Gap between employee fears and actual AI job replacement: A tale of two studies

A survey by a firm called Spokeo found 66 per cent of U.S. workers think AI could perform their jobs. Nearly 75 per cent are concerned about AI’s impact on their industry.

But there’s optimism too – over 75 per cent believe AI will reduce workplace stress and shorten the workweek.

Still, people see the threat to incomes in the near term. So that’s what this group of U.S. workers think.

But how much can AI actually replace?

An MIT study dug into the actual feasibility of AI automation. It modeled the economics of visual AI across 800 occupations.

The finding?

This study found that only 23 per cent of U.S. wages are in roles where machine vision automation would be cost effective today. It would require major tech cost reductions to boost viability. Why machine vision? An analysis of jobs like bakery workers showed humans still do key visual tasks cheaper than deploying cameras and AI.

Not that some jobs won’t be affected. Areas like retail and healthcare show great potential for AI disruption.

But while new AI tools create anxiety about jobs, the reality is automation has limits today on both tech capability and budgets.

Worker surveys reveal high anxiety over being replaced by thinking machines. But detailed economic analysis finds most roles aren’t ripe for cost-effective automation – yet.

Sources include: National Post and FoxBusiness

Jim Love
Jim Love
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO and Chief Digital Officer of IT World Canada - Canada's leader in ICT publishing and digital marketing.

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