Solvd’s trend watchers shared their vision of AI in the future of work. They discussed whether the technology can replace humans in different tech positions and the essence of the work of AI Operators.
Our speakers stressed the sometimes overstated role of artificial intelligence and the imperative need to have deep expertise in your professional field before you start applying AI systems, so you can mitigate the potential risks and maximize the benefits of using such tools and solutions. Read on to see their opinions and their vision concerning AI and the future of work.
The importance of AI for business
Applied artificial intelligence, unlike generalized intelligence, has paved its way into every major industry. In the field of AI automation and the future of work, the primary focus remains on risk management, optimizing operations that require little human involvement, creating more powerful tools for data analysis, and on developing engaging products.
McKinsey has researched and found that the training speed for AI models has improved by 94.4% since 2018, which means implementation has become more affordable. Easier access to artificial intelligence and the massive investments in the technology spur the interest of businesses to hasten its adoption to reduce costs while improving customer service and increasing revenues.
In Europe and North America, the adoption rate in 2021 reached 51%, while in Latin America, it was slightly lower, reaching 47%. The Asia-Pacific region and India, however, have grown much faster, reaching 64% and 65%. That proves the immense growth of AI and future of work perspectives.
Businesses driven by AI attract keen interest from private investors. In 2021, private investments in organizations working with the latest technology amounted to $93.5 billion, which is twice as much as in 2020. Companies who successfully implement the latest technology demonstrate to investors that organizations who are looking for outside investment understand AI and the future of business and stay ahead of the competition while their C-level managers follow a forward-thinking strategy.
Organizations wishing to stay on top of the market and grow should explore the future of AI, machine learning and their increasing capabilities. So far, 67% of business leaders in various industries have noted a significant boost in revenue, and 79% were able to reduce production costs by implementing AI in their business processes.
The evolution of AI: a first-hand story
Who can tell personal stories better than humans themselves?
And not just humans: OpenAI has given us all the opportunity for unlimited chatting due to deep learning technology. Let’s seize this amazing opportunity and ask a natural language processing and generation model known as ChatGPT to tell us first-hand about the milestones of its evolution and the technological leap that preceded its creation.
Emerging technology is not only becoming increasingly important for written communication, but they also revamp multiple industries and redirect the AI and future of work perspectives. In the next decade, it’s probable that we’ll observe a shift in the job market, where new professions will arise from those that human workers have been accustomed to doing in the recent past.
AI in the future of work
What is the future of AI and how will it impact traditional jobs?
The progress in machine learning, robotics and NLP has resulted in myriads of applications designed to automate or enhance human capabilities in many different tasks. That has a significant impact on areas like logistics, construction, content creation, health care, customer service, retail and more.
As new forms of automation continue to emerge, employees and organizations should develop a good understanding of AI and the future of business. At the same time, they should re-evaluate traditional skills and acquire the new skills that are needed to work efficiently with AI technologies.
Given the trends in AI automation and the future of work, various jobs and business processes will be augmented and enhanced. We can expect to see an abundance of AI Operator vacancies which are already popping up here and there.
What exactly will this job entail? What are the potential risks and key benefits of it for the future of work? Let’s learn the viewpoints of Solvd’s technology enthusiasts who work in software engineering, data analytics, and UI/UX design.
An AI Operator: the profession of the future and what our employees think about this role
As an AI Operator, what do you think your primary responsibilities will be when working with applied AI in the future?
For decades, people have been fascinated with the idea of having a robot assistant. Since the beginning of the 20th century, various types of robots and AI have appeared in science fiction books and movies like "Colossus: The Forbin Project" (1970), "Terminator" (1984), "The Matrix" (1999), "I, Robot" (2004), "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014), and of course, the Marvel Universe featuring J.A.R.V.I.S.
