Future Jobs Will Pair Machines with People

The AI-enabled workplace will require more creativity and complex reasoning.

AS INDUSTRY EMBRACES the advantages of artificial intelligence, human workers fear being displaced by robots. But many more jobs will be filled by humans and machines working together in "the missing middle," according to the authors of a report from Accenture and the Aspen Institute's Business & Society Program.

"We are leaving the 'Information Era,' when machines delivered data that improved processes and products, and entering the 'Experience Era,' during which uniquely human skills will deliver more personalized and adaptive customer experiences," they write.

Researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Labor to trace the evolution of more than 100 abilities and working styles over the past decade. They found that "more than half ofU.S.jobs need higher-level creativity, over 45 percent require more complex reasoning, and 35 percent need more socio-emotional skills than in the past." The report predicts that, in the AI -enabled workplace, more emphasis will be put on ten types of intelligence: physical, cognitive, strategic, practical, analytical, creative, interpersonal, intra personal, moral, and growth-oriented.

But workplaces aren't ready to implement the new intelligences or the human-machine interface. Business leaders believe that only about a quarter of their workers are prepared to work with AI and machines, although more than two-thirds of surveyed workers say they recognize the importance of developing their own skills in this area. In fact, these workers feel companies should do more to help them get ready: 37 percent say their biggest obstacle is lack of sponsorship from the company, and 36 percent point to lack of resources.

To prepare for the Experience Era, the report emphasizes, educators and learners must rely on scientific techniques and smart technologies designed to help workers learn faster and tap latent intelligences more effectively.

Read more about the report