During the White House summit on the future of artificial intelligence in U.S. businesses on Thursday, Accenture Chief Technology Officer Paul Daugherty hopes to push the importance of reskilling American workers who could lose their jobs to new technology.
Though the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that hundreds of thousands of jobs have been sidelined by automation in the U.S. in recent decades, Daugherty said he anticipates new tech could not only spur new economic growth, but truly reshape the future of work in the U.S.
“We believe artificial intelligence, like any other technology, is going to create a lot of economic opportunity – new industrial activity, new industry segments, new industries and a lot of new jobs,” Daugherty told FOX Business’ Charles Payne. “The real issue we have is from an education and reskilling perspective that we’re preparing workers for those jobs.”
Accenture will be just one of the 100 participants at the “Artificial Intelligence for American Industry” summit, joining the likes of Boeing, Citigroup, Facebook, United Airlines and Walmart.
Discussion topics are expected to include supporting AI research and development, removing barriers and regulation to AI innovation, adapting applications of AI to fit new sectors and helping the American workforce take advantage of the technology. While the White House supports the use of AI, there’s uncertainty about its impact on the job market. In 2017, the Robotics Industries Association estimated that 250,000 robots were being used in the U.S. – the third highest in the world behind Japan and China.
Daugherty, however, said as long as the U.S. continues to innovate its workforce to shift into new roles that could be created by AI, unemployment rates shouldn't increase.
“It’s an important topic for us to get on the agenda to make sure we make our business and workforce competitive going forward,” he said, adding, “The big issue we have is making sure the future workers and today’s workers that are displaced by some of the changes are ready for some of the changes that are coming.”