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ZipRecruiter CEO downplays threat of artificial intelligence on job market

The CEO of one of the largest online employment marketplaces in the U.S. is downplaying the threat of artificial intelligence (AI) on jobs, saying the technology will force American workers to become more robust when it comes to acquiring new skills.

"You have this really interesting looming threat to the job market through AI and that tends to get the most focus and honestly the reality is this: We don't know how many jobs are going to be lost because of artificial intelligence but we also don't know how many jobs will be created, " ZipRecruiter CEO Ian Siegel told Hill.TV co-host Buck Sexton during an interview that aired on Thursday.

"There are multiple examples of AI actually creating jobs right now and these categories are so new, they're not as aware of them," he continued.

Siegel acknowledged that while machines with this AI-powered technology are "definitively" better than humans when it comes to performing certain tasks, he added that as robots get smarter, people will just have to learn how to better adapt to newer technologies.

"There's going to be a period here call it five years, call if 10, call it 15 where a lot of jobs are going to find themselves being challenged by this new technology and jobs are going to go away so it's going to require a fluidity amongst the job-seeking population as they find different ways to apply skills they already have or they're going to have to challenge themselves to learn some new skills," the CEO told Hill.TV.

Siegel also argues that artificial intelligence has helped revolutionize the job market by streaming the the job application process.

Before AI came along, Siegel said employers would have "post and pray," and leave the possibility of finding the right candidate up to luck.

Luckily, he said this is no longer the case, thanks to the technology.

"The moment you post a job up on ZipRecuiter, the AI - or the smart algorithms that we have built - search a candidate population of more than 10 million job seekers. They use 64 different dimensions of information about those job seekers - no human would ever review these resumes with the same level of granularity," he said.

Economists and policymakers alike have expressed concern that machines with this technology will eventually replace humans and potentially render millions of Americans jobless.

But a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that AI will create as many jobs as it destroys.

The consultancy firm found that while the technology will replace some jobs in certain industries like manufacturing, other sectors like healthcare will actually see more job creation.  

- Tess Bonn

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