While fears abound that AI automation will lead to big staff cuts in industries around the world, technology will bring forth a plethora of new jobs and services. Similar to the onslaught of positions created by social media, digital publishing, and ecommerce, the AI revolution has already inspired the creation of new careers.
According to a Gartner report, AI will create 2.3 million jobs by 2020. This number far exceeds the workforce that automation will displace.
More interestingly is that robots will not simply replace workers, but instead will augment employees and tasks.
What will be your job title in the 2020s and beyond? Here are six jobs AI promises to create by 2020.
Developing artificially intelligent machines requires examples to train on. In order to teach computers how to detect diseases, one needs to present the machine with existing “labeled” cases — e.g. X-ray images with diseased regions marked.
Generating, collecting, and managing relevant data to feed into AI training will create entire careers from entry-level (manual data tagging) to specialized expert-level for domain knowledge-requiring tasks (e.g. preparing legal cases to train an AI judge).
The demand for entry-level and specialist data taggers is already there. When my team works on projects for clients, a well-prepared dataset is a must-have before any modeling takes place.
Even Google understands the need for human involvement in automation. The search engine giant is currently hiring 10,000 workers to clean YouTube and train computer models to do it themselves in the future.
Additionally, once AI is live, it still requires continued training to increase its capabilities and stay current with ever-changing technology.
If you’re looking for an exciting career in an emerging tech field, look no further than a job in AI engineering.
Right now there’s an enormous AI engineering talent shortage in the market, causing wages to reach a median annual salary of $345,000 for a senior AI researcher on DeepMind.
From physics and biology to software engineering, AI — specifically, machine learning — requires a combination of analytical ability and creativity. For those with this skill set, the future looks very bright.
In fact, Gartner claims that by 2020, AI will be incorporated in almost every software product. It will come as pluggable components, as well as custom, tailor-made modules.
AI testers and supervisors
Development teams and tools are currently implementing technology to catch bugs earlier, automatically assessing and correcting code. However, AI isn’t good at commonsense reasoning yet, and it will likely take some time until it gets better. Until then, the machines need help evaluating their decisions.
The machines, even deployed at scale, need extensive quality testing and monitoring, which needs to be carried by humans, according to a White House report.
Software testers play a key role as they are responsible for modeling test workflows. Furthermore, test supervisors are still — and will always be — required to monitor progress objectives and to take over as necessary.
Caretakers and social workers
People will always crave human touch and empathy. AI-based medical developments, such as automatic medical diagnostics, will make modern health care affordable to everyone, including people in developing countries (and it already seems to be 15 percent better than radiologists in cancer diagnosis).
With that in mind we can expect the life expectancy to grow even faster (the UN predicts 81 to be the global average in 2100) — and so will the demand for human care for the elderly.
While AI will take on repetitive and mundane duties, freeing up humans for other activities, the nuances of human interaction in health care are not so easily replicated.
Sales and marketing managers
What computers lack in empathy, they make up for in surfacing insights and predictions. As such, AI tools may render some marketing and sales jobs obsolete.
But not all.
AI is more likely to change how marketers work than to replace them. For example, marketing managers have a very low chance of being automated. In fact, their roles may become more efficient and effective because of AI’s ability to automate certain tasks.
After a startling 36 percent drop in U.S. startup formation over the past decade, things are finally looking up for entrepreneurs — and you can thank AI for that.
In addition to the talent needed to create AI software and solutions, every technological revolution gives people more freedom. As people develop hobbies and pursue dreams at a higher rate, we’ll see a strong rise in entrepreneurship activity.
According to Inc Magazine, “more small business owners will embrace AI as an important competitive tool, using it to automate mundane administrative tasks, unlock customer insights, and more.”
In the future, more time and a lowered entry barrier for starting your own business will cause more people to follow their entrepreneurial ambitions.
Jobs of the future
Emerging technologies have not only created departments and jobs within companies, but have also created entirely new businesses. The demand for technical skills will increase with automation: When robot parts fail, a human is needed to fix it, just as driverless cars will still require mechanics.
Moreover, if you observe the major epochs of human development, you’ll notice a paradigm shift. Eras alternate between emphasizing the humanism or analytical/mathematical talent.
With computational power and analytical thinking becoming a commodity thanks to AI, the economy will be poised to appreciate creativity and human compassion — which will arguably be the very last human skills to be successfully replicated by a machine.
Mariusz Kierski is CEO and managing partner at Sigmoidal, an award-winning AI, machine learning, and data science consulting firm.