Automation Replaced 800,000 Workers, Then It Created 3.5 Million New Jobs

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These days, it’s tough to avoid newspaper headlines warning that artificial intelligence is coming for your job. The problem is that, often, the only thing these oversimplifications get right is that there is, in fact, an important connection between automation and work.

What’s surprising is how many examples there are of AI acting as the catalyst for new hiring, higher wages, and happier employees. But of course, AI success stories aren’t as exciting as the “job-stealing robots” narrative. The reality is that the impact of AI on the workforce is complex, nuanced, and still very much in transition.

Worker-Friendly Outcomes

Here’s an example. A Deloitte study of automation in the U.K. found that 800,000 low-skilled jobs were eliminated as the result of AI and other automation technologies. But get this: 3.5 million new jobs were created as well, and those jobs paid on average nearly $13,000 more per year than the ones that were lost.

Positive, worker-friendly outcomes like this illustrate a more complete range of possibilities for automation. Technology is changing the way we work – that’s not in dispute. These changes can improve people’s lives and lead to a more creative, intellectually engaged workforce. AI often means that employees can spend more time on complex tasks for which they are uniquely suited, like interacting with customers or brainstorming innovative new campaigns.

Over the long term, creativity is what will distinguish humans from machines. And not just the capacity for creative work, but the ability to reimagine what jobs might look like in the near future and beyond. To that end, here are three examples of companies using automation to create jobs and help their leaders develop better businesses.

Panera Bread announced in April that it would create 10,000 delivery driver and in-café jobs in response to the popularity of its delivery service. High customer demand for ordering soups and sandwiches through the chain’s AI-powered digital platform led the company to decide to expand the service to 40 percent of its stores. The company said that its drivers would enjoy “daytime hours and competitive wages” and would further bolster the customer experience.

Read the source article at RealClearMarkets.