Intelligent Algorithms: Job Killers or Assistants?

The history of industrialisation shows how new technologies trigger social and economic revolutions, and how traditional jobs are replaced or changed by the use of machines.

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In today’s working environment, computers assist people and reduce their workload in a variety of ways. Intelligent algorithms are increasingly taking control, with the result that in many occupations, decisions are already routinely taken by software systems and not by people any more. In the future, computers will be so powerful that they will probably be able to take over tasks from knowledge workers, write Anette Braun, Axel Zweck and Dirk Holtmannspötter in “The Ambiguity of Intelligent Algorithms: Job killer or Supporting Assistant,” in the European Journal of Futures Research. With the help of big data, cognitive computer systems can detect hidden patterns and have become capable of learning, like humans. As a result, work processes can be made more efficient and therefore more profitable. In the future, more widespread use of computers in the occupational fields of knowledge workers and service providers may therefore lead to competition for jobs between intelligent machines and humans.


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