Don’t Believe The Negative ‘Hype’—New Jobs Will Be Created With AI, EY Vice Chair Says

Raj Sharma, Vice Chair of Consulting at EY Americas, is championing the positive potential of artificial intelligence (AI) with a forward-looking attitude. Overseeing more than 25,000 professionals, Sharma encourages his clients to adopt AI despite rising operational costs and the prevailing trend of budget cuts, especially in the technology sector. In a recent Zoom interview, he predicted that AI will reshape 50% to 60% of global jobs within the next five to six years. However, he dispels fears of mass unemployment, suggesting instead that AI will transform job types fundamentally. Sharma stresses that human roles will remain crucial in all business operations.

**AI as a Catalyst for Innovation and Growth**

Sharma advocates using AI to fuel innovation and efficiency. He points out that while AI does pose risks of job displacement, the focus should be on its capacity to drive business growth and transform the business landscape. Despite the steep costs associated with developing advanced AI technologies like large language learning models, Sharma highlights the long-term benefits such as increased productivity and profitability, ultimately leading to significant returns on investment. His advice to businesses is to act decisively now to stay ahead of the competition in the rapidly evolving tech sphere.

**How AI Supports Workers and Companies**

AI technology can simplify workflows, enhance efficiency, and optimize resource management, leading to both cost savings and better-quality work. By automating routine and repetitive tasks, AI allows workers to focus on more complex and rewarding activities, thereby increasing job satisfaction and enhancing workplace culture. Additionally, AI supports enhanced decision-making by analyzing extensive data sets to identify patterns and recommend the best courses of action. Though AI lacks human intuition, its role in facilitating faster and more informed decisions is invaluable.

**The Battle for AI Expertise**

With AI's rising prominence, there is a burgeoning demand for skilled AI professionals. According to the Wall Street Journal, AI-related job postings have increased by 42% since December 2022. Notably, roles such as AI prompt engineers, who develop and refine AI model inputs, are becoming increasingly sought after, with salaries ranging from $200,000 to over $300,000 annually. Companies like Salesforce are intensifying efforts to democratize AI skill sets, emphasizing the importance of making AI tools accessible and user-friendly across various business functions.

Despite concerns over job losses, which Goldman Sachs estimates could affect up to 300 million positions, the integration of AI into businesses is accelerating. Current trends suggest a parallel with the evolution of computer technology; just as the shift from mainframes to personal and cloud computing revolutionized industries, AI is set to reshape the global job market substantially. Already, a substantial majority of C-suite executives report using generative AI, with many emphasizing its strategic importance and noting significant financial gains from AI adoption.  

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