Customer service clerks better beware—Amelia is coming after your job

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      According to the technology-oriented market-research company Forrester, 2020 was to be the year when companies became "laser-focused" on generating value through artificial intelligence.

      "Human-touch workers, cross-domain knowledge workers, teachers/explainers, and digital elite jobs will grow," the company said in a news release last year. "Single-domain knowledge workers, physical workers, function-specific knowledge workers, location-based workers, coordinators, and cubicle jobs will shrink.

      "According to Forrester, that will translate to job losses—29% by 2030 with only 13% job creation to compensate."

      This trend "will exacerbate income disparity as dividends shift to digital-savvy leaders and negatively impact non-digital workers unable to skill up fast enough".

      Even though a pandemic got in the way, there's no denying that large corporations are eagerly moving in this direction to automate more tasks.

      One of the more popular AI tools is known as Amelia, which was created by IPsoft. It's been described as the "Most Human AI agent with leading conversational abilities".

      She even has her own interactive avatar. And she'll never go on strike, call in sick, or file a human rights complaint. And she'll work 24 hours a day.

      Watch Amelia be interviewed for a service desk position.

      This could lead to the obliteration of huge numbers of so-called pink-collar jobs around the world.

      It shouldn't come as a surprise that IPsoft is trying to counter concerns that it's going to hurt women's livelihoods.

      On its website, it's promoting the accomplishments of women in artificial intelligence, including some Canadians.

      According to IPsoft, this is being done "in the hope that sharing these stories will open the door for more women to pursue careers in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] and shrink the industry's gender gap."

      Canadian reporter Janis Mackey Fryer reveals how China is measuring people's "social credit".

      AI kills jobs abroad

      Last year's Forrester report also pointed out how automation "disrupts offshoring" jobs.

      That's because technology enables machines to do the work of relatively low-cost workers in other countries.

      That, of course, has the potential to sow political unrest, particularly if large numbers of people find themselves suddenly unemployed in nations with lousy social-security systems.

      Just try to imagine the consequences in heavily populated countries like India, Egypt, and the Philippines, where rising joblessness will exacerbate poverty.

      Then there's China, which was where the first wave of major offshoring occurred.

      To date, not much has been said about the potential for automation to create trouble for the Communist Party of China. But if jobs start vanishing in that country, it could one day lead to an economic contraction.

      This, in turn, has the potential to threaten President Xi Jinping's hold on power.

      Xi is trying to forestall this possibility by deploying artificial intelligence to develop an all-knowing surveillance state. It's being done with the help of facial-recognition technology.

      For more on that, check out the video below.

      Australian reporter Matthew Carney looked at the evolution of China's digital dictatorship.