A lot of folks think artificial intelligence (AI) will be a job destroyer.
You may be one of them.
And that may put you off investing in this groundbreaking technology.
But before you give up one of the best opportunities of our lifetimes to make life-changing wealth, ask yourself if that’s really the case for AI.
The chart below is from consulting giant McKinsey & Company.
It tracks projected changes in labor demand across 18 industries by 2030.
As you can see, according to McKinsey, AI will be a job creator in 14 of these industries.
Many of these new jobs will be in healthcare, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and management.
All told, McKinsey expects AI to create 4.2 million jobs over the next seven years.
Of the four industries expected to shed jobs because of AI, the two biggest are customer service and office support.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
AI will automate these more mundane tasks and free up time to do more important tasks.
Don’t believe me?
Consider what happened in the 1970s to bank teller jobs after the introduction of ATMs.
Expect the Unexpected
Economists thought ATMs would destroy bank teller jobs.
It was a reasonable assumption. The main task of bank tellers was to count out money for customer cash withdrawals.
And after the introduction of ATMs, the average number of tellers at banks went from 21 to 13.
But then something unexpected happened.
Banks were getting more done with fewer workers. They used this boost in efficiency to open more branches.
Instead of destroying teller jobs, the introduction of ATMs actually increased the number of tellers.
This is from James Besson, an economist and technologist at Boston University…
Basically, starting in the mid-1990s, ATM machines came in in big numbers. We have, now, something like 400,000-some installed in the U.S.
Everybody assumed – including some of the bank managers, at first — that this was going to eliminate the teller job. And it didn’t. In fact, since 2000, not only have teller jobs increased, but they’ve been growing a bit faster than the labor force as a whole.
That may eventually change. But the impact of the ATM machine was not to destroy tellers, actually it was to increase it.
There will be no shortage of pundits shouting about AI’s potential to steal our jobs.
But don’t fall for it.
Although we may see cuts in customer service jobs, AI is on track to create many more jobs than it destroys.
It’s just the latest in a long line of tech advancements that have made our nation more prosperous for everyone.
Let’s build wealth together!
Phoenix Van Zutphen
Analyst, Brownstone Research