AI and the World of Work: Embracing the Promises and Realities

A truck with no driver travels 120 miles to deliver a shipment of beer in Colorado.1 The quintessential 21st-century taxi service experiments with driverless cars.2 A traditional adversary to brick-and-mortar plans a real grocery store with no checkout line.3 A major investment bank replaces managers with automated stock pickers.4 A word to the wise: artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer artificial. It is now very real.  More than 70 years after its initial appearance, AI has made the leap from theoretical promise to practical reality. Machines can now perform human activities that were considered fantasy as recently as a decade ago. At the same time, AI has given rise to the worst science-fiction fears of the “Terminator” machine – an independently thinking robot that dominates and destroys humankind. Clearly, the level of drama in modern commentary about AI is high, but somewhere between the promise, the skepticism, and the threat is the reality of AI today. It’s a reality that business leaders, workforce strategists, and talent decision makers can no longer afford to ignore.

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