AI Development Seen as an Advantage for Business — But What Does It Mean for Jobs?

Alex Greenwood
2 min readJan 18, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a strategic priority for businesses seeking to gain an advantage over the competition, but it raises questions about which jobs it will affect most.

The term “artificial intelligence” was coined by Dartmouth College Professor John McCarthy in 1956. McCarthy defined AI as “every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.”

What was once a fanciful futuristic dream has become an exciting, if not sobering reality with far-reaching advances in computing technology making the economy ripe for changes in a variety of industries.

A Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review study published last year, Reshaping Business With Artificial Intelligence, interviewed more than 3,000 business executives, managers, and analysts in 21 industries based in 112 countries. It determined that 72 percent of respondents in the tech, media, and telecommunications sectors expect AI to have a major impact on product offerings in the next five years.

Marketing and supply chain sectors are expected to see much of the change, with some experts predicting the extinction of jobs including telemarketing, bookkeeping clerks, receptionists, couriers, and proofreaders.

Such dire predictions naturally raise the question of “what about my job?”

“It’s not so much about what jobs will we do, but how will we do our jobs,” said economist Andrew Charlton, co-founder of AlphaBeta, an economic consulting and analytics company based in Sydney and Singapore in a recent interview. “Everyone will do their job differently, working with machines over the next 20 years.”

“For example, a retail worker will spend nine hours less on physical and routine tasks like stocking shelves and processing goods at the checkout, and nine hours more on tasks like helping customers to find what they want and providing them with advice.”

In fact, many jobs will not only be safe in the near-term but will also see growth, says marketing software giant Hubspot. Hubspot predicts growth in manager-level positions in areas including human resources, sales, and marketing. Chief executives, event planners, writers, software developers, editors and graphic designers will also experience modest growth.

Clearly, AI is not a fad, but a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Businesses will continue to integrate AI into numerous customer-facing roles, and this will necessitate creativity and flexibility on the part of workers and employers.



Alex Greenwood

PR Consultant, Speaker, Podcast Producer/Host, Editor, and Award-Winning Writer of the John Pilate Mystery Series. Accomplished belly laugher.