Science fiction writers and futurists have been predicting the dawn of the Artificial Intelligence era for decades. If you predict something for long enough, it is likely to eventually come true, and Artificial Intelligence is starting to live up to its promise. The march of the robots will affect different professions in different ways.
The first jobs that went to the machines were routine manual tasks like workers used to perform on an assembly line.
The next jobs to go are routine cognitive tasks, and these have been disappearing for years now. Much of what system and database administrators used to do falls in this category, as does day-to-day middle management.
Next in line for elimination by computers are unique cognitive tasks. With the ability to handle ambiguous inputs and iterate and learn quickly, AIs will be moving into this area shortly.
Interestingly, the last jobs to be taken over by computers and robots are the trades. Unique manual tasks like fixing the plumbing or repairing a machine requires both high intelligence and manual dexterity. This is the kind of jobs that the DARPA robotics challenge tries to address, and this is going to be the last place where computers and robots will put you out of a job.
I help people and organizations use appropriate information technology to achieve their goals. The above is an extract from this week’s Technology That Fits newsletter. For more, sign up here: http://eepurl.com/0fpvT and follow @techthatfits.