How will artificial intelligence (AI) impact the future workforce? Students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) delved into this topic in a project-based learning assignment sponsored by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) led the group of four students—Noor André, Reda Boutayeb, Camden Harris, and Pranav Jain—to generate a comprehensive analysis of present-day and anticipated influences of AI, with data-based recommendations on the future of AI. As part of their research, the group interviewed subject matter experts recommended by their team advisors: Mary Saunders and Cleo Stamatos of ANSI, and Dr. Roy Swift of Workcred. Experts included consumer advocates, credentialing professionals, human resource professionals/managers, researchers, and policymakers/think tanks.
Their goal, the students noted, “is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the present-day and anticipated future impacts of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the workforce, providing ANSI and Workcred data-driven recommendations that will initiate their research efforts in this field.”
Following their immersive research experience, the students presented their findings. The presentation outlined concerns surrounding AI in the workforce, including job loss, ethical concerns, cybersecurity, safety risks, trustworthy AI, and legislation. While they noted varied perceptions among interviewees, there was an overall emphasis on AI literacy and continuous learning, as well as on the importance for human involvement for accuracy. As AI reshapes socio-economic dynamics, with the potential for innovation and growth, there is a risk of aggravating existing inequities.
The students concluded with two sets of recommendations:
“AI will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the workforce as its presence becomes ubiquitous across industries. It’s critical that we understand the power and potential of AI so that we can use it to benefit both workers and employers—and even more critical that learners today are prepared for the workforce of tomorrow,” said Swift, executive director of Workcred. “The students from WPI put a tremendous amount of effort into this project and produced insightful results into the workforce landscape of the coming years.”
Learn more about WPI’s IQP program.