Artificial Intelligence is apparently ready to get to work. Over the next three years, as many as 120 million workers from the world’s 12 largest economies may need to be retrained because of advances in artificial intelligence and intelligent automation, according to a study released Friday by IBM’s Institute for Business Value. However, less than half of CEOs surveyed by IBM said they had the resources needed to close the skills gap brought on by these new technologies.
“Organizations are facing mounting concerns over the widening skills gap and tightened labor markets with the potential to impact their futures as well as worldwide economies,” said Amy Wright, a managing partner for IBM Talent & Transformation, in a release. “Yet while executives recognize severity of the problem, half of those surveyed admit that they do not have any skills development strategies in place to address their largest gaps.”
Concerns over how advances in AI will impact jobs aren’t new. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk last month said AI could make many jobs “pointless.” One report earlier this year found that robots could replace humans in a quarter of US jobs by 2030.
IBM says companies should be able to close the skills gap needed for the “era of AI,” but that this won’t necessarily be easy. The company said global research shows the time it takes to close a skills gap through employee training has grown by more than 10 times in the last four years. That’s due in part to new skills requirements rapidly emerging, while other skills become obsolete.
One way companies can keep up, according to IBM: Use AI to discover what skills are already available throughout their organization and share that info with employees to drive a culture of “continuous learning.”
IBM said its study is based on insights from multiple IBV research initiatives, including surveys of thousands of global executives as well as performance benchmarking data from hundreds of organizations.