Driving Disruption: The Effects of Artificial Intelligence on High-Volume Jobs

Artificial intelligence is not new. In 2001, over 20 years before the release of ChatGPT, there was a successful Hollywood movie literally titled A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. Long before that, there were famous movies that featured A.I., including 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Blade Runner (1982), and The Terminator (1984), among countless others. We can even look back to 1927 and the release of Metropolis, which is believed to be the first in a long line of movies that deal with artificial intelligence.

The point? This technology, at least in concept, has been around for decades.

But in the past year, we seem to have experienced an explosion in A.I. It’s gotten better, more adaptable, more accessible, and more prominent. For some, it’s a blessing of efficiency and cost reduction.

For others, it’s a legitimate threat to their current occupation.

The Problem: A.I. is Threatening Numerous Jobs, Even Skilled Positions

Artificial intelligence threatens to disrupt numerous jobs. Companies, of course, have good reason to invest in this technology, as it can create higher levels of efficiency and accomplish numerous tasks. It can accurately complete repetitive tasks, help with security measures, improve inventory management, and support decision-making.

But this places many jobs at risk.

Which positions are most vulnerable? They range from low-skill jobs to highly-educated professionals. Cashiers, for example, can be replaced by self-checkout machines that are increasingly used in retail stores. Customer service reps are being replaced by chatbots that can answer customer questions and quickly resolve issues.

But it’s also skilled experts who can be replaced. Accountants, for example, could be replaced by A.I., which has already passed the CPA exam. A.I.-powered software is being used to analyze financial data and make investment decisions, putting financial analysts at risk. From telemarketers to paralegals, it seems few jobs, at least office-based careers, are safe from A.I.

For the displaced worker, this can be devastating. But even for companies looking at their hard bottom lines, there is a downside to A.I. In a market where public perception matters more than ever, replacing people with software creates a terrible look for a company.

Fortunately, you don’t have to let A.I. have the ultimate say in the future of your company.

The Solution: Help Your People Learn to Work With A.I.

With a smart strategy based on educating your team and discovering the uses of A.I., you can navigate the current landscape while leveraging this technology for the benefit of your team and your company.

When you boil it down, every company is a tech company. Retailers are creating innovative digital customer experiences, manufacturing companies rely on robust technology for inventory management and banking providers are adapting to consumer demands for on-the-go mobile access and online options. So whatever the industry in which your organization competes, building up a robust technology team will be key to remaining competitive with the rise of A.I.

While demand for such innovation is at an all-time high, the candidate pool of qualified talent is slim. Companies are now investing in proven methods to expand talent pipelines and increase retention through reskilling non-technical employees into developers.

At Tech Elevator, we believe anyone can make it in a technology job if they are just given a chance. With effective aptitude tests, we can help identify people without technology backgrounds who actually possess the cognitive ability to build and maintain products and systems.  Historically this ability exists in 30% of people, regardless of race, gender, or educational background.

We find these people in the general public, where they are upskilled through our full-time and part-time programs and are available for external hire by your talent acquisition teams. We also find these people already employed – in the examples that follow; we’ll discuss how proactively reskilling your team can help you mitigate the disruption to your organization by giving people the chance to pivot from one role to another.

The Evidence: Helping Major Employers Overcome A.I. Challenges

Just how effective are our reskilling programs? Here are two examples of corporations that have improved their operations thanks to coding training through Tech Elevator:

  1. KeyBank: A large midwestern regional bank, KeyBank was seeing branch locations closing as A.I. and other automation technologies helped them respond to shifts in consumer demand. We helped them launch the TechReady program to reskill their people into new jobs within the organization. We are proud to say that this program has also helped drive diversity initiatives with 100% retention.
  2. AutoZone: Retailers often employ large numbers of people in what we consider “growth-capped positions” – that is, jobs that pay little, are high-stress, offer limited opportunities for advancement, and/or are vulnerable to automation.  The store clerks and warehouse associates at AutoZone are no exception. We helped rewrite their story by providing technology training that prepared them to join the technology organization and rewrite their career story.

The Training Your Team Deserves

Talk to our staff today about jobs within your company that may be vulnerable to A.I.; we’ll build a program that allows for a scalable approach to reskilling. Avoid firings, layoffs, and severance packages; go with Tech Elevator instead.

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. Give them every opportunity to thrive by working with Tech Elevator for skills assessments and training.

Written by Paul Burani, Tech Elevator’s VP of Enterprise