In brief

In brief

  • Sixty-two percent of workers think AI will have a positive impact on their work.i
  • AI’s revolutionary potential and far-reaching ripple effects mean the broader societal implications can’t be ignored.
  • Businesses, governments, and societies all need to think about skills, jobs, and the legal ramifications.


AI has potential ripple effects that all of us—businesses, governments, societies, individuals—need to consider now. How do we ensure people have the skills they need in a world of pervasive AI? How many jobs will be replaced or changed irrevocably, and how many new ones will be created? What new legal frameworks are needed when algorithms are making the decisions?

The skills question

Governments need to keep pushing STEM subjects, as well as promoting the inclusion of data and analytics in other disciplines and curriculums. Businesses also have a key upskilling role—in order to benefit from a ready supply of AI talent while ensuring the technology is used responsibly.

The jobs question

Nobody knows for sure just how big AI’s impact on jobs will be. But there are reasons for optimism. Organizations that focus on augmenting the expertise of their human workforces will ultimately create more interesting, challenging, creative careers. In fact, if it follows past technology revolutions, AI might even end up creating more jobs than it replaces.

The legal question

Industrialized algorithmic decision making will call for new legal frameworks. Consider autonomous vehicles. What happens to areas like personal injury, negligence and other torts when machines are driving the cars? Who’ll be liable when one crashes? The software provider? The vehicle manufacturer? The human occupant?
Stat: 2.3 million jobs set to be created by AI in 2020, 1.8 million replacedii

i Harnessing Revolution: Creating the future workforce

ii Gartner says by 2020, Artificial Intelligence will create more jobs than it eliminates

Ray Eitel-Porter

Managing Director – Accenture Digital, Head of Applied Intelligence UK & Ireland


Dr. Athina Kanioura

Chief Analytics Officer and Global Lead – Applied Intelligence

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