For a Human-Centered AI

Are South Tyrol-based companies dreaming of electric cows?

January 2, 2020

What opportunities and what risks does the coming of artificial intelligence bring with it? How will the world of work change in the next ten years? How will these changes affect South Tyrol?

In my degree thesis , I tried to answer these questions through an analysis of the literature on this subject and, specifically, by investigating the effects of AI on the South Tyrol job market.

Two hundred and fourteen companies based in South Tyrol responded to a questionnaire on the current and future use of AI in their respective fields and on its effects in terms of employment and working methods. It appeared that also South Tyrol looks at artificial intelligence with great interest: currently 27% of companies are already using or testing this technology and the vast majority of those who still do not use it is planning  to introduce it within the next ten years.

The companies that use it have seen an increase in productivity and the creation of new tasks within the company. Overall, the perception is that AI will raise both new challenges and opportunities for workers and increase job quality and safety.

The change will not affect employment numbers but will rather allow the redefinition of tasks determined by an ever-increasing human-machine interaction. Many tasks could certainly be automated thanks to AI, but this will not necessarily translate into job cuts. Actually, if a common-sense use of this technology is made, AI will serve the purpose of broadening the horizon of human capabilities and increasing the potential of workers. Artificial intelligence is therefore a double-edged sword, to be directed correctly.

The author/s