Machine Learning and the next decade

Over the next decade cognitive technologies will have an immense impact on organizations and the workforce. There is a sensationalist debate (courtesy Musk vs Zuckerberg) on the perils and benefits of machine learning. One side forecasts massive unemployment and machines becoming superior to humans, the other side predicts a new age of a repeating historical pattern, that of technology development leading to more productivity, enriching lives, economic growth and a new age of human skills to accommodate new technologies.

While the movement of jobs and skills are inevitable, Gartner predicting 1 in 3 jobs disappearing by 2025 and 90% of jobs will be replaced by smart machines. While these are just projections that need to be read with a pinch of salt, the reality is there will be jobs impacted.

While organizations cannot take the extreme viewpoint and start preparing for a future without a workforce, they would need to start preparing for talent pools of the future. Talent pools that requires adaptability, creativity, common sense, innovativeness and emotional intelligence.

Successful organizations of the future will be the ones that leverage advances in technology, be open to parts of jobs being automated by cognitive technologies. These technologies will replace the drudgery of repeated tasks while focus will change more to optimization, leverage of technologies for market capture and growth and retooling, upskilling skills to be ready for the future.

To be continued

By Deepak Nachnani

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  • Anand Verma

    It is kind of recursive to think that with the advance in ML/AI, humans will be forced to work on AI itself (because those might the only jobs left), which again displaces more jobs.

    One solution is to leverage the vast expanse of the diverse economy that we have created, to invent more jobs. 20 years ago, data analyst, IT professional, front-end developer, etc. were unheard of. Similarly, in the future, humans will come up with jobs and take on roles that we might not be able to even speculate now.

    The other, more trending, solution is to integrate humans and machines at work; considering machines as collaborators in solving problems and getting work done. AI is not going away anytime soon and we have to make peace with the fact that it will change our lives profoundly.