How AI is Transforming Professions
The promise of artificial intelligence (AI) is fast becoming a reality, and it’s being used to augment human knowledge and experience. As The New York Times reports, there’s real fear of this advancement in automation making jobs obsolete. However, thanks to cognitive computing and machine learning, this technology also has the power to positively transform industries.
AI is set to transform professions ranging from health care to teaching and from law to consulting. Technology has, for the main part, created more jobs than were lost, albeit in other areas. Many point out that artificial intelligence should actually be called “augmented intelligence.” True AI would be capable of deciding what course of action is best based on analysis of all available data. However, the systems being developed today actually augment the experiences and judgment of humans with pertinent information, rather than replace them.
The Medical World
An example of how cognitive computing is being used is in the field of medicine. Health care practitioners are using IBM Watson Health in fields like oncology to help them make better informed decisions. The system can analyze massive volumes of data in both structured and unstructured forms, including medical research and patient records, to develop treatment plans suited to the needs of particular individuals. It’s estimated that the amount of new medical research being published would require a physician to read for 29 hours per day to stay up to speed.
Further, the total volume of medical information is doubling every three years. By using this system to digest vast amounts of data and pull out what is relevant, physicians can examine treatment options faster and from a wider range of sources than they could through their own knowledge alone. Augmented intelligence could lead to better outcomes in many areas of health care and potentially enhance the roles of professional practitioners.
The Legal Profession
The legal profession is another that is starting to embrace AI. Technology has already been seen to be highly beneficial in this sector in the form of automated electronic discovery, greatly helping to reduce the costs and risks associated with legal discovery demands. Augmented intelligence has much potential in this sector, making tasks such as document and case review far more efficient, enabling legal professionals to switch from manual, repetitive tasks to more value-added activities that rely on greater human knowledge and experience, backed up by data-driven evidence.
A Fast-Growing Market
These are just a few examples of how advances in cognitive computing can benefit professionals, helping them make the best of their skills. A recent report from IDC estimates the market for these technologies will exceed $47 billion in 2020, up from $8 billion in 2016, as they’re increasingly embedded in enterprise systems and applications. It states that the digital disruption enabled by these technologies will be dramatic, reaching into many walks of life and impacting many traditional professions in a beneficial manner.
These technologies will not replace human knowledge but augment it and allow it to accomplish more in a wide range of fields.