Is Artificial Intelligence competing against you for your future job?

Words like ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI), ‘Machine Learning’ and  ‘Deep Learning’ have become buzzwords in the media but what do they really mean? You may have questioned whether these words affect you at all, or if they are just for “tech” people.

However, what you might not have realised is that Artificial Intelligence has already started affecting you. An example of this can be seen on Facebook; those “people you may know” suggestions weirdly being of people you actually do know or have seen. Another example is of the mobile phone advertisements that seem to appear on all your web pages after you’ve Googled features of that new mobile phone you have been thinking of getting.

AI is responsible for all of that.

But what is AI, you may be wondering.

Artificial Intelligence is a computer system that performs activities that would usually be performed by human beings. These activities may include recognising images and objects.

A common branch of AI is machine learning which is currently used by many businesses, governments and the health-care industry. As the name describes, the computer learns from numerous datasets. It learns by finding patterns and associations in the data that would take too much time, or be too challenging for a human to identify. The model, which you could imagine as a box with all the stored rules about the patterns noticed, may then be used in the future to make decisions or predictions.

A more practical example:

CT Scan images of patients that have cancer (labelled as “True”), as well as CT scan images of patients that do not  (labelled as “False”), are collected.

The computer works to find patterns that help it differentiate the “True” scans from the “False” ones.

This differentiation is stored as a model which can be used in the future to detect patients with cancer, and those without cancer.

In the future when a new patient arrives, the model will be applied to their CT scan image and it will be possible to determine whether the patient has cancer - a “True” value - or whether the patient does not have cancer - a “False” value.

But, why should you care about all of this?

One of the reasons you should care about this is because it is changing your career.

If computers are able to do tasks that would normally be performed by humans, where does this leave you ?

For one, there is an increasing number of new jobs that are currently being created by AI.

(Read a list of new AI jobs in the field of Responsible AI on page 14 here.)

But, what about the existing jobs, you may ask.

Many existing jobs will see a human-and-computer collaboration. What this means is that the computer will complete part of the job, and humans will complete another part of the job. This can be seen in the field of law for example, where AI is able to review a contract and perform other repetitive tasks, therefore, giving a lawyer time to focus on sealing the deal and other strategic tasks.

What should you do about all of this?

Be informed.

Find out about AI, and the effects it will have on your career. But don’t stop there, learn the new skills that are necessary for your field in order to ensure that you stay competitive in the future.

So, whether you are aware of it or not, AI does affect you and it will play an even greater role in your future.