IBM study predicts AI revolution: 40% of workers must reskill within next three years

Priya Walia

Artificial Intelligence

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In an insightful revelation, a recent IBM study has uncovered that approximately 40% of the global workforce, an estimated 1.4 billion individuals, must reskill in the next three years due to AI implementation.

Contrary to the general fear of job loss instigated by AI integration in businesses, the study emphasizes that it’s not the replacement but rather the enhancement of jobs that AI brings about.

The IBM study methodically analyzes the influence of AI on various business models, shedding light on how companies are utilizing AI in their operations and how AI serves the potential to alter job roles significantly.

Drawing data from previous surveys, including a survey of 3000 C-level executives from 28 countries and another from 21,000 workers across 22 nations, this study underscores the significant shift AI will instigate in businesses and the workforce.

Interestingly, the surveyed executives estimate that 40% of their workforce will require reskilling in the upcoming three years due to the integration of AI. However, on a bright note, about 87% of these leaders believe AI will amplify job roles rather than replace them.

Further insights by the IBM IBV research indicate that tech adopters who successfully reskill to embrace “technology-driven job changes” report an average “revenue growth rate premium of 15%”. Moreover, those businesses that emphasized AI reported “a 36% higher revenue growth rate than their peers.” Emphatically, IBM articulated in their report, “AI won’t replace people—but people who use AI will replace people who don’t.”

In addition, the study highlighted a transformational shift in the skill-set paradigm. The focus on traditional technical skills, such as STEM proficiency, revered as the most critical skill in 2016, is expected to become the least prioritized by 2023. Enabled by AI tools like ChatGPT, workers can perform more efficiently with less knowledge, effectively reshaping the definition of necessary skills in the workforce.

The study posits that the pressing skills required of the workforce in 2023 will be people skills. Team management abilities, effective communication, adaptability to change, and the capability to work in team environments are expected to rocket to the top of critical requirements for employees.