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Will AI take away our jobs?

Posted: 11 September 2017 | By Syed Ahmed, CTO of tara.ai

Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly picking up its pace across multiple sectors, there’s also a large number of articles with the same heading as mine which are causing some panic. While I’d like to reassure everyone that their jobs will be perfectly safe, they won’t.

Job losses probably won’t be because of robots just yet but more because of a wider changing landscape in the way we do things with the help of machines.

I’d like remind people that the earliest foundations of AI were laid by John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Ray Solomonoff and Margaret Masterman. We didn’t come up with these concepts over the past 10 years, they’ve existed since the late 1950’s. The work on AI never stopped, we went from probabilistic algorithms to feedback based control systems to expert systems and back-propagation algorithms which are major parts of neural nets.

Based on the current pace of movement in the AI space; I can tell you that it’s going to take us another 10-15 years to reach a point where we can have some sort of full autonomy in a single industry

Even with limited computing power we could accomplish and prove that AI was a pathway to enforcing higher levels of productivity, reducing human inefficiencies and creating new opportunities for exploration.

Are we there yet?

The biggest question even with all these advancements is, “are we there yet?” Based on the current pace of movement in the AI space; I can tell you that it’s going to take us another 10-15 years to reach a point where we can have some sort of full autonomy in a single industry, with completely no human supervision and also a set of laws that govern how we use AI.

It will still take a collective set of smart scientists, engineers, lawmakers and leaders working together and solving real world problems to bring a truly artificially intelligent entity into being.

If there’s one thing AI should be doing right, it’s learning from our mistakes and not repeating those mistakes

So why does it take so long? Where is my personal AI assistant? Some of our current barriers to entry into AI are lack of properly classified data, computational power (yes this is still an issue even with multi core clusters), limited number of overall engineers and the biggest one is resistance to change where we can trust machines.

There are also other reasons which I’d save for another time i.e. I don’t want to get into the economic, psychological and political implications of AI just yet. That being said, we all agree collectively as tech companies that the aim for now is to create intelligent systems that can be applied to single or multiple actions without any human intervention that significantly decrease risk, increase productivity, safety, etc.

What’s going to come next?

How are tech companies going about applied AI? Most startups are doing a great job of focusing on one niche and creating AI systems to tackle that one specific problem, we at tara.ai are just one of those many.

Larger corporations like Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc are casting a wider net and experimenting by tackling multiple problems. Over time as we reach our peaks in development our next steps will be creating neural networks where our individual AI systems will be able to talk to each other in real time, sharing and transferring learnings to help create a forever evolving knowledge base.

we all agree collectively as tech companies that the aim for now is to create intelligent systems that can be applied to single or multiple actions without any human intervention that significantly decrease risk, increase productivity, safety, etc.

If there’s one thing AI should be doing right, it’s learning from our mistakes and not repeating those mistakes. The next 10 years will be truly exciting for AI and computer science, we can expect to see the first quantum computer, an evolution of the API and AI augmentations where humans work together with machines seamlessly.

 

Syed Ahmed is the CTO of Tara.ai, a software company facilitating talent acquisition and recruiting automation