A new Deloitte survey released today reveals that artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive technologies present opportunities for the job market.

Negative public sentiment towards the increased adoption of AI by enterprises, largely fuelled by alarmist media coverage, is not shared by business leaders applying the technologies.

More than a quarter of respondents to the Deloitte survey, of 250 cognitive aware American executives, said they expected AI and cognitive tech to boost job numbers over the next three years, with 69% expecting either none, or very minimal, losses.

“There is a concern that ‘the rise of the machines’ will replace human workers, but we should look at how people and machines can work in collaboration as co-bots,” said Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert. “The ability to leverage new technologies to retool our workforce will ultimately lead to new opportunities to build high value skills for our workers.”

And the authors of the report say the implementation of strategies that enable humans and machines to work together is key.

“Organizations today that want to create a cognitive advantage should reimagine when, why and how humans and machines work together to achieve better outcomes,” added Ryan Renner, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Deloitte’s cognitive advantage leader. “Cognitive technologies are disrupting how organizations conduct tasks, make decisions and complete interactions internally; and with their customers. The true value is created by knowing how to apply the technologies most effectively within the context of your business, marketplace, corporate culture and industry.”

This chimes with a number of points made in recent articles on these pages, which have argued that robots are ready to support, not take over.