Big Tech Launches Consortium to Address AI Impact on Jobs

Artificial Intelligence is not angling to steal jobs, according to Big Tech, which is galvanizing its forces to push back against that perception by forming a new consortium that addresses the effect of AI on the workforce. Called the AI-Enabled ICT Workforce Consortium, it will “assess AI’s impact on technology jobs and identify skills development pathways for the roles most likely to be affected by artificial intelligence,” according to Cisco, which leads the initiative. Accenture, Eightfold, Google, IBM, Indeed, Intel, Microsoft and SAP are also participating.

“AI might not be coming for all jobs, but it might be coming for some,” is the TechCrunch take on the subject. The outlet lists UPS attributing the “largest layoff in its 116-year history” as at least partially the result of “new technologies, including AI, CEO Carol Tomé said during an earnings call in February.”

And IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has said he “plans to pause hiring for roles it thinks could soon be automated by AI,” TechCrunch writes.

“The World Economic Forum (WEF) expects that nearly a quarter of global jobs will change over the next five years in part thanks to AI, and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) predictions go even further, with an expected 60 percent of jobs in advanced economics being exposed to the technology,” Fortune reports, advising that “if you’re part of the tech workforce, you’d better fasten your seatbelt, because it’s going to be a rocky ride.”

That’s all the more reason necessitating the AI-Enabled ICT (for “information and communications technology”) Workforce, according to Cisco, which explains in a newsroom post that the consortium “is evaluating how AI is changing the jobs and skills workers need to be successful.”

Phase one of the group’s work will culminate in a report “with actionable insights for business leaders and workers,” Cisco says, adding that additional details will be shared in the coming months.

Advisors include the AFL-CIO, Chain5, Communications Workers of America, DigitalEurope and the European Vocational Training Association.

TechCrunch cites an estimate that “around 4,000 workers have lost their jobs to AI since May, and in a poll from, which makes AI-powered presentation software, nearly half of managers said that they’re hoping to replace workers with AI.”

“As a collective, the nine companies pledge to develop inclusive training programs designed to benefit millions worldwide, including those from underserved communities,” writes TechRadar, adding that “all member organizations revealed their own plans to support workers,” with Cisco planning to train 25 million people “in cybersecurity and digital skills between now and 2032,” while “IBM and Intel have both pledged to train 30 million each.”

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