Whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) would kill most jobs or create many new ones is a fiercely waged debate across the world. A new book, 'What To Do When Machines Do Everything' brackets the debate into three - Dystopians (such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking), Utopians (such as Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis), Pragmatists (such as Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai).
The authors - Malcolm Frank, Executive VP of Strategy and Marketing at Cognizant, Paul Roehrig, VP of Strategy for Cognizant's Digital Business, and Ben Pring, who leads the company's Center for the Future of Work - say they fall into the third group. That is saying the future with AI "can be good if we make smart, practical decisions."
This writer caught up with Malcolm Frank when he visited Delhi recently. There's both bad and good news for professionals working in the IT industry. While parts of every tech service currently offered such as application development, maintenance, testing, and infrastructure maintenance can be automated, leading to redundancy in the number of engineers required, Frank sees emerging job opportunities in the following areas over the next many years:
1. Instrumentation: It is likely enterprises will automate and instrument all their processes, going ahead - in the book, the authors write: "By instrumenting and creating a Code Halo, you turn everything into a data generator, allowing you to see facts that have never been visible before." Professionals into Internet of Things (IoT) will, therefore, be in demand.
2. AI, Machine Learning, Data: Professionals across the data supply-chain, and analytics will rule the roost. Just like oil, data can be segregated into Upstream (instrumentation, sensors, connectivity), Midstream (databases, algorithms, logical models), and Downstream (devices, user interfaces, apps). The world needs people who can manage this supply-chain.
3. Cloud: IT service providers will continue to help enterprises migrate to the Cloud and execute integration work.
4. Cyber-security: A spike in jobs in this domain will be a result of all the above. When every device is linked and integrated to the Cloud, the world needs soldiers who would protect your data. Surely, every cloud has a silver lining.