Artificial intelligence a concern

By ATB Economics 19 August 2019 1 min read

Technological advancements have been putting people out of work since the invention of the wheel, but history suggests the net effect of technology has been positive. After all, it creates jobs and helps people work smarter.

Even so, a recent survey suggests nearly half of Albertans age 18 to 64 feel artificial intelligence (AI) will replace more jobs that it will create. Just 16 per cent believe the opposite while a fairly large proportion (27 per cent) are on the fence.

The survey, conducted for ATB Economics, allows us to understand how four different generations of Albertans (Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers) feel about this issue. Perhaps surprisingly, there is little variation amongst the groups.

Boomers stand out as the least likely (46 per cent) to be anxious about AI eliminating more jobs than it creates. Gen Xers, on the other hand, are most likely to be pessimistic, with 58 per cent believing it will replace more jobs that it generates.

The survey results suggest age is not a key determinant to how working age Albertans view AI’s impact on job growth. They also suggest a large portion of Albertans are at least somewhat concerned and may be resistant to the increased use of AI in the workplace.

A summary of the survey results and methodology can be found in the new edition of Perch: Filling in the gaps - Generational perspectives on the economy and workplace available on atb.com/economics.

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