Growth in AI adoption coincides with the biggest layoff season but here are 4 reasons it won’t replace humans completely

Growth in AI adoption coincides with the biggest layoff season but here are 4 reasons it won't replace humans

Artificial intelligence (AI) could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, making it one of the biggest economic opportunities available to countries and their leaders. The arrival of AI tools such as ChatGPT, Open NN, PyTouch, and others has seen a growth in AI adoption.

Unfortunately, the layoff trend that hit the global tech ecosystem last year has not ended, with several news of companies downsizing hitting the waves every other day. For some seeking employment, it has not been easy to get callbacks from hiring managers leaving them to ask if there is a global hiring halt or if Artificial Intelligence is stealing all of our jobs.

With over a hundred thousand job losses in the previous year, the growth in AI adoption has coincided with one of the world’s highest-ever job layoff seasons.

Many job applicants are increasingly seeking positions that Artificial Intelligence will not threaten to secure future employment, but they need to realize that AI is not the problem. In contrast, this writer believes that Artificial Intelligence is here to make specific tasks easier and better.

Growth in AI adoption coincides with the biggest layoff season but here are 4 reasons it won't replace humans

Read also: Africa Arise! 2023 is the year of AI.

Every other day a new Artificial Intelligence tool that can automate processes and solve weeks of mental effort and research in seconds is introduced; some experts claim that it will eventually replace human labour. 

However, there are several reasons why this is unlikely to occur, and Artificial Intelligence and humans will continue to complement one another.

AI’s Lack of Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capacity to recognize and effectively manage personal emotions in ourselves and others. An American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education research has proven that a strong propensity for emotional intelligence increases one’s ability to make sound decisions.

Growth in AI adoption coincides with the biggest layoff season but here are 4 reasons it won't replace humans

The research further proves that emotional intelligence is required to be an excellent worker and to lead a good life. Artificial Intelligence algorithms cannot fully understand the context and environment in which they operate, meaning they can miss important nuances that a human would pick up.

Also, Artificial Intelligence systems lack soft skills like emotional intelligence and empathy, which are critical for any workplace, and specific jobs, such as therapists, social workers, and teachers. AI algorithms cannot understand and respond to non-verbal cues and social etiquette, limiting them in performing roles that require strong interpersonal skills, such as customer service or sales.

Dependence on human input

Artificial Intelligence systems depend on human input and supervision, as they are designed and programmed by humans. No matter how impressive an AI tool is, it needs a level of manipulation from a human to deliver those results. Artificial Intelligence systems can only perform tasks within their programming and training data limitations and need humans to identify and correct errors.

Artificial Intelligence is designed to perform specific tasks and process information within pre-defined parameters. It lacks the human ability to think creatively and develop innovative ideas and solutions.

Ethical decision-making and moral concerns

While Artificial Intelligence systems can be programmed to make data-based decisions, they cannot make ethical and moral decisions. Humans are better equipped to handle complex ethical and moral dilemmas and understand the context and implications of their actions. This is part of why there will always (at least for the nearest future) be a limitation to the tasks that can be left in the hands of Artificial intelligence programs.

High cost of implementation

While AI can carry out many impressive tasks, it’s not as simple as installing an AI system or software. Implementing Artificial Intelligence systems can be expensive depending on the size of your business, the industry, data, urgency, and so much more. There are many different costs associated with implementing Artificial Intelligence. These include hardware costs, software costs, labour costs, and data.

According to a report, Netflix spends $1.5 billion on technology annually. A chunk of their tech budget is spent on artificial intelligence. It helps them personalize user recommendations and automates many of their processes, like creating subtitles. 

While the big techs can afford to spend a lot of money on Artificial Intelligence protocols, millions of organizations globally cannot afford to do the same. While this may seem insensitive, employing humans in most cases is just the cheaper option, and there will always be job opportunities.

How Malik Afegbua is reimagining African storytelling with AI-generated art
An AI-generated art image by Malik Afegbua

There are other reasons why Artificial Intelligence cannot completely replace human labour. For instance, The algorithms can’t work with humans or like we work with one another as a team and collaborate effectively, limiting their ability to perform tasks that require team effort and cooperation.

These algorithms are limited in adapting and changing as they rely on pre-defined rules. On the other hand, humans can adapt, learn and change their behaviour based on new information and experiences, which makes them better problem solvers.

Humans should upskill so as not to be left behind

Although Artificial Intelligence has the potential to automate many tasks, enhance human capabilities, and increase efficiency, it cannot replace humans in occupations that involve empathy, creativity, ethical decision-making, contextual knowledge, adaptability, teamwork, and social interaction.

However, humans should remember that there are several tasks that AI can now perform. Hence, it is better to acquire these skills listed above to continue to have that edge over artificial intelligence.

AI and humans complement each other, and the future of work will certainly contain a mix of Artificial Intelligence and human talents.

Because of the limitations and benefits of AI systems, humans and AI will continue to complement one another rather than compete. We must develop methods to harness the power of AI and use it responsibly and ethically to create a better future for all. 

This article was written by Andrew Lala, a football fan who loves only plantain more than Chelsea. Andrew works in the African Tech space and writes pieces on football and tech.

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