How the future of AI could impact the economy

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Artificial intelligence affects many aspects of our everyday life, including economics.

Victor Benjamin, Assistant Professor at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business, and Gregory Dawson, Clinical Professor at ASU’s School of Accountancy, discussed what this could mean for the future.

“AI will be a major disruptor,” Benjamin said. “It’s getting commoditized, more businesses are incorporating it into their workflows. Coming up with new value propositions for it. I think with just like any other technological shift, we will see some jobs or career paths maybe become obsolete, but others will expand so it’s not all doom and gloom.”

Some job application sites use AI to weed out unqualified applicants, but it can also toss out viable applicants. If the applicant uploads an incorrect format of their resume or doesn’t use recognized keywords, the application could be overlooked.

In the world of banking, AI is used to track credit card and banking transactions. Millions of transactions are conducted each day; it would be impossible for humans to do it. AI can find the “bogus” transactions.

Also, AI is being used to predict recessions. Economists failed to predict 148 out of the last 150 recessions using algorithms. AI is expected to be better at it and to be able to gauge how humans will react to recessions.

“It’s amazing. We’ve got the birth of a new millennium in terms of the way we’re doing work,” Dawson said. “Jobs that were once safe and secure are changing dramatically, and it’s going to cause upheaval like we haven’t seen before.”

According to Benjamin, AI and tech companies pair well together to automate tasks. Phoenix has a lot of tech industries, and AI could benefit many of these companies while creating new jobs.

“I think there is going to be new avenues to use AI to create new value propositions, so we’re going to be potentially looking at new industries and services offered for customers. It’ll come just like any technological change,” Benjamin said.

Dawson said AI will help automate a lot of work that pays lower wages. Dawson said he thinks careers in AI will be well paid. In the future, AI will also have the potential to understand human behavior.

“This is just going to be another tool that lets us do more things,” Benjamin said.

Victor Benjamin, Assistant Professor at ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business; Gregory Dawson, Clinical Professor at ASU's School of Accountancy

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