XCM_Future-ProofingArtificial Intelligence is a term that everyone has come across in the last few decades. Whether it be in movies such as The Terminator and Robocop to more recent versions of chatbots and shopping recommendation engines. Now, redundancy and disguised unemployment are now in a position of being wiped out at the workplace because of it.

Artificial Intelligence begins with raw and unrefined data that surrounds us all. In the technological age we live in there is no avoiding it, it’s everywhere. For example, according to a GE report, for every 30 minutes of flight time there is over 10 TB of data generated per aeroplane engine. Big data techniques are then used to make sense of this gathered data. From there machine learning algorithms allow computers to absorb mountains of data, and its neural network patterns and deep learning allow it to come up with meaningful conclusions. It can then go on to use its findings to predict what is next to come. This is what Artificial Intelligence is.

Commonly Used AI Applications Today

AI appears in places that you may not have even realised, from chatbots featured on websites to pre-programmed responses for common questions. Virtual assistants (Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana) are another application that make use of AI. They use Natural Learning Processing (NLP) to process spoken speech, analyse it and then comes back with more precise recommendations and suggestions. Very much like a human, the virtual assistants grow smarter with every new interaction.

Is your job impacted by AI?

AI has the potential to replace over 7.1 million jobs in 2015-2020. This was one of the things discussed at the World Government Summit. With Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and image and voice recognition now wide-spread, routine jobs and those around operations and other mundane processes are in line to be disrupted by AI. This is not the case with every job however, as those with a significant level of expertise and higher-level cognitive skills such as accountants and doctors – AI will enhance, not replace it.

Future Proofing Yourself Today

Despite AI having the potential to affect employability for certain roles, it also opens doors to many of them as well. Jobs such as computer programming/design/engineering, and statistics will become a lot more common, with an estimated two million jobs expecting to open by 2020. To take advantage of these opportunities in the future, staying up to date with relevant skills is key.

The focus of the Government and private-sector participants is now on ensuring that the man power for these skills is up to date. With a wide range of education programs available – such as EdTech, upskilling yourself is now within reach.

Gathering perceptive and cognitive skills that require logical reasoning, creativity, adaptability and common sense is another way to future-proof yourself, as AI still struggles to crack these areas.