly technical jobs to manage these initiatives.

Perhaps Marcelo Schnettler, VP of engineering and product owner of the customer domain for Prudential Financial, sums things up best. He reports that at a recent software-engineer event, the consensus was that AI would not replace software engineers, but it would change things.

Schnettler explains how AI would be as revolutionary to the world as the introduction of the automobile was when it comes to employment. Once cars were introduced, it wasn’t just horses that no longer had jobs but so many peripheral things changed: stables to garages, carriage-makers to car-designers, etc. Likewise, today’s companies will have to make similar changes in hiring and employee expectations and training.

“In the end, replacing those 200K horses in NYC also got rid of the 3.5 million pounds of poop that they produced per day,” Schnettler writes. “As difficult as it was, as life-changing as it felt, we are all much better off today because of these changes. Now think about what is the proverbial ‘poop”’today that we can get rid of with AI and how we will all, in the long run, be much better off without.”

What hiring in the AI world will look like in the next few years is up in the air. People can make their guesses, but companies are investing. As of July, companies have invested $142.3 billion in AI. As that number will likely continue to grow, hiring will come with it. And so while the big players aren’t yet hiring for AI roles at very high levels, it’s nonetheless worth noting that Indeed reports over 30,000 “machine learning” jobs and 28,000 “AI” jobs right now.

Get articles like this
in your inbox
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting articles about talent acquisition emailed weekly!