Tech Transformers

Sorry, but artificial intelligence won’t mean you’re working fewer hours

AI to radically reshape workforce: UBS

Artificial intelligence (AI) will not reduce the amount of hours you work as higher productivity will boost demand for the services you're offering, a senior UBS Wealth Management executive, told CNBC on Tuesday.

Talking to CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe," Jamie Broderick, head of UBS Wealth Management U.K., said he wasn't convinced that AI would bring about the combination of higher productivity and fewer working hours.

"The evidence is no, you don't actually get to that," Broderick told CNBC.

"I think part of what's driving that is the fact that the consumer becomes more and more demanding about what it is we actually deliver to them…the consumer continually upgrades his demands and is requiring more specificity, more customization, and I think that's really what explains it."

Broderick gave the example of financial regulators constantly upping their requirements from investment banks.

"The regulator is the same thing. We can automate, we've got computers that help us process demands from the regulators…but the regulator demands continue to go up, so no matter how much productivity we continue to create in that space, it's just keeping up with the consumer demand," he said.

Now in its third generation, the fully interactive and multilingual RoboThespian robot is sold around the world to science centers and visitor attractions, but increasingly to academic research groups and universities where they are used as research and development platforms.
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AI's impact on jobs has been a long-running debate with many experts warning about the impact of jobs across a number of industries. Banks in particular could be facing disruption with Citigroup predicting in a report this year that European and U.S. lenders will slash 1.7 million jobs in the next decade.

Broderick was speaking ahead of a conference being held by UBS in London looking at the future workforce. He added that AI was likely to have an impact on mid-level such as paralegals, rather than those in the "lower end of the skill spectrum".

"A lot of the service jobs will be fine, at the higher end artificial intelligence just ends up improving decision support, freeing up senior managers to do the things that are really value-added things that they are good at. Where it has an impact is more in the middle. So I think what you find is legal firms will stop hiring as many paralegals, or you'll find that wealth managers will stop hiring as many analysts," Broderick predicted.