Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has campaigned on an impending economic problem: unemployment due to increased use of artificial intelligence by organizations to replace human labor in all kinds of fields. In his longshot campaign, Yang proposes a universal basic income of $1,000 a month as a solution.
Whether or not the job apocalypse ever comes, or if help from the government ever arrives, workers need to be ready to work in a business world in which AI is an increasingly prominent feature. George Pace, a consultant with an MBA in business from Rutgers and a bachelor’s in computer science from Seton Hall, lays out resources for “keeping pace” with AI at his website, www.keeppace.com.
Pace is giving a presentation on “How to AI Proof Your Career” at the Breakfast Club NJ networking meeting on Saturday, January 11, from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Days Hotel in East Brunswick. Cost: $10. Register via the Breakfast Club NJ page on Meetup.com.
Pace predicts the jobs of tomorrow are going to be very different from those of today. On his website he says that while it may be hard to predict exactly what those jobs will look like, it is safe to assume that artificial intelligence is going to play a key role, requiring employees to: be aware of the latest AI developments; know how to interact/engage with AI systems; understand what it means to “trust” AI solutions; be aware of AI capabilities and how to apply those capabilities to solve business problems; and learn new skills to replace those that have been automated.
In his presentation, Pace will describe the “AI Defense Shield” he has developed to train humans to keep pace with their AI competitors.
Increasing automation will eliminate some jobs, but it may also create opportunities for workers to move to higher-skilled positions. A 2019 report by the Australian Computing Society called “Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce” predicted that there were several job areas that will be in high demand in the future due to increasing use of AI. The report identified six new jobs that may emerge.
Bigger Big Data Analysts: IBM estimates the world creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every year, and that 90 percent of all data in existence was created in the last two years. Most of this information comes from sensor networks, social media, e-commerce, mobile devices, and other sources. Many governments are also releasing “open data” about transportation, weather, natural resources, and other topics.
Someone is going to have to extract useful information from this pile of data, and that’s where data analysts come in. While “big data specialist” is an existing job, the report predicted that jobs will open up for analysts who specialize in certain areas of expertise, and that analysts with skills in machine learning, automation, security, encryption, and cloud computing will be in high demand.
Complex Decision Support Analysts: The point of analyzing all this data is to help make decisions, and that could be the future job of employees who specialize in helping leaders make big decisions using the information gleaned from data analysis.
“The stakes in decision-making will be higher as corporate acquisitions, supply chains, regional populations and market capitalizations all increase. Decisions of the future will also be more complex,” the report said. Decision-making will also be more complex than ever, thanks to the greater amount of information available to decision makers. The ability to cut through “analysis paralysis” will be a valuable skill.
“The ability to turn fuzzy, messy, complex, multi-objective, and multi-stakeholder issues into structured decision problems with a manageable and finite set of options will be highly prized. Algorithms will often quickly identify the best-performing option, with minimal human intervention, once the decision problem is structured. The human input will be focused on creating structure,” the report said.
Remote Controlled Vehicle Operators: With the growing use of unmanned vehicles in various industries, there is a demand for people who are qualified to fly and drive them. The report predicted that the military, law enforcement, emergency services, agriculture, construction, photography, and mining will all use drones more and more over the next 20 years, often using unmanned aerial vehicles in situations where it would be unacceptable to put a human pilot at risk. While AI can fly drones to a certain degree, human operators will be needed for the foreseeable future to respond to non-routine situations that require human judgment.
Customer Experience Experts: The report predicted that brick-and-mortar stores and physical offices aren’t going anywhere anytime soon if for no other reason than that people crave social interaction. As people operate more in the digital world, it will be all the more important to make shops, offices, museums, theaters, libraries, and other public spaces run as well as possible. The report predicted that the CXO, or Chief Experience Officer, will soon join the ranks of C-suite executives at many organizations, and these officers will need teams of staff with skills in psychology, marketing, and design along with technology skills.
Personalized Preventative Health Helpers: The field of personal fitness training is growing rapidly. This suggests that health advisors of all kinds could soon be in demand. “There is a plausible future where the success of personal training for fitness is replicated in other areas relating to physical/mental health and broader lifestyle assistance,” the report says. “Whether they are called lifestyle coaches or personal wellbeing managers, these professionals will work with individuals to improve broader mental and physical health and wellbeing.”
Online Chaperones: The report predicts that keeping people safe from various threats on the Internet will provide job opportunities.
“Online chaperones will work for individuals and small businesses to protect and manage their online interests,” the report said. “They will have skills in managing risks such as identity theft, reputational damage, social media bullying and harassment, and internet fraud. The demand for these skills is fueled from increased risks associated with e-commerce, social media, and internet use in general. Every year the quantity, diversity, and impact of cyber threats increases.”
In the U.S. the number of “information security analyst” jobs grew at a rate of 37 percent in 2017, suggesting that there is a growing market for information security skills both for organizations and perhaps individuals as well, who might hire an information security specialist much as they would a doctor or a lawyer.