Wisconsin task force looks at which occupations may be very affected by artificial intelligence
A state task force on artificial intelligence is hearing the growth of AI will not affect all workers equally.
AI often refers to the capability of a computer, autonomous vehicle or other device to perform functions that are normally associated with human intelligence such as reasoning, learning and self-improvement.
Dennis Winters is chief labor market economist with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. At Monday's meeting in Milwaukee of the Governor's Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence, Winters said AI is very likely to affect some occupations.
"You're looking at market research, bookkeeping, ... computers, software developers, engineers. Those are all pretty highly skilled professions, fairly highly paid. Those that are least exposed, you come down with maids and housekeeping, food prep, cooks, construction laborers, right? Those are jobs that are pretty hard to do if you're not there," he said.
Winters cautioned the lists could keep changing, depending on what business owners decide to incorporate as they look for productivity increases, what AI products vendors devise, and how individual workers respond to training in new technology.
Nadiyah Johnson of Milky Way Tech Hub in Milwaukee is a supporter of AI, and wants more diversification and equity in technology training.
"I'm reminded of the dot-com era in the late '80s/early '90s where a lot of people got rich, and a lot of people kind of fell to the wayside — either being afraid of the internet or just not being educated on the possibilities of the internet. Here we are now, in kind of like the Fourth Industrial Revolution if you will, and we're still having conversations with community members who are so afraid of AI," Johnson told WUWM.
Johnson said her tech hub is trying to do more education in the schools and in correctional facilities, where people are due for release and will be attempting to get good jobs in a changing workplace.
Johnson is a member of the Gov. Tony Evers' (D) AI task force, which hopes to make recommendations next summer.
A separate AI panel set up by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Racine County) will hear invited testimony Wednesday in Madison.