Everyone needs to understand the potential impact of AI and automation


On Tuesday ABC ran a prime-time special program The AI Race, supplemented by other content including analysis and an interactive tool on the impact of AI on jobs.

The program was excellent, looking at people working in a variety of jobs from truck driver to lawyer and how AI might impact them.

I appeared on the program as part of an ‘expert’ panel discussing the implications of automation on the future of work with a group of young people. The segments where I appeared are in the video below.

A friend commented that it was surprising how little many people who appeared on the program understood and appreciated the potential impact of automation on their work.

This is a critical point. As I consistently point out, there is an enormous amount that can be done by individuals, companies and governments to shift us towards a more positive future of work.

However to take action, we need to be aware of the issues so we can respond. A national broadcaster airing a special feature digging into the issue helps.

But there is far more that needs to be done, in media, in schools, in workplaces, wherever we can touch individuals and leaders who can take action if they understand what can be done, and how they can shape better futures for themselves and others in a rapidly changing world.

AI and automation are already hot topics. We need to ramp up from here to helping people understand the potential personal impact, and how they can take action to prepare. That is the only way we might be prepared.

Image: Rob Brewer