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Scepticism of innovation is as old as the ages, but it can empower our societies. It is still too often the case that new technology is met with doubt and hesitation. In 1995, renowned astronomer Clifford Stoll stated, “The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher, and no computer network will change the way government works”. Stoll, alongside others, misjudged human behaviour and our ability to adapt. We can learn from such statements by being open to new technologies such as blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Remaining open to addressing issues will enable us to more fully engage with the positive potentials and use them to increase productivity and creativity.
Fears exist about AI replacing humans, reducing the need for human labour and leading to mass unemployment. This apocalyptic outlook is unfounded. According to a study by PwC in 2018, AI will encourage a gradual and positive evolution in the job market and new jobs created by AI will balance out those that are lost. As with other major technological shifts, the increase in AI technology will boost productivity whilst changing the employment and business landscape. By eliminating the need for certain tasks, AI will increase the diversification of skills across industries. The automation of manual and repetitive tasks opens the workforce up to a deeper engagement with creative and soft skills, which are needed in every sector. This changing demand is slowly altering the shape of business — and an understanding of AI is among the skills becoming more valued.
Skills which will continue to be inherently valuable,