Artificial Intelligence Poised to Create Jobs, Says Gartner
Peter Sondegaard, Gartner’s research chief, kicked off the 2017 Gartner Symposium by claiming that artificial intelligence will be a net job creator. Gartner estimates that although AI will eliminate 1.8 million jobs by 2020, it will create another 2.3 million, adding a total of 500,000 jobs, TechRepublic reports.
While Gartner did not specify which types of jobs will be eliminated or created, it noted that AI will replace tasks that are “ripe for automation.” Sondegaard and additional symposium keynote speakers, including Gartner Vice President and Research Fellow Tina Nunno and Gartner Research Vice President Leigh McMullen, emphasized that successful AI will focus on augmenting human talent.
“Conventional wisdom is wrong,” said Nunno. “AI is here to help us, not replace us.”
Gartner’s speakers also noted a looming IT talent cliff and argued that rather than looking outside for talent that’s in scarce supply, businesses should tap the talented people within their walls and enhance their digital dexterity.
The Jobs of the Future
Capital One has already begun nurturing tech talent in its existing workforce. As CIO Rob Alexander explains in Capital One Tech, the company has rolled out a new engineer-designed Tech College that blends online learning with hands-on boot camps and in-person workshops.
The Tech College focuses on 13 technology imperatives that Capital One considers essential to its future, including AI, machine learning, cloud computing, cybersecurity, data, mobile and software engineering. They’re piloting the program with tech associates but plan to eventually grant program access to all Capital One associates.
“Technology fluency is for everyone,” Alexander writes. “Tech native or not, engineer or not, we all need to understand the possibility and promise of technology.”
According to Gartner, a CIO attempting to hire talent with AI skills in New York City taps into a talent pool of only 32 experts. Of those, just 16 are potential candidates, and eight are actively looking for new opportunities. At Capital One Tech College, machine learning is one of the most popular course subjects, even though it requires a minimum of 10 hours study per week for six months.
“Our associates tell us that they’re already applying what they’re learning in class and in conversations with their peers to inform product changes and their team’s key priorities for the year,” notes Alexander.
Scaling With Artificial Intelligence
Gartner notes that many tech leaders are “in the dark” about the right way to scale AI. As businesses look for ways to utilize AI, they should focus on augmenting rather than replacing existing talent.
The danger is that without sufficient diversity of input, AI can operate with learned biases. MIT Technology Review says biased AI algorithms are everywhere, with potentially serious consequences for poorer communities and minorities. Vicente Ordonez, a University of Virginia computer science professor, told Wired he noted a gender bias in the image recognition software he was working on. When it saw images of kitchens, the software would tend to associate them with women, not men.
For this reason, Gartner emphasizes fostering a diverse workforce to enhance profitability and create diverse data points.
“Diversity needs to be exploited in all its forms including diverse data, diverse talents, diverse suppliers, diverse teams and diverse cultures,” McMullen said, according to Gartner.