- Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi says its a “myth” that artificial intelligence will be a job killer. He thinks people will need to develop new skill sets for new types of jobs.
- “AI is going to automate a lot of what is done today, a lot of predictions that you have to make. AI can automate all of that, but then it actually elevate where people can provide value, it elevates where they can provide judgement, ” Goodarzi told Business Insider.
- He says AI does have to developed thoughtfully by thinking about what AI is good for and being intentional with what’s built, making sure to avoid bias when creating AI, and finding the right talent to build the technology.
- Those are the factors Intuit keeps in mind when developing AI. Goodarzi’s view is that AI is here to stay and will accelerate over time, so he wants Intuit to leverage it to the best of its ability to provide benefit to their customers.
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Artificial intelligence is often associated with with automation and loss of jobs.
But Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi thinks that’s a myth. He said people will need to develop new skill sets for the types of jobs that will be available, but AI is not the job killer many think it is.
“AI is going to automate a lot of what is done today, a lot of predictions that you have to make. AI can automate all of that, but then it actually elevates where people can provide value, it elevates where they can provide judgement, ” Goodarzi told Business Insider. He says that this will create new, different jobs over time, though he acknowledges that it is unclear what exactly those jobs will be.
Goodarzi, whose company makes tax filing and accounting software, compares the situation to the advent of the internet.
“History is our best teacher. When the internet was coming around there was lots of concern that because of the internet, because of commerce, because of what you could now do that would be elimination of a lot of jobs and in fact it’s created a lot of jobs,” Goodarzi said.
According to a report by the Brookings Institution earlier this year, roughly 36 million American jobs have a “high exposure” risk from automation, meaning that 70% of the job functions could be performed by machines. Some of the most at risk jobs are focused on manual labor tasks such as cooks, waiters, and clerical office workers.
While the rise of AI may create new jobs that — from a sheer numbers perspective — offset the loss of other jobs, most experts expect there to be challenges for workers. A person who loses a job in manual labor might not be fit to perform whatever new job is created by AI.
AI is only as good as how it gets trained
Goodarzi acknowledge that getting AI right won’t be easy.
AI must be developed thoughtfully and for good purpose, he says. And he calls out three areas — being very intentional about what AI is good for, making sure to avoid bias when creating AI, and finding the right talent to build the technology — as the key challenges facing Intuit as it develops AI.
“Machine learning at the end of the day takes input and it makes a recommendation, and if something has to rely on one hundred percent accuracy, machine learning probably wouldn’t be good for that,” Goodarzi said. He adds that the AI is “only as good as the data that is has and it’s only as good as how it gets trained.”
Those are the things that inform how Intuit develops and uses AI, Goodarzi said. Instead of using AI to find the answers to solve everything, he said Intuit is using it to leverage the resources available including human expertise, in keeping with his belief that AI isn’t a job killer.
This is seen in Intuit’s new tool called QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping that uses AI to connect small business owners to experts who can help them with the unique challenges that arise with small businesses — such as managing their cash flow, taking out loans, etc. The platform uses AI to help find answers or connect to the right experts who can help find the answers.
“In our case, connecting people to experts, we’re creating jobs because we are personally connecting people to our customers and they’re not constrained by their local environment or their local access,” Goodarzi said.
Goodarzi’s view is that AI is here to stay and will accelerate over time, so he wants Intuit to leverage it to the best of its ability to provide benefit to their customers.