Here’s how AI will disrupt the job market

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For Philip Baudouin, the world of work is on the eve of major upheaval. A real revolution will be brought about by the increasing spread of artificial intelligence. Element AI co-founder and vice president of research says frankly; A few years ago, AI was mostly a buzzword.

“Since 2012, artificial neural networks and computing power have combined allowing machines to better understand contexts and better understand by analyzing very large databases. This is called deep learning.”

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Philip Bowdoin, Co-Founder and Vice President of Research at Element AI

Photo: Radio Canada / Janick Tremblay

We’re getting close to an AI capable of understanding that makes us forget we’re talking to a machine. We will see the barriers come down little by little and adoption will increase in more and more different areas. »

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Philip Bowdoin, Co-Founder and Vice President of Research at Element AI

The result: the more efficient computers are, the more automation will spread in certain areas, Mr. Beaudoin identifies.

We must not believe that the contribution of AI will be limited to factories or self-driving cars. Several jobs are targeted, including those that rely heavily on human intelligence. At McGill University, computer science professor Joel Pino can attest to this.

For this robotics and artificial intelligence specialist, whatever can be automated will be one day or another.

She and her team are working to develop a robotic wheelchair that can help people who have lost independence navigate complex environments. But it can also be used in hospitals or residential centers to automatically transfer patients and beneficiaries from one place to another.

This is traditionally the work of employees. Thus this can free them up for other more important tasks or perhaps also reduce the demand for employees in these places.

But there is more. Much more.

‘More efficient than a human’

Professor Benio also works in the field of voice recognition and natural language. She wants to develop assistants who can follow a conversation and create new, rich and innovative sentences.

This research is currently based on data sets from Twitter and online discussion platforms. That equates to roughly 100,000 conversations that we feed into machines to explain how human-to-human exchange occurs.

It’s a special question here regarding logical sequences, words used, most common answers, and duration of conversations.

The search is not yet complete. But it is progressing quickly. Inevitably, she said, AI systems are likely to do most of the work that humans do in call centers today.

First with chats, then with more sophisticated programs that will use voice. Only the most complex cases will be referred to humans. After being widely relocated at the turn of the 2000s, these jobs could disappear.

According to Joel Pinault, a lot of sectors are at risk. “Wherever there are repetitive tasks, there is potential for automation if a machine can be, or if not, more efficient than a human.”

The world is excited about the problems to be solved. Its citizen, however, is concerned about the impact it will have on the world of work.

Joel Beno, Professor of Computer Science at McGill UniversityZoom in the image (A new window)

Joel Beno, Professor of Computer Science at McGill University

Photo: Radio Canada / Janick Tremblay

Last year, Amazon presented its vision for the future of grocery stores: Amazon Go, an open, no-checkout place. Consumers simply take the foods and foods they want and put them in their bags. Multiple cameras, facial recognition, and artificial intelligence take care of the billing. When you’re done shopping, all that’s left is to check out and check the bill, which is sent directly and instantly to the phone.

Automation also monitors the aviation sector. In the short or medium term, for example, aircraft will likely be inspected with drones. Currently, it takes about two hours and many employees are sitting on mobile cranes to inspect a commercial airliner.

In a few years, it will likely be a few drones that only take about 15 minutes to operate.

professionals too

But there are also tasks currently performed by professionals that can be automated sooner or later. This is particularly the case in a conservative field such as law. The Cyber ​​Justice Lab at the University of Montreal monitors all technological developments that are likely to affect the legal professions. Artificial intelligence ranks very high on the list of disruptive technologies.

Young lawyer Valentin Kalibel is inexhaustible when he talks about the legal applications of artificial intelligence. Explain that law is information. “We can’t yet formulate legal reasoning. But we have more and more tools to do that as we get closer,” he explains.

Understanding and processing this information is actually legal reasoning. Once this information becomes accessible through huge databases and can be processed using artificial intelligence, this opens up new horizons.

Valentine's Day KalibelZoom in the image (A new window)

Valentine’s Day Kalibel

Photo: Radio Canada / Janick Tremblay

Consider processing and reviewing large volumes of contracts during corporate acquisitions and mergers. This is called due diligence which aims to identify all accounting risks. On some large transactions, it can take months to review thousands of contracts. Using artificial intelligence, the system can directly target the most problematic items. “It would be a huge time saver,” says Valentin Kalibel.

But it is not only the large companies that can benefit. There are also litigants in general. It is not at all inconceivable that in a few years a lawyer armed with a computer will be able to query the system and all the case law databases so that he can tell his client very quickly about the likely chances of his success. Appeal.

“Customers will be able to quickly determine if the game is worth it. This therefore reduces costs. For the first time, this will allow justice to be more accessible. It is a revolutionary element,” says the young lawyer.

During the last century, a lot of laws were put in place to protect the rights of citizens. During this century, we will try to make it a reality and enable citizens to benefit from it. »

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Valentine’s Day Kalibel

Obviously, this could mean a significant loss of attorneys’ fees. Valentin Kalipel admits it. According to him, the entire service sector is also currently concerned about advances in artificial intelligence. We will have to find a new way to approach these technologies, even if it means redefining ourselves.

Nobody knows what jobs will survive using a smart machine. And no one knows if there will be work for everyone in a few decades. The next revolution is different from every other revolution. For the first time, machines will compete with humans cognitively. The consequences are still difficult to measure.

Yannick Tremblay’s report will be broadcast on February 26 at Sunday dessert from 10 am

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