Mobile app development, a field that didn’t exist 20 years ago, now employs some 12 million individuals worldwide. McKinsey predicts that new occupations, not in existence today, could account for as many as 10% of jobs by 2030.

Salesforce recently caught up with James Manyika, Chairman and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), to find out how artificial intelligence (AI) and other innovations are poised to disrupt the workplace. He shared perspectives on how AI will impact productivity, business models, and the world of work — which we’ve boiled down to these key insights:

Automation alone could raise productivity by up to 1.4%.

MGI estimates that automation could raise productivity growth on a global basis by 0.8% to 1.4% annually. Many AI experts have pointed out the paradox that even as systems using AI start to match or surpass human performance in more domains, productivity growth continues to stagnate in advanced economies. James believes that the biggest source of this contradiction is implementation delays. In other words, the most impressive capabilities of AI, particularly those based on machine learning, are only starting to be deployed at scale across organizations.



AI and robots won’t take most jobs.

MGI predicts that only 5% of occupations could be fully automated by currently demonstrated technologies. Even as automation displaces some workers, there will be growth in demand for work and consequently jobs. The McKinsey Global Institute recently developed scenarios for labor demand through 2030, based on various catalysts of demand for work such as rising incomes. These scenarios showed a range of additional labor demand of between 21% to 33% of the global workforce (555 million and 890 million jobs) to 2030, more than offsetting the numbers of jobs lost of 15% of the global workforce, or 400 million workers, in the midpoint scenario.


Around 3% of the global workforce will need to change job categories by 2030.

New skills are needed to make the most of AI. Individuals will need different skills to thrive in the AI-driven workplace of the future. MGI predicts, in the midpoint scenario, that only about 3% of the global workforce will need to change occupational categories by 2030. Still, this represents millions of workers, meaning it will be critical for workers to be able to adapt their existing skills to the changing needs of the workplace. Lifelong learning must become the norm and business leaders must substantially increase their investment in human capital.


Early AI adopters are gaining a competitive advantage.

As AI applications start to reach maturity, companies that are adopting AI and rethinking their businesses are reaping benefits that go beyond simply improving existing products. AI-driven models and capabilities are disrupting entire business models, redefining the user experience and pushing incumbents to revisit core business expectations.


For more, read the complete interview with James Manyika on the Salesforce Newsroom.