Artificial intelligence is coming to the IT world, so how will it impact businesses? Here are some of the many ways this change could affect you.
Artificial intelligence (AI) was long seen as the subject of science fiction, but we are increasingly seeing a world more and more like the novels and films of our youth. In fact, AI has been around in some capacity for years, but it is only now that it has developed to the point where it could have a huge impact on our lives.
One of the first groups of people to be affected is likely to be IT professionals. As more businesses embrace AI as the future of the working world, IT departments will see their jobs changing to meet the needs of a company increasingly run by machines. Here are some of the ways this is likely to happen.
A computer isn't going to walk into your workplace tomorrow and tell you how to improve things. Instead, IT professionals will have to be the ones spotting opportunities to increase efficiency throughout the company by using AI correctly. They may also need to be the ones programming and teaching these programs.
Dr. Hossein Rahnama, CEO of Flybits, told Business News Daily that the introduction of AI could lead to the creation of "a knowledge-based economy" that professionals can leverage "to create better automation for a better form of life". This will be the task of future IT professionals: to utilize the technology in order to automate tasks that an AI can do quicker than humans.
In order to do this, IT departments need to be aware of their business' many processes, as well as having a good understanding of machine learning. Algorithms can be used to 'teach' computers a range of tasks, with enough talent and patience.
There has been a lot of talk about how AI might make certain roles obsolete, costing people their jobs, but this is unlikely to happen in the IT department. In fact, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is adamant that new jobs are likely to be created as a result of this technology, especially in the long run.
One of these positions seems likely to be an AI or machine learning specialist. Computers are not a replacement for talent and knowledge; they require input from skilled professionals in order to be effective. Someone in an IT department is likely to have to work in tandem with the AI in order to make use of it.
CEO and president of UM Technologies Scott Stiner is one businessperson looking for this kind of role in the future. He told Forbes that it would allow his company "to deliver technology solutions prepared for the next big advances in AI and machine learning and offer these applications to existing clients".
Innovating and developing
"IT departments are well aware of the cost-saving potential of scripting routine infrastructure builds," according to Fred Johnsen, PA Consulting's IT transformation expert. "But many stop there. They’re not using IT to create brand new ways of doing things, to enable innovation in priority areas of the business."
You don't want an IT department that simply uses this revolutionary technology to speed up routine jobs. Instead, tech professionals should be looking at ways to innovate, using AI as another tool in their belt.
For instance, one strength of AI is its ability to predict events by spotting patterns and trends. An example of this is Artificial Intelligence in Medical Epidemiology, which has a program capable of predicting dengue fever outbreaks three months in advance by looking at data including population density, wind speed and direction, rain volume, and housing types.
Any business could benefit from the ability to understand the future, but it is up to IT departments to work out the variables an AI would need in order to do so. This is just one example of the sort of innovation that AI allows, if the right people are in charge of implementing it.
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