Robots taking over
We know it's coming, we've been warned repeatedly.
Robots are going to be taking over our jobs. Previous predictions have suggested that manual jobs were likely to be the first to go and if you work in manufacturing, logistics or the service industry, now would be a good time to take that course you always promised yourself.
However it seems we may have understated the ambition of our enemies and there are only a few fields that robots might have difficultly mastering.
According to The Harvard Business Review, solicitors, doctors, financial advisor, stockbrokers, marketers, and business consultants are all in the firing line.
It turns out that A.I.s are very good at completing complex tasks and any job which follows the following basic pattern, is a field in danger of robots taking over.
Ask yourself does your role involve, gathering data, analysing said data, interpreting the results, deciding on a course of action based on the data and them implementing that plan? Most of our jobs require us to spend at least some of our working day following the process above.
There is some good news though, while A.I.s are superb at completing some complex tasks, there are some areas which have always baffled them. A colleague of mine who studied A.I. at Edinburgh University shared this gem of an example with me recently.
During his course, a lecturer in A.I. used a cold war story to demonstrate just how confused A.I.s can be by emotional intelligence. The story goes like this. The US at the height of the cold war tried to develop an advanced A.I. system which could differentiate Soviet Tanks from US tanks. They fed it photo after photo and eventually it worked perfectly, until that is they took it outside. It turns out what they had in fact taught it to do, was identify a tank in snow, since all the picture they had shown it of soviet armoured vehicles were set against a wintry background. The A.I. it seems, lacked the emotional intelligence to really understand what it was they wanted it to learn.
A.I.s still have issues with emotional intelligence and if you want to stay ahead of your game then this is where you need to focus.
Many skilled positions require more than complex problem solving, they also need empathy, self control, and other social skills.
Sure, an advanced artificial intelligence might have a much higher success rate in identifying if your Granddad has 6 months to live... but would you want it to be the one to tell him?