Over the next three years, 120 million workers in the world's 12 biggest economies may need to be retrained as a result of widespread adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in the workplace, according to a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study.
Only 41% of CEOs surveyed have the resources in place to close the skills gap brought on by new emerging technologies. That means 59% of the CEOs surveyed have no skills development strategies in place for their employees in the early 2020s.
"Organizations are facing mounting concerns over the widening skills gap and tightened labor markets with the potential to impact their futures as well as worldwide economies," said Amy Wright, Managing Partner, IBM Talent & Transformation, IBM.
"Yet while executives recognize the severity of the problem, half of those surveyed admit that they do not have any skills development strategies in place to address their largest gaps. And the tactics the study found were most likely to close the skills gap the fastest are the tactics companies are using the least. New strategies are emerging to help companies reskill their people and build the culture of continuous learning required to succeed in the era of AI."
The IBV study, "The Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap," includes input from 5,670 CEOs located in 48 countries, points to challenges that companies will face in the early 2020s with managing their workforce through the technological shift.
IBM said, the "era of AI" will be a transformative period for the global economy as the skill gap through employee training will take time to close. The company's study indicates new skill requirements for jobs will be required due to the fast pace of AI and automation adoption, while other skills become out-of-date.
The study lays out a guide for businesses to better foster talent and close the skills gap in a timely fashion.
IBM said companies could use AI to determine what skills are already available throughout their business and share that info with employees to drive a culture of "continuous learning."
Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said AI impact on the workforce could be devastating.
Musk said, "AI will make jobs kind of pointless."
One of our reports from June describes how automation, engineering, energy storage, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have the potential to reshape the world in the next decade, could result in at least 20 million job losses across the globe.
There is no doubt that the collision of AI and automation in the workplace will trigger economic disruption far more significant than what was seen during the agriculture revolution (1900 to 1940) when farmers retooled their skills to work in cities in industrial factories.