To many who work in the field of IT, the near future of artificial intelligence (AI) can be a source of dread. There has been widespread speculation that AI will soon be advanced enough to replace many workers whose jobs primarily consist of sifting through, organizing, or analyzing data. It can be difficult to discern which of these speculative claims are true, if any can be legitimately backed by evidence at all.
At the 2018 Annual Meeting of the New Champions, PwC unveiled a list of AI predictions backed by substantial evidence from credible sources and studies. You can read the full article on their site if you want to, but in a general sense, their presentation seemed to indicate that — according to experts — AI will not have a significantly measurable effect on the job market for some time yet.
The lack of any noticeable effect on IT related employment will largely be due to current AI technology's need to be used in tandem with teams of skilled individuals. Experts admit that affordable and viable AI will very soon be able to do more of data sifting, sorting, etc. that IT employees may perform as a large part of their job — this does not, however, mean that these people will likely lose their jobs.
Current iterations of AI are capable of doing much of the heavy lifting that data specialists are currently saddled with, but this will not allow employers to lay off an employee that was tasked with that work. Due to the current state of technology, employers need people in place to check and moderate the AI to ensure that it is performing properly. They also need people dedicated to intelligently and thoroughly analyzing the data from a human perspective.
AI, at the present, is most efficient when it is paired with a specialized team capable of interpreting data and providing employers with the information and ideas that they really need. What this combination of AI and human efforts creates is a system that allows data specialists to focus their time and energy on synthesizing the already organized, neatly presented data into valuable information that their employer needs. This means that for the foreseeable future, companies will need people to work just as they do now.
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