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Marta Muñiz, CEO at Schiller International UniversityThis article was originally published on the AMCHAM blog on 23 March, 2022

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a technology that simulates human intelligence. The European Parliament defines it as "the ability of a machine to display the same capabilities as human beings, be it reasoning, learning, creativity or the ability to plan."

Since the mid-20th century, we have been living with technologies equipped with artificial intelligence that was, in the beginning, rudimentary. But the advances made in recent years in digitalization and artificial intelligence are so far-reaching that they are having a major impact on our society, our economy and even on the very concept of work.

Training, essential to keep from missing the AI wave 

OECD estimates place the number of jobs in member states susceptible to being automated at 14%, while 30% of current jobs could face substantial changes.

The challenge posed by this transformation for the labor market is immense. The disappearance of certain jobs and increased productivity in certain industries are taken for granted, as is the emergence of new professions and the ability of business roles to make decisions based on data provided by AI. Among these new professions, in addition to data scientists and programmers, are AI systems trainers, professionals who interpret the results generated by AI, linguists, field specialists who can make business sense of the technology or others who monitor to ensure that it is working as expected, as well as people who specialize in AI investments and the security of those systems.

According to the European Union, 65 percent of primary school students will work in professions that do not yet exist. Thanks to AI and robotics, at least 60 million jobs will be created globally in the coming years.

65 percent of primary school students will work in professions that do not yet exist.

At the same time, there is a disparity between the knowledge and skills of the productive force and the needs of companies, which makes it difficult to take full advantage of the potential of AI and new technologies in this area. According to the EU, 42% of its citizens lack basic digital skills. So it has launched an ambitious digital literacy program that aims to have 80% of its citizens attaining these elementary skills by 2030.

The European Commission also states that 55% of EU companies have difficulty filling IT vacancies due to a lack of IT experts. On the other hand, IBM estimates that 85 million jobs will not be filled by 2030 due to a lack of talent.

Currently, there is a mismatch between educational programs and what the labor market demands. So, we must encourage the inclusion of education and training in competencies, digital and technological skills, across all educational disciplines, as they are key to the employability and sustainability of companies.

These competencies will be essential for a better design of algorithms, leading to an inclusive Artificial Intelligence. AI specialists must be aware of their ethical and social responsibility.

AI specialists must be aware of their ethical and social responsibility.

Humanistic training in scientific disciplines and scientific training in Humanities are necessary if we seek to achieve a comprehensive humanistic education that forms citizens capable of responding to the challenges of this constantly evolving world. We must break down the physical barriers of traditional learning, innovate in both substance and form, and use knowledge to put it at the service of a more just, diverse, and sustainable society.

Integrating AI into educational curricula, updating and improving digital skills and continuous training throughout working life will mitigate the negative and potentially detrimental aspects of Artificial Intelligence.  At the same time, it will enable its enormous potential to be realized.

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