How to keep a job in a world of AI? Get creative

PUBLISHED: Tue, 11 Apr 2017 16:56:51 GMT

Jessica Wa’u | CNBC

A new report from UBS estimates that artificial intelligence (AI) technologies could create an economic value of about $1.8 trillion to $3 trillion in Asia by 2030. But that value comes at a cost, with an estimated 30 million to 50 million jobs in Asia at risk of displacement in the medium to long term.

Financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and transportation, are the sectors likely to bear the brunt of job losses, according to UBS Global IT Analyst Sundeep Gantori. Speaking with CNBC’s “Street Signs,” he said jobs in traditional sectors that are predictive and routine in nature will be affected.

So in preparation for the future, he advised that job seekers target roles requiring personalization or creativity.

“Focus on creativity jobs… entrepreneurship jobs, arts… and maybe sports,” he said. “We have to go back to those old days where arts are valued. So maybe that’s the future.”

While some jobs may become irrelevant, AI will also create new categories of jobs elsewhere, Gantori said. Data scientists are expected to get a leg up in the future, with UBS describing data as the “fuel” that powers the AI engine.

The firm also recommended investing in research and development-intensive companies related to AI, such as healthcare and advanced engineering.

The report pointed to Asia being a late entrant in the AI world, lagging behind a solid ecosystem in the U.S. But expect that gap to narrow as governments put more money into data sciences and machine learning, he said. Capital flows into AI-based start-ups are also expected to increase as the relevant talent pool in Asia grows.

Gantori said, “By 2025, we think that the talent in India and China together will exceed what we’ll have in the U.S. At the same time, the region generates a lot of data, which is very handy in AI.”

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