Artificial Intelligence Revolution: Redefining the workforce, unveiling new horizons.

Dr. Delphine Ngehndab

The rapid integration of Artificial Intelligence, AI, into various aspects of our lives is undeniably reshaping the workforce and transforming how we navigate the world. One significant impact is the evolution of job roles and the subsequent demand for reskilling. 

From the same perspective, the workforce is becoming more flexible, embracing hybrid models that allow remote and face-to-face opportunities. 

Organisations are increasingly seeking freelancers who can deliver services remotely, leading to a decentralisation of work. Keeping up-to-date with AI can bring about new opportunities for those with technical skills, paving the way for the future of business and how organisations run.

In the UK, the influx of technology has led to some redundancy of middle-skilled workers, such as cashiers, who are replaced by self-service machines. Could we envisage a world where machines will do much of the work, and humans can enjoy the euphoric bliss of being without work? Is it possible that humans would sit and consume a lot and do little? 

Technological advancements can do much in many fields, with patients describing their symptoms to AI Chat Nurses, who will then diagnose their conditions and suggest treatments or refer them to medical consultants. Still in the medical field, some robots are being trained to perform simple operations. For example, Japan is one of the leading countries in the world where robots are allowed to carry out surgical operations. 

The country has been at the forefront of integrating advanced robotics and artificial intelligence into medical procedures. Surgical robots, such as the well-known da Vinci Surgical System, have been used in Japanese hospitals for minimally invasive surgeries. These robots enhance surgeons' precision, control, and visualisation during operations. Some architects have transitioned from traditional scroll paper to computer-aided designs in architecture.

With the increasing use of AI, automation has become a key player in this transformation. AI chatbots are now utilised for transcription, translation, and content creation, potentially reducing the demand for certain specialised roles. This shift is not limited to specific industries; even artists can leverage AI to bring their creative visions to life more efficiently.

The impact of AI extends beyond the professional realm. In the hospitality industry, the traditional role of a receptionist is evolving with the emergence of app-based systems that allow tourists to access accommodations seamlessly. The traditional handing over of keys is replaced by digital codes accessed through mobile apps. Imagine going to a hotel; you only need your phone to enter your hotel room. Receptionists will no more welcome you and show you around the environment. You can search online or call your booking number if you need something.  

In design, AI is becoming a powerful tool for artists and architects. It swiftly translates ideas into tangible creations, offering new interior and architectural design possibilities. The efficiency gains are substantial, allowing for exploring numerous concepts in a fraction of the time it would traditionally take.

Students, too, are benefiting from the capabilities of AI. The technology assists in problem-solving, accelerates learning processes, and opens new avenues for exploration. Once time-consuming tasks, such as solving mathematical problems or learning complex chemical processes, can now be streamlined through AI applications.

Rather than view AI solely as a replacement for human jobs, it’s crucial to recognise its potential for collaboration. AI can handle repetitive tasks, allowing humans to focus on creative and strategic endeavours. This synergy can lead to unprecedented levels of innovation and productivity.

Looking ahead, the continuous evolution of AI will likely lead to further changes in the workforce. Regulatory frameworks will need to adapt, and education systems must emphasise lifelong learning and reskilling. 

Dr. John Doe, an economist at Harvard University, predicts that "AI will create more jobs than it displaces, but the key will be in managing the transition and ensuring inclusive growth."

In developing countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon, many individuals are pushing to learn about AI through online courses. Different countries are at various stages of adapting to AI in the workforce. While Japan leads in medical robotics, countries like India are focusing on AI in education and agriculture. 

Developing nations are leveraging AI to leapfrog traditional developmental stages, although challenges remain in terms of infrastructure and access to technology (internet).

This transformative wave driven by AI is not merely changing how we work and study but crafting an entirely new landscape. From the gig economy and remote work to automated processes and enhanced creativity, AI redefines what is possible. However, it also raises concerns about accessibility and potential inequalities, as those without access to this sophisticated world may be left behind. 

As we navigate this era of change, it becomes essential to ensure that the benefits of AI are inclusive, reaching all corners of society. 


Written by Dr. Delphine Ngehndab. (By Dr. Delphine Ngehndab is a researcher who specialises in writing articles on immigration, women and gender inequality. She’s equally a mentor for young people both in the UK and many African countries)


This story was first published in The Guardian Post Issue No:315 of Friday July 5, 2024


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