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Episode 9: How will artificial intelligence impact the future of work in Canada?

Updated: Apr 10

The Ask AI interview with Dr. Wendy Cukier, Director of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University, and Mark Patterson, Executive Director of Magnet, the opportunity marketplace.

Special thanks to Microsoft Canada and Cinchy for sponsoring the third series of the Ask AI podcast and supporting greater awareness of artificial intelligence in Canada. All of our episodes and 100s of AI profiles are also available from our chatbot, generously sponsored by Toronto’s Ada Support.

There’s no question that as artificial intelligence, robotics, and digitization expand into the workplace, it will have a major impact on the way Canadians work.

Recent data from the World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs Report” estimates that machines and automated software will handle 50% of all workplace functions within seven years and could displace 75 million jobs.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as the same study also estimates that AI will add 133 million jobs globally.

Along similar lines, a 2018 research paper by RBC entitled “Humans Wanted – How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption” estimates that automation will impact 50% of Canadian jobs in the next 10 years.

So that’s two major studies pointing to a massive increase in Canadian workplace automation in the next 10 years and this comes despite the breaking news that Canadian businesses are apparently laggards when it comes to AI adoption.

How will AI impact job skills?

In our recent podcast episode, we spoke with Dr. Elissa Strome about how the $125M Pan-Canadian AI Strategy (and the $1B commitment to develop five “supercluster” regions of excellence) that will help Canada retain key talent at the top levels of AI research.

Given we're not all machine learning PhDs, how is the typical Canadian student or worker meant to prepare for automation? How will they be supported in navigating the rapid changes that increased workplace automation will bring? In this first episode of our second series of the Ask AI podcast, we feature an in-depth discussion with Dr. Wendy Cukier, Director of the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University, and Mark Patterson, Executive Director of Magnet, the opportunity marketplace.

Both Magnet and the Diversity Institute are part of the Canadian "work-integrated learning" ecosystem and have partnered with industry and government to deliver programs such as ASPIRE, which is powered by Magnet’s platform, and ADaPT, developed and analysed by the Diversity Institute.

Tune in to this episode as host Jaxson Khan dives into some of the most pressing issues surrounding diversity, artificial intelligence, and workplace automation in Canada.

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Episode highlights

  • What steps can be taken to help Canadians transition their career paths to adapt to AI

  • How AI will affect Canadian workers and our economic growth

  • The types of jobs the AI industry creates, the type of skill sets they require

  • The opportunity for artificial intelligence in Canadian healthcare

  • What AI and increased automation means for Canadians yet to enter the labour market

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Episode credits

About Ask AI

Ask AI is a volunteer project that’s increasing awareness and understanding of Canada’s artificial intelligence sector. Our projects include a podcast, video bulletin, and live experiences. To learn more about sponsorship and volunteering please contact us or ask our chatbot, Em.

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