Today's trends for tomorrow's business
AI Won't Take Your Job
November 28, 2018
It might make it better!
Workers are scared that machines will replace them.
It sounds like we’re talking about AI, right? Of course we are - it’s the shadowy concern that shadows every technological leap we make. In fact, a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center showed that 72 percent of Americans were worried about a future where robots and computers can do human jobs. Last December the New York Times posed the ominous question: “Will Robots Take Our Children’s Jobs?” (Their answer? A jittery “probably.”)
But the idea that machines will take human jobs isn’t a new one; in fact, it’s as old as the 19th Century, when the Luddites led their famous protest against the Industrial Revolution. As tech advances, some jobs always become obsolete - but the good news is, plenty of new professions take their place, and things eventually balance out. (Our children will have amazing jobs that haven’t been dreamed up yet - they’ll be just fine.)
But what about us? People working today won’t see our jobs taken by AI. We’ll let AI handle repetitive tasks and data set analysis while our professions become more creative, more compassionate, or both - the two areas where humans excel and AI falls flat. Here are a few ways AI could change a wide range of careers.
Now: Doctors go to school for years and years to study the human body and provide correct diagnoses to their patients. Some areas of medicine, such as radiology and hematology, are especially dependent on data analysis.
With AI: The medical field has a treasure trove of accessible data that AI can make inferences from. Doctors and techs will spend less time staring at an X-ray trying to spot a tumor; they’ll spend their time working on preventative medicine and breakthroughs for complex and unusual illnesses. Sub-acute medical facilities (like nursing homes) will focus on compassionate care while robots handle physically demanding tasks.
Now: The hotel business is already a data-driven industry, constantly looking for new ways to maximize bookings at the highest possible rate, while maintaining a good reputation among travelers to establish long-term customer loyalty.
With AI: Hoteliers will lean on machine learning to optimize rates and use chatbots to handle most customer service issues. This will free up resources for an expanded concierge department that can find creative ways to create a personalized, enjoyable stay for each visitor.
Now: When you have to protect your business from all kinds of threat actors, from criminals looking to steal your business data to cyber terrorists - there’s no way to do it without AI (and particularly machine learning analysis) as part of the equation. Cybersecurity and AI already go hand-in-hand.
With (advanced) AI: Cybersecurity experts won’t perform as much analysis as they do now; things like parsing data logs and data mining are done faster, and better, with machine learning. Instead, they’ll focus their efforts on creative detective work, looking for patterns and identifying threats in new areas where there isn’t a lot of data to crunch.
Now: Yes, AIs have been trained to compose songs and write news articles. But they haven’t been able to write a bestselling book or paint a museum-worthy masterpiece - yet.
With AI: Good art requires an innate understanding of the human condition - which is AI’s greatest weakness. Hopefully AI lets us all retire early (after making us fabulously wealthy, of course) so we can all pursue our creative interests. Strumming a guitar on a beach or writing the great American novel sounds like a great way to pass the time while machines pay our bills.