Can AI really create 800,000+ jobs by 2021? This report says yes

New research from IDC, released by Salesforce, claims that artificial intelligence (AI) will create 823,734 jobs by the year 2021, surpassing the number of jobs lost to AI technologies such as machine learning and automation. Additionally, the report predicted that AI will increase global business revenues by $1.1 trillion in the same time frame.

The two statistics mentioned above will both come about as a result of “efficiencies driven by AI in CRM,” the report found. And, if one includes indirect obs, the number of jobs added by AI jumps to 2 million. “This is a net-positive figure in that it includes an estimate of jobs lost to automation from AI,” according to the report.

The big takeaway from this research is the idea that AI will create more jobs than it displaces. This stands in stark contrast to other research, such as that from MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson, that suggests AI and automation will replace more jobs that it will create.

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Other, more dire, claims state that there’s a 50% chance that AI will outperform humans in every job in just 45 years. It’s no wonder that the fear of losing one’s job to AI is the no. 1 cause of stress at work, according to a recent Udemy report.

The report was commissioned by Salesforce to specifically look at the impact AI will have on the CRM space. It is important to note, however, that Salesforce also recently launched a new effort in AI-powered CRM analytics called Einstein Analytics as well.

The year 2018 is set to be a major turning point for AI adoption, the report found. As 28% of respondents said their organizations has adopted AI already, an additional 41% said they will adopt the technology within two years.

In a separate forecast, IDC noted that by 2018, 75% of development happening in the enterprise and among independent software vendors (ISVs) will include features or functionalities built on machine learning or AI technologies. This seems to parallel what was found in the Salesforce-commissioned report.

Of the respondents who identified as AI adopters, 46% said that more than half of their CRM activities happen in the public cloud. As such, the report predicts that cloud vendors will lay a key role in delivering AI solutions in the future.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. According to a Salesforce-commissioned IDC report, AI will create more than 800,000 jobs by 2021, and will have a $1.1 trillion impact on the global economy.
  2. The idea that AI will create more jobs than it replaces stands in stark contrast to other research from MIT and others that point to an opposing trend, with automation replacing workers.
  3. Public cloud vendors will be critical in delivering the AI solutions of the future, the report found.

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