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AI’s double-edged sword: How robots will impact the Indiana labor market

AI could change 25% of all jobs in the next 5 years. From the perspective of a recruitment strategy veteran, what does this sweeping change look like in Indiana?

It’s everywhere.

From the autocorrect on your phone to the website chatbots you [frustratingly] use to the newest apps like ChatGPT and Bard.

AI is everywhere.

The question many are asking is:

How will AI affect your job?

I’m no technologist or futurist. Nor a developer.

But I have spent 30 years observing, playing in and predicting the Indiana labor market. And this is my take on how AI will impact our economy.

Like a coin, it has two sides…

AI will impact Indiana's labor market for good but also will bring challenges

First, the blessings of AI

Let’s start on a positive note, shall we? (It’ll get darker later.)

AI is a shiny new toy in the labor market. Honestly, it’s impressive.

Have you had a deep personal conversation with ChatGPT? No? That was just me. Okay… Moving on.

Goldman Sachs says AI will boost global GDP by 7% annually over a 10-year period. They predict AI will also increase labor productivity, which could lead to new job creation in the long run.

Higher productivity = higher revenue

It’s like having an employee who’s never off-duty. As a business owner, this is admittedly my favorite part.

Whether it’s sifting through a pile of resumes finding the cream of the crop, crunching numbers looking for outliers or even managing employees, AI does it all. And it does it fast.

And you know what? It’s not just about speed. AI is a master at spotting patterns.

It can analyze a file of a million datapoints and in just seconds, find trends that we might miss. That’s some Sherlock Holmes level of deduction!

The benefits are undeniable.

On the flip side, the curse of AI

But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.

Like I said, AI is a double-edged sword.

The biggest fear? Job displacement.

The World Economic Forum conducted their annual Future of Jobs Report. Here are two stats that caught my eye:

AI will impact 25% of jobs in 5 years
  • AI could shake up 25% of all jobs in the next 5 years.
  • Up to 26 million administrative jobs might be wiped out due to AI replacement.

Another concern is the lack of personal touch.

A machine, no matter how smart, lacks the empathy that humans – you and I – bring to the table. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather work alongside my fellow creatures than robots on a screen.

Call me old fashioned.

And let’s not forget the skills gap. As AI takes over routine jobs, the need for new skills will emerge. For example, AI prompt engineering wasn’t even a term a year ago. Now, you can earn $375,000 a year by learning it.

But many workers don’t have these skills yet, which could lead to more problems down the line.

It’s getting real: IBM cut 7800 jobs in favor of AI

We’re still learning the impact of AI. But let’s talk real-life – some events that have already occurred:

IBM recently announced it’s pausing recruitment for jobs that could be replaced by AI.

CEO Arvind Krishna suggested roughly 30% of non-customer facing roles could be replaced by AI and automation – in just the next 5 years!

That’s 7,800 jobs.

AI’s effect on the job market is happening. It’s not just hypothetical.

How AI will impact Indiana’s labor market

Now, let’s bring it home to Indiana, our manufacturing heartland. In fact, manufacturing made up more than a quarter of our state’s revenue in 2021.

While AI won’t hit manufacturing jobs as hard as it does professional jobs, no sector is safe. All bets are off – essentially.

Increased automation will affect thousands of Hoosiers. This much is true.

Economist Richard Baldwin said the following:

“AI won’t take your job. It’s somebody using AI that will take your job.”’

Well, let’s hope Richard is right.

My stance: The AI paradox

Keep in mind – I’m the CEO of Field of Talent, a recruiting firm based in Indianapolis. So automation both impacts my employees and the outlook of my business. Like I said, AI is a double-edged sword.

So here’s what I think:

AI is a paradox. It’s like a shiny new toy that comes with a warning label.

On one hand, AI makes our lives easier and our businesses more efficient (mine included). In every wave of innovation and technology I’ve seen, it’s the early adopters who emerge the winners.

 the AI paradox

On the other, AI shakes up the job market and sends a lot of people home – er, out of the home office.

Sure, we can embrace the speed, the convenience, the productivity of AI. But at what costs?

We also need to tackle the challenges it brings.

From one Hoosier to another, I’m committed to working hand-in-hand – or keyboard-to-keyboard – with my fellow humans. So long as working with humans remains enjoyable.

Because my employees, my peers and my mentors have something AI will never have. The human spirit.

(And the memes. Can AI make memes?)

What’s next?

I’d recommend you …

  • Push for legislation that protects workers and fosters innovation in Indiana
  • Read up on new developments in artificial intelligence
  • Tinker with different tools to see the possibilities
  • Invest in re-skilling programs for employees
  • Advocate for STEM education
  • Make up your own mind

If you want to prepare for an AI-driven labor market, you need to take action now. If you’d prefer ignoring the technology, that’s fine… You just may not have a business much longer.

It’s impossible to know what the future has in store for us business owners and professionals, but one thing is clear – It certainly doesn’t hurt to prepare.

AI’s double-edged sword: How robots will impact the Indiana labor market

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