What is the impact of AI in the world of Work?
On 8 October last, the 2nd edition of the AI Expert Days Conference, organised by the ImpactIA Foundation, took place in Geneva. But the days started long before that. A group of interdisciplinary experts, the Foundation’s Advisory Board, meet for long hours on the premises of the Brocher Foundation. Its premises are located on the shores of Lake Geneva. There they asked themselves the question: What is the impact of AI in the world of work? And, from the outset, they have done what could be called “micro-brainstorming”: multiple small group meetings, with variations in the composition of these groups, pooling, etc. All this to prepare the workshops for the conference.
It took place in the auditorium of the Biotech Campus and its adjoining rooms, from 2pm to 7.30pm. Each conference participant had the opportunity to attend the welcome address, two workshops, to be chosen from six options, and the final conference activity, which was a round table with public participation. And then to close the deal, a little relaxing networking, with a drink and treats, which were served in the inner patio of the Biotech Campus.
Only a year has passed since the first edition and yet many things have begun to change in society, by the hand of Artificial Intelligence. In fact, it is gradually becoming part of our daily lives. For example, many new smartphone models have begun to improve their performance with this new technology.
Concerns, threats, challenges
In any case, although this innovative tool can be used to significantly improve our quality of life, concerns about its potential threats continue to emerge. This is the case for Laura Nolan, a former Google engineer, who left the multinational for ethical reasons. She told The Guardian on September 15 that robots have the potential to do “calamitous things for which they were not originally programmed”.
That was the view expressed by Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk. According to him, and he said so last year, Artificial Intelligence would nowadays involve a higher risk than nuclear weapons. He then used regulation.
On the other hand, according to the press agency Pressenza, 75 countries in the world are using AI for surveillance tasks. They would use American and Chinese technologies in particular.
Real applications of AI
But let’s be positive. Regarding AI in the Working Environment, which remains the main goal of AI Expert Days, the world has also begun to change. AI is entering the research community.
For example, in the TU Delft, Netherlands, where the materials scientist Miguel Bessa has succeeded in creating a new material that is both super-compressible and strong. He actually gave the AI a computer simulation. From this simulation and by learning by doing, AI finally allowed researchers to come up with a solution. This avoided a long and costly phase of laboratory experimentation.
On the other hand, and in the legal world, the DoNotPay startup offers its services free of charge through a smartphone app.
It has already been used in particular to contest parking tickets but, recently, it has also made it possible to conduct small trials. Its site offers to make claims against large corporations at no cost to the plaintiff. For the moment, it is only available in Great Britain and the United States.
In the field of medicine, Microsoft, in partnership with Nuance, is developing an intelligent consultation room that would allow your specialist to focus on you, your state of mind, etc. Basically, more humane consultations.
AI and Human Resources
And what about the HR software Amazon launched at the end of last year, which started making decisions based on gender bias? Prejudices that would have been introduced into the software by humans. Humans with prejudices, of course.
Nevertheless, the use of AI in HR seems promising. The French-speaking Swiss startup Into Flow, is working on an AI application that would detect burnout indicators, well before it occurs and by detecting the employee engagement rate. This would allow companies to make their workforce more profitable, while ensuring the well-being of their employees. Only “win-win” what.
The new professions of AI
But, is the AI going to take my job? This is one of the questions that everything and everyone asks. And the members of the ImpactIA Advisory Board have offered to work on this subject in depth. Their answer, which they develop in the 2019 AI Expert Days Papers, is a list of more than fifteen new professions, whose AI has already caused the emergence. Specialties that are already in demand in the real world today!
In any case, new jobs are not the only topic discussed in the Cahiers. These make it possible, in fact, to be up to date on everything concerning the relationship between AI and the world of Work, with an emphasis on the human and ethical parts of the equation.
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Les partenaires des AI Expert Days 2019 :
Espace Entreprise https://edu.ge.ch/site/espaceentreprise
Canton de Genève https://www.ge.ch/
Campus Biotech https://www.campusbiotech.ch/