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Now the time to start to retrain those in AI threatened roles

Gartner has added its voice to those calling for the IT industry to take steps to help people adjust to an AI and automated future

The IT industry will have to play a role coming up with an answer for those impacted by the job losses that will come as a result of automation and AI.

Earlier this quarter the head of CompTIA used the industry group's event in London to tell asn assembled audience of resellers, distributors and vendors that thousands would lose their jobs as technology replaced them and for the good of society they had to be helped find alternative employment.

"The industry is going to be facing a lot of challenges in the future. we have all these new technologies like AI, robotics, VR, machine learning, autonomous vehicles that have the potential to displace lots of workers and our industry is going to have to be part of the solution," said CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux.

"Where are these people going to go to work?" he asked "We have to figure out what the new jobs are that don't exist today."

Gartner has now given a timeframe to when some of the changes will be felt in the workplace with the analyst house forecasting that 2020 will be the moment when AI starts to create more jobs than it eliminates. In just over two year 2.3m positions will have been created thanks to artifical intelligence with 1.8m roles having been killed off thanks to the technology.

"Many significant innovations in the past have been associated with a transition period of temporary job loss, followed by recovery, then business transformation and AI will likely follow this route," said Svetlana Sicular, research vice president at Gartner.

"Unfortunately, most calamitous warnings of job losses confuse AI with automation — that overshadows the greatest AI benefit — AI augmentation — a combination of human and artificial intelligence, where both complement each other," she added.

She echoed the comments made by Thibodeaux urging IT leaders to start looking at ways to get people facing the end of their jobs ready for new roles.

"Now is the time to really impact your long-term AI direction," said Sicular. "For the greatest value, focus on augmenting people with AI. Enrich people's jobs, reimagine old tasks and create new industries. Transform your culture to make it rapidly adaptable to AI-related opportunities or threats."

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