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### Collaborative Study by Labor Unions and Microsoft Explores AI Impact in Work Environment

Microsoft and the AFL-CIO launched an AI-focused partnership on Monday that seeks to educate worker…

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  • A collaboration centered on artificial intelligence (AI) between Microsoft Corporation and the AFL-CIO was revealed on Monday, aiming to initiate an “open conversation” regarding the impact of new technology on employees.
  • The partnership, as outlined by Microsoft and the labor unions, aims to enlighten workers about AI, consider their input, and aid in formulating relevant strategies.
  • According to findings from McKinsey, a scarcity of AI-proficient talent exists, raising concerns about how evolving technologies might alter the workforce.

On Monday, Microsoft Corporation and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) disclosed a joint effort to address the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on laborers.

To foster an open discourse on the transformative effects of AI in workplaces, the industry giant and AFL-CIO, representing 60 labor unions and 12.5 million workers, united their efforts.

The collaboration’s primary goals include “influencing public policies that cater to the technical skills and needs of frontline workers,” “incorporating workers’ perspectives in AI software development,” and “providing AI education.”

The agreement acknowledges the potential impact of AI on certain job sectors.

In a July report by consulting firm McKinsey & Co., it was projected that around 12 million employees might need to transition to different roles, with up to 30% of working hours in the U.S. potentially being automated by 2030. While job displacement is a concern, it is also anticipated to create job prospects for individuals proficient in AI.

Microsoft’s AI researchers are scheduled to conduct “in-depth and hands-on sessions from 2024 to 2026 tailored to specific roles and industries,” along with training sessions for AFL-CIO members commencing in winter 2025.

The deficiency in AI expertise could impede progress and adoption of the technology, underscoring the importance of AI training for workers. Companies like Microsoft swiftly addressed the issue by matching the salaries of any departing OpenAI staff following CEO Sam Altman’s abrupt departure from the company in November.

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), another major player in the AI sector, introduced a complimentary AI skills training initiative in November to tackle the shortage of AI talent.

Microsoft’s stocks experienced a marginal decline of nearly 1% on Monday. Despite this setback, the technology firm’s stocks have surged over 50% year-to-date.

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Last modified: February 12, 2024
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