Over the last decade, the way people treat the idea of artificial intelligence saw some significant changes. From a buzzword mostly referring to some distant future, it changed into a very real prospect that sees active implementation. Self-driving cars, machine learning, machine translation, neural networks – all these things are just the first tentative steps into the realm of true AI, but they already change the rules of the game all over the world.
Very soon, we are going to live in a world where AI is not just a prerogative of a small selection of high-profile tasks, but where it permeates every nook and cranny of our lives. And, of course, the job market will be the first to feel the consequences of this great AI democratization. In this article, we will cover five most likely changes that are supposed to happen (and already do happen) in the nearest future.
1. Companies are going to recruit data specialists from non-traditional locations
One of the main limiting factors precluding AI research to develop faster is the lack of specialists. Although it is already one of the most prestigious industries in the world and people are eager to get a relevant degree, the talent pool just isn’t big enough to satisfy the ever-growing demand. However, one of the reasons of it is that most businesses leave a lot of potential untapped and keep on fighting for the small pool of existing specialists and new graduates of the universities located in developed countries.
Nevertheless, some of the companies already move in the right direction, spreading educational programs in places like Nepal and Rwanda to get access to talented people from there and give them the necessary knowledge to pursue careers in this industry. Therefore, in the near future, we are likely to see a sizable influx of such specialists into the job market, somewhat sating the world’s need for data specialists.
2. Job market landscape will undergo a major upheaval
Many people express quite legitimate fears of their jobs becoming obsolete with the emergence and perfection of AI. According to PwC study, no less than 38 percent of jobs in the US are at risk of being fully replaced with AI over the next 15 years.
However, concentrating on potential losses is wrong, for technology always both displaces and creates new jobs. Take a look at assembly lines – when they first appear workers all over the world were afraid of becoming obsolete, yet the economy didn’t collapse. People had to adapt, but it is quite different from apocalyptic predictions of the time.
What everybody has to do in this situation is to take a closer look at one’s industry and concentrate on the areas that require human element. Study. Improve one’s understanding of the underlying principles and increase one’s qualification. Or find an opportunity in one of the openings created by this upheaval – which naturally leads us to the next point.
3. Data science is going to become more accessible for non-specialists
Another way to deal with the lack of specialists in AI and data science is to make the tools of the trade more accessible for those without 4 years of education in the relevant field. And it is already happening – the appearance of self-service analytics powered by AI that allows people with relatively little understanding of the inner workings to successfully run their own analysis is already changing the way things work. Recent Gartner report even predicts that by 2019 self-service analytics will overtake the amount of work done by data scientists – which is certainly a thing to consider when thinking about what skills you have to develop to stay current in this changing world.
4. Job location will change
For generations, most people have been used to the idea of working in places specifically prepared for that purpose. They were used to dividing their life into working and personal hours, the former spent in the office (factory, workshop, etc.), the latter where they preferred to spend them. The emergence of AI is likely to change this balance. The number of people working remotely was steadily increasing over the last few decades, but AI signifies a new and huge step forward in the evolution of the workplace. It is more than likely that the workplace of the future isn’t going to be confined by the age-old presumptions like regular work hours or places, and most people will gain a far higher degree of control over when and where they work.
5. A new set of basic skills will emerge
For generations, the set of basic skills needed for employment in most jobs didn’t change: reading, writing and arithmetic. However, the emergence of AIis going to change that, so people will need an additional set that can be broadly named as data skills. Even now, the basic knowledge of coding and data science greatly improves one’s chances of successful employment and the likelihood of getting a prestigious job. In the near future, these skills will change from useful add-ons to necessary prerequisites for most positions, and those willing to meet the future head-on should take it into account when deciding upon what courses they are going to take.
It is obvious that after AI becomes fully democratized the nature of the work market will be completely different from what it is now. However, the change is not limited to negatives like some jobs getting obsolete – for it opens up many new opportunities. The only thing you need is the readiness to embrace them.