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article imageMachine learning will change jobs

By Tim Sandle     Dec 22, 2017 in Technology
Machine learning is likely to herald a new type of economy in which many traditional jobs will disappear, according to analysts.
According to Carnegie Mellon University scientists machine learning computer systems will lead to a transformation of modern economies. The analogy used is with steam engines and electricity overhauling economies of the past.
The key message is where machine learning and artificial intelligence can outperform a person, then the job that this task relates to will most likely disappear. The more promising news for those who fear machine-dominated society is that not all jobs are expected to be bettered by a ‘thinking’ computer.
Machine learning, as one aspect of artificial intelligence, has advanced considerably in the past two years: facial recognition, natural language understanding and computer vision as three examples.
Predicting exactly which jobs might disappear is not straightforward; however, machine learning is being used to automate or semi-automate many individual tasks and it is jobs that rely on one or two respective elements that are more vulnerable than jobs that involve a multitude of tasks.
Also vulnerable are tasks that can easily go online, such as predicting customer choices; making selections and scheduling. This hits everything from a recruitment agent to the role of a shift supervisor.
According to Carnegie Mellon University's Professor Tom Mitchell: “Although the economic effects of machine learning are relatively limited today, and we are not facing the imminent 'end of work' as is sometimes proclaimed, the implications for the economy and the workforce going forward are profound.”
Instead: "the economic effects may be highly disruptive, creating both winners and losers."
What does this mean for people entering the job market today? Here the skills the next generation choose to develop together with the investments businesses make, will shape who thrives and who falters once machine learning has become ingrained into everyday life.
The new research has been published in the journal Science. The paper is titled "What can machine learning do? Workforce implications."
For further machine learning and transformative economy news, see the Digital Journal article "Artificial intelligence will transform productivity: Report."
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