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Focus on artificial intelligence and technological disruption

Global reliance on technology has increased as our daily activities moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of the technologies being adopted.

As Canada now begins to move into an economic recovery, both the risks and opportunities that AI poses to the future of work deserve a closer look.


of Canadian jobs are at high risk due to automation and technology, including AI, but these numbers are projected to decline over time.


of Canadians expect AI to have a very positive impact in the next 5 years


increase in the number of businesses implementing AI processes between 2015 and 2019 worldwide

Learning Bulletin

Ensuring that technology-driven change benefits workers as well as employers will require new approaches and new thinking. Our September 2021 Learning Bulletin takes a deeper look at the different implications of AI for the future of work and explores a set of FSC projects that address both the risks and opportunities presented by AI.

Artificial intelligence is seen as bringing both positive and negative implications to our work environment.

Perhaps the most common fear is that AI will replace humans in performing cognitive tasks and displace people from their jobs. Automation is indeed a significant risk for Canadian workers; about 40 per cent of people are working in jobs at medium risk of automation, while 20 per cent are in jobs at high risk. At the same time, AI presents a number of opportunities to drive new economic efficiencies within and across sectors, complement human intelligence, and even create new jobs.

AI’s potential should not be confused with its impact; the former can be directed, and the latter is far from inevitable. What is sure is that AI is now – and will continue – to disrupt the world of work. With this prediction comes a realization that there will likely be a need for more hybrid skill sets that combine AI skills with other types of abilities. AI platforms can also become a tool for continuous learning by revealing correlations between production needs and worker training opportunities. Ensuring that technology-driven change benefits workers as well as employers will require new approaches and new thinking.

The Future Skills Centre is partnering with industries, governments, universities and workers across Canada to test new ways to address and harness AI in skills delivery. These partnerships explore the specific requirements and opportunities for AI in sectors as diverse as health care, insurance and transportation.

See how we’re exploring new applications for AI in skills development

Surgeons operating wearing VR headsets

Accelerating the adoption of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare

Shifting the mindset and educating healthcare professionals in the effective, appropriate, safe, and compassionate use…
Woman standing at a counter and working on their laptop

Facing the challenge of digital transformation in the insurance sector: women at work

Action research project on the future of female workers facing the automation of tasks in…
Group shot of students.

Reskilling displaced retail workers

This project supports the design of a reskilling of displaced retail workers in Ontario, with…
Student and Professor sit in an engineering classroom.

Smart systems and digital technologies for a new era

A network of resources will be created from industry, municipalities, and McMaster University to facilitate…
IVADO Training Program with its academic collaborators

From data to decision: AI training and professional certification

Short-term AI-focused training intended primarily for mid-career professionals wanting to integrate new AI knowledge into…
Large group of individuals raising their hands in participation.

Connecting youth to jobs with AI

Hiring practices will become more inclusive through an AI-enabled job posting tool.
Worker talking to a truck driver.

Building the Skills of the Trucking Industry

The project will leverage virtual reality technology to deliver training in a way that complements…

See what we’re learning on Artificial Intelligence

Photo of an Individual using a laptop on an airplane

Understanding Future Skills: Emergence of an Ecosystem for the Digital Economy

The focus of this report is on the emergence of the digital economy ecosystem in…
Woman looking at computer and coding.

A Foundation For the Next Normal: Outlook of Technology Adoption & its Impact in the Canadian Workplace

This document reflects results on a prospective future before a seismic shift occurred. The research…
Person standing looking at her phone

Technology-Enabled Innovations in the Skills and Employment Ecosystem

This paper outlines places where technology can or is providing innovative approaches to skills training.…
Concept of digital diagram,graph interfaces,virtual screen,connections icon on blurred background.Coworking team meeting.

The Next Wave: Automation and Canada’s Labour Market

This Commentary assesses the likely impact of technological automation on Canada’s labour market and compares…
An individual wearing an augmented reality headset to visualize two office towers

Thinking Twice About Technology and the Future of Work

Technology is being used to change power balances in workplaces and to perpetuate long-standing precarious…
A group of people brainstorming and huddled over a laptop screen.

Technological Change and the Future of Work in Canada

This project will assess the impact that large-scale technological and demographic trends will have on…