Will Machine Learning make current jobs obsolete?


Of late, certain assumptions have been made regarding the threat that machine learning will potentially pose in the future. One such assumption is that Machine Learning will render most jobs obsolete. Is there a sound reason for such concerns? Or is this just our wild imagination getting the better of us? In short, is it fact or is it fiction?


Given the proven usefulness of Machine Learning in today’s world, it is tempting to assume that it can solve every problem and that it may someday replace human jobs altogether. “Will the growing relevance of AI and machine learning take away our jobs?” is a question that is provoking new-found insecurities in us that we never knew we had, up until now.


In the long run, the growth of technology at such unprecedented rates as is experienced today will certainly make some jobs less relevant, but it is also bound to create new jobs. Machine learning has already started creating new business opportunities, such as improving customer experience with predictive maintenance, and offering suggestions and support to business decision makers.


According to WEF’s “The Future of Jobs Report 2018”, by the year 2022, roles that are significantly based on and enhanced by the use of technology such as Data Analysts and Scientists, Software and Applications Developers, and E-commerce and Social Media Specialists, are among the range of established roles that will experience increasing demand.


According to the findings of the same report, there is extensive evidence of accelerating demand for a variety of wholly new specialist roles related to understanding and leveraging the latest emerging technologies such as AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Big Data Specialists, Process Automation Experts, Information Security Analysts, User Experience, Human-Machine Interaction Designers, Robotics Engineers, and Blockchain Specialists, etc.


This goes on to demonstrate that while we may not run out of jobs; we will most certainly need to up-skill. The need to up-skill will potentially create a skill gap, and companies are likely to either re-train their current employees to up-skill them, or hire new employees who already have the desired skills. Some might even turn to freelancers to meet this skill gap for a short period, but the bottom of the matter is, everyone will need to up-skill to keep up with the changing trends in the job market.


To conclude, the advent of Machine Learning may not make all current jobs obsolete right away, but it will certainly make some jobs more relevant and some jobs less relevant. The winds are shifting and it is in favor of a future that smiles on professions that have a more technology-driven focus. The need of the hour is to up-skill and to quickly keep up with a future that is yet to be.