The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Job Market in Kosovo

18 janar 2023 13:30

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing the way we live and work. From self-driving cars to virtual assistants, AI is making our lives more convenient and efficient.

AI refers to the simulation of artificial intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and learn like humans. This can include tasks such as speech recognition, understanding different languages, decision making and experiential learning.

AI technology is divided into three different categories such as: rule-based systems, machine learning and neural networks.

The development of AI and machine learning technologies has made it possible for machines to perform tasks that used to be performed exclusively by humans. Thus, this has led to an increase in the automation of routine and repetitive tasks. It has also become more economical for companies to invest in these technologies and replace human labor with machines.

But what does this mean for the job market? What could be the consequences and opportunities, and how will AI affect the labor market?

On one hand, AI has the potential to create new job opportunities. As AI takes over, workers can focus on more creative and fulfilling work. For example, AI-powered chatbots can handle customer service inquiries, allowing human workers to focus on more complex tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making.

AI has the potential to replace humans even in some jobs that pose a risk to humans. For example, AI-controlled robots are being used in industries such as manufacturing and construction to perform tasks, such as heavy lifting. Also, AI-controlled drones can be used for hazardous work, such as inspecting pipelines or power lines and for search and rescue operations in hazardous environments.

On the other hand; however, there is potential for AI to displace workers, since many jobs may become outdated, for instance, data entry, transport, manufacturing and construction, consumer services, cybersecurity, among others. Consequently, this may increase the unemployment rate.

AI and the replacement of human labor by AI is no longer a futuristic concept, it is already taking place and is expected to continue to develop rapidly soon.

Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of AI and automation in many industries as companies have had to adapt to the challenges created by the pandemic.

The shift to remote work and the need for physical distancing have led to an increased demand for technology that can enable efficient and secure remote communication, collaboration, and automation.

In industries such as retail, logistics, and manufacturing, companies have turned to AI and automation to ensure the continuity of operations and meet the increased demand for goods and services.

For example, in the retail industry, companies have implemented AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to handle customer service inquiries and online orders, and in the logistics industry, companies have implemented automated warehouses and drones for package delivery.

Regardless of the reasons behind companies' decision to replace human labor with AI, it is important to note that the impact of AI on the job market will not be evenly distributed.

Some industries, such as manufacturing and transportation, are likely to be more affected than others. Additionally, certain groups of workers, such as those with less education or lower skill levels, may be more vulnerable to displacement.

No country will be immune from the impact of AI on the job market, as AI is a global phenomenon. However, the extent and nature of the impact may vary depending on factors such as the country's technological infrastructure, the level of education and skills of its workforce and the government's policies and regulations related to AI.

Countries that possess a well-established technological infrastructure, skilled workforce and favorable policies and regulations related to AI are likely to be better equipped to harness the benefits of AI and mitigate its negative impacts on the job market.

Artificial Intelligence in Kosovo

Kosovo, which has a large young population (with 53% of population under 25 years old), may face unique job market challenges from AI. One potential impact is that a significant number of young people may be at risk of job displacement due to automation.

With a high youth unemployment rate among youth (over 34%), it is essential for the government to invest in education and training programs to help young workers acquire the skills they need to adapt to the changing job market. This can help them to be more competitive in the job market and less vulnerable to automation.

Another potential impact is that the country may have a hard time attracting direct foreign investment and companies that rely on AI and automation. A lack of skilled workers in these fields may make it difficult for Kosovo to participate in the global economy and benefit from the growth opportunities that come with the development and use of AI.

On a positive note, the country could have an opportunity to develop its own AI industry and companies. The Information Technology (IT) sector in Kosovo has been growing in recent years, and the young and educated population has been a driving force behind the growth of the IT sector.

To mitigate the negative effects of AI on the job market, it's crucial for Kosovo to invest in education and training programs to help our youth acquire the skills they need to adapt to the changing job market.

In terms of pre-university education, introducing basic concepts of AI, such as algorithms, machine learning and data analysis, in the early years can help to build a strong foundation for future studies in this field. The preuniversity education should also focus on teaching problem-solving and critical thinking skills, which are essential for success in the field of AI.

Further, concerning higher education, institutions should foster collaboration between students, industry, and academia to ensure that students are exposed to the latest developments in AI and have access to real-world projects and provide the students with lifelong learning opportunities to ensure that students can keep up with the latest developments.

The impact of AI on the job market is a complex issue that poses both opportunities and challenges. The key to harnessing the benefits of AI and mitigating its negative effects on the job market is to invest in education and training programs that help workers acquire the skills they need to adapt to the changing job market.

Find the article in Albanian here.

18 janar 2023

Luljeta Plakolli-Kasumi