By Sabrina Lynch
- Artificial Intelligence eliminated 3,900 jobs in May alone
- The 5.6% Black unemployment rate for May 2023 is higher than any other ethnic demographic
The astonishing progress artificial intelligence (AI) has made from being a basic tool that writes high school essays, to now designing essential NASA equipment has left many in fear for their jobs. Nearly 4,000 Americans became unemployed in May because human intelligence, apparently, is no longer a valuable commodity in the workforce, as the Artificial IntelligenceI industry is projected to grow to more than $1 trillion. This is the first time that AI has been blamed for workers being replaced, outside of economic market instability.
Why This Matters: So many biases have been called out about the application of AI in the ‘real world’ and the detrimental effects on Black lives. Let’s start with the rise of anti-Black biases in recruitment where AI tools were found to screen job applications and eliminate “Black” sounding names from the interview processes. Don’t forget facial recognition AI that’s trained to recognize a white person more easily than a Black person.
Now we’re facing a crisis of job displacement in highly sought after, and highly compensated, roles such as computer programmers, engineers, tech experts and analysts. The 5.6% Black unemployment rate for May 2023 is higher than any other ethnic demographic. These are jobs which were already suffering from a severe lack of Black and Hispanic representation. Black professionals occupy 3.7% in technical roles at large tech companies. Roles in warehouses, fulfillment centers, factories and more across the trades are also set to be cut, validating Goldman Sachs’ research that up to 300 million jobs could be lost due to the rise of generative AI platforms.
What’s Next: When the very “Godfather of AI” quits Google and declares that this technology is a bigger threat than climate change, you know you have a problem. There is a significant concern for workers across the board over a growing technological threat that was shrugged off in the past. Now, it’s a wait-and-see game as organizations work out how they can capitalize on AI bots for cost-cutting on operations.
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