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Source: Capital avec Management as of 31-03-2020

In the next twenty years, artificial intelligence will affect almost all professions, transforming some or replacing others. How high will the wave be? What will be left for humans? How can we find our place in a robotic world of work? Investigation.

His name is  Watson. The announcement  of his  arrival in the  agencies,  four years ago, has  flanked a hell of a scare to the unions of Credit Mutuel. Watson  is  an  artificial intelligence  (AI)  solution born at IBM, a crack capable of en answering  questions  in natural language, which in  2011  crushed  the strong themes of”Jeopardy!   ” Questions for a Champion”  American. The  mutual bank  is the one that has developed  this AI solution the  most. Orange Bank  or  Generali  have  since  followed  suit.

Deployed for  three  years,Watson  now assists  25,000 in 5,000  Credit  Mutuel and CIC agencies. This super assistant  processes  300,000  customer  requests each  day,  which he  follows  with  a   response recommendation. .  Another  skill  is to help  find information in the en     bank’s documentary base, with  a natural language interface.   Each  Watson proposal  is  evaluated by the   (green  or  redclick):   ) :  continuous  learning  that  continuously increases  its  reliability.  

“The programme  has  no  impact  on  employment,”  Claude Bailer,  president of the SNB CFE-CGC section of Credit  Mutuel, said  today.  And  it  should   save the advisors fifteen to twenty minutes a  day,   which  is  nice..  But  we  remain  vigilant in the  medium term.”   According to  the management, which  spends  40  million  euros over five  years,Watson  will   free  “200,000 days/man,  that’s  the equivalent of 200,000  working days over five  years,  a  saving EUR 60  million    across  the  programme .” l’ensemble Or  the equivalent of  1,000  employees  over a year. While Credit  Mutuel  has  chosen   to  use  Watson  as an en  activity  assistance tool,   others  such as the troubled Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)  or  the Japanese  insurer  Fukoku  have installed it well  to  delete  posts.  .

Obvious progress

The arrival of  IBM’s  flagship  program  in  a  large  mutual  bank  illustrates  the  hopes for efficiency and the  mixed fears  about  the use  of  AI solutions in the world of work. Artificial intelligence    is  one  of the bricks  of  automation  of   tasks,already at  work  for years  in  industry,  banking,  mass  distribution, etc. It  adds  tremendous  computing power  and  the exploitation of huge data  masses, as well  as  the  ability  to  learn  (machine learning), which  allow, for example, to create  virtual assistants      of our  smartphones (voice recognition  and natural language),  chatbots,  visualrecognition…

The AI that develops  the most  today  is  indeed   the so-called    “weak”one:   it  does  not  know how to decode implicit knowledge,  much  less  hidden  or figurative   senses, only sens performs  very specific tasks for  which  it  has  been  programmed,  is  not  self-aware  … All these   capabilities   would constitute  a  “strong AI“,  which  is not for  tomorrow according to  the  researchers.

Nevertheless, artificial   intelligence  is only progressing  in  a number  of  sectors:   writing  standardized  acts  among  lawyers, document research,  en  reviewing  thousands of CVs per  second   in   human resources,  automation  of trading… Watson – again   himself  –  was  also   hired in an  American hospital  where  he  helps  oncologists to make faster diagnoses and treatments  for  their  patients.

Fears  founded  or  not

What to worry about  seriously  about his  job? “For   sure,  many  jobs will be  affected,” confirms  Erwann  Tison,  economist at the think tank  Institut  Sapiens, which has just published  The Robots, My  Job  and  Me (Eska Editions).  A trade  is    considered to be at risk  as    70% of the  tasks  associated with   it  can  be  automated..  But  even  below,  many  will be  heavily  transformed. And,  unlike  previous  industrial revolutions,   the  lowest-skilled jobs will not be  the  only ones  affected.”.” 

Economists have long  been working    on the overall impact  of  AI  on  employment, with a variety  of  predictions: from 47% of  job losses in the United  States,  according to  a  1993 Oxford study, to 14% in the 15 to   d’Oxford  20  years  to  come,  according to  the OECD  last  year  (16.4%  in  France). In  France, the   Employment Guidance Council (ECC)  puts forward   slightly  peu  more  modest figures with 10%  of vulnerable jobs and 50%  of jobs that will not   disappear but  will be significantly  impacted.

Some American  (  or  French  simulators  like the site  allow to be  afraid  (orou  not). The latter  en assesses  the  risk  of  disappearance  of 242 occupations according to   several  criteria (penalty,  attractiveness,  complexity,  need for human  relations,  average  salary,   number  Jobs).  According to  him,  doctors  or  lawyers  are  not  immune. As for  accountants  or internal  auditors,   the eye of the cyclone would not  be   far  away! The   handlers,  office and management  secretaries,   bank employees,  insurance employees  or  cashiers,  whose numbers  have  already been falling   for  thirty  years,  are threatened  in the short  term.  

A humaine  planned human conversion

Foresight is  a difficult art and the  worst  is  never  safe..  But  a  Schumpeterian  revolution  – the  famous “creative destruction” – at the end  of  which   jobs  will have  disappeared to make  way  for  others,still  largely  unknown, is in  no  doubt,  no matter    how  violent and widespread it may be. “The  real  question  is    what  we’re  doing  now,” says  Erwann  Tison. What policy for the   job market, to  accompany  the  generation that will be  impacted?   “Tax  on  robots? Universal income, possibly   temporary?   Politicians  will have  to  quickly   look at ways  to support the coming wave.

The OECD is already  recommending that its  members   prepare for retraining assistance and”support  for  those  affected by jobcuts”, as well as  give a  serious boost to  continuing  education. A  need  already  expressed  by  many  employees. “But companies  don’t yet know  how to approach  this  topic  with  them,  which  adds to the  concerns,”  says  Cécile  Dejoux,  professor  at  Cnam  and chair director Learning Lab. Its last MOOC (massive open online race), which  took place from  January  to  June  2019,  had no   trouble recruiting  10,000  registered..

They want to understand  how  AI will apply  to  their  profession, how work organization and management will be  affected,  and what skills  –  including  their soft skills,  human  and  relational    qualities  as automatons don’t  know how   to imitate  yet  –  they will have to  develop.  Finland,which  has just left the  European Presidency, is leaving a part of  the  way. It  will en    provide online training  “Elements of AI”  developed  by the University  of  Helsinki and already made available to  Finnish citizens as early as  this year, and in  all  EU languages. .

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