Last month the Department for Education in the UK produced a report - “The impact of AI on UK jobs and training”!
It made for some interesting reading! The main findings were:
- Professional occupations are more exposed to AI, particularly those associated with more clerical work and across finance, law and business management roles
- The finance and insurance sector is more exposed to AI than any other sector
- Workers in London and the South East have the highest exposure to AI (workers in the North East are in jobs with the least exposure to AI in the UK)
- Employees with more advanced qualifications are typically in jobs that are more exposed to AI
- Employees with qualification in accounting and finance through Further Education or apprenticeships and economics and mathematics through Higher Education are typically in jobs more exposed to AI
It is clear that AI will change the world of work and many businesses are currently getting abreast of the possibilities to build in to their future workforce and technology plans. The pace of change is rapid!
Whilst not covered in this report, I thought that it would be helpful to consider the impact of AI on diversity equity and inclusion (DEI). It is fair to say that many DEI professionals are cautiously embracing AI, as I am, seeing both the benefits for adoption and the potential drawbacks.
In this blog written by the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion , it references a significant advantage, being the potential to mitigate unconscious bias in recruitment and promotion, as AI tools help to remove human bias from the processes. Conversely, there are obvious concerns about the inherent bias that can be built in to AI tools.
In the same article, AI is seen an enabler in identifying patterns of bias in an organisation, AI systems can pinpoint areas where DEI interventions are needed when considering data reviews of pay disparities, promotions rates, employee satisfaction scores, for example.
A key challenge for AI is the lack of diversity in the sector (including tech firms relevant government bodies setting policies and academia) - referenced in this Raconteur article. Whilst the sector continues to grapple with the deployment of new tools and technology, it also needs to continue the drive for increasing representation. Unless this is prioritised, there will be inherent risks to DEI with the continued deployment of AI based solutions.
As ever, I welcome your thoughts, insights and perspectives on this important topic!