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AI Doesn’t Have to Shrink Your Workforce

The artificial intelligence revolution in business is here, and it has a lot of people worried. In a recent survey of 3,000 executives, a study we conducted at Accenture found that more than two-thirds were planning to invest heavily in AI-related technologies over the next three years. Such investments have sparked much discussion about what those changes could mean for the workforce of the future. “Is Your Job About to Disappear?” was the scary headline of a Bloomberg BusinessWeek cover story last year.


Many types of jobs have already felt the brunt of increased automation. But while AI is having a significant impact on jobs in areas such as customer service, the reality is that for many workers, AI is more likely to change their jobs than eliminate them. Among companies that are aggressively deploying artificial intelligence technologies, entirely new types of positions are emerging, requiring novel skills and training.

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Paul Daugherty is Accenture’s chief technology & innovation officer. H. James Wilson is a managing director of information technology and business research at Accenture Research. They are co-authors of “Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI,” to be published by Harvard Business Review Press in March.

Mars Cyrillo and Jake Price commented on this article.
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Not everyone will need an advanced science degree, or even a technical background, to thrive in a work environment that increasingly integrates artificial intelligence systems.