It's also worth noting the not-so-successful attempts to create voice assistants, such as Cubic Robotics and the more well-known, mainstream examples such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
It's human nature to strive for improvement and to become better, faster, and smarter, a drive that’s been with us since the days of the Ice Age hunters and this nature continues to motivate us today in various fields, including IT workers. We all want to earn more while investing less, and that’s where AI Operators come in. They work alongside intelligent systems that make their work easier while leading to better results.
I've noticed more and more cases of UX designers using AI to generate ideas. They don't have to strain their brains – unless a complicated task requires it – and I believe they'd prefer having the role of AI Operator in UX design. I’m sure we’ll have such roles enabled by AI in the future of work, but I don't think it will be an isolated profession. It will be a value-adding skill, similar to a web search skill. The challenge is that when you need a reliable answer or decision in a specific context, it's better to rely on human workers rather than machines that are only good at answering generic questions, not specific ones.
If I want to use applied AI in my daily routine, I’d use it to analyze the data I work with in real time. Also, I’d use it for the coding challenges I face. Some examples of such tasks are analysis of company revenue, analysis of the monetizable clicks and analysis of traffic.
AI is a powerful instrument for solving problems faster than we thought possible. Therefore, the responsibilities of an operator won’t be limited to managing different models and fine-tuning its components. They should include prompt expertise and knowledge of the datasets that were used for training to help businesses achieve better results when using these models. Other important issues that an operator must watch in the future of AI relate to privacy and data security analysis, integration with other systems, and the potential ethical and malicious uses.
What uses of AI in your field of work could provide the most benefits?
I think in the future of AI it will be very important to have extensive knowledge of concepts and problem solving patterns in your specialty when choosing robots over human labor. AI can be used to create personalized learning experiences that adapt to students' knowledge levels, accelerate learning, and provide a framework for understanding the different aspects of learning materials.
As we were discussing UX design earlier, I’d prefer to use AI to help me find unique and related studies (which are the results of human labor) that shed light on possible user patterns and challenges with different interfaces and devices. I don’t want to waste time on searching; I prefer to use that time instead for analysis and problem-solving.
I think it’s extremely useful when it comes to health diagnostics and treatments. It can help doctors better understand which problem a patient has and suggest treatments based on historical data that AI has already learned. For example, AI can be used successfully to identify symptoms and problems a patient has in real time through CT scans.
What tasks, even in a future where the performance and reliability of AI is extremely higher than today, would you still not trust AI to perform and why?
What is the future of AI and its possible risks? I won’t trust it with any type of moral decisions because we, as humans, understand these concepts better and we can make decisions based on morality. It can be any moral decision, like choosing to save one or another person after a triage, which requires a responsible decision that’s best made by a human.
AI in the future of work is simply a tool for solving complex problems quickly. To understand the results, you need to know and understand the concepts AI uses. Therefore, you can only trust the results once you have studied the problem domain and learned concepts that are the core of the solution to the problem.
These days, artists rage against AI claiming, “We don’t need АІ for creativity! We need an AI for routine to make it creative!“ I fully support them. Similarly, in job interviews, we may often face questions about skills that have no real relevance to the job we’re supposed to do – as if we were passing the sieve to join a space crew. Why does that happen? When I interview candidates, I want to assess if they are creative enough to handle different challenges to ensure they have the necessary skills for the job.
Let me remark that I’m looking forward to the times when Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, or any other virtual assistant are capable enough to perform complicated tasks just by voice commands. You say, “Hey, I got a notification from John yesterday, it’s something about the photo session. Send him my pictures that are in the last folder.” It would be amazing to have a robot assistant taking care of that without having to give any further instructions.
In the future of AI, operators’ tasks will depend on the specific job role and the industry in which they’re in. Overall, an operator may be responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining AI systems and solutions, as well as monitoring their performance and making improvements as needed. They may also work with data sets and use machine learning algorithms to help train such systems, and work with other team members to identify opportunities for AI automation and the future of work.
However, when it comes to making an ethical decision, whether for business or for saving someone’s life, human intelligence is still needed every time to best make the right decision.