Highly Skilled Professionals Could Soon be Replaced By Computers

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Gartner suggests that highly skilled jobs could be replaced by artificial intelligence as soon as 2022. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already being used to replace low skilled workers and perform menial repetitive tasks, but it could soon go on to perform the jobs of highly skilled people such as those in law, IT, and medicine within five years.

Software robots are already displacing thousands of people on the job market by completing repetitive tasks. This includes business and IT processes and even offering financial advice. Gartner suggests that jobs performed by medical, law and IT professionals could be replaced by 2022.

 

The Vice-President of Gartner Stephen Prentice says that the current economics on machine learning and AI could lead to the professional tasks of today becoming low-cost utilities in the future. AI will advance and turn even complex work into a metered service that enterprises pay for, similar to electricity.

The example  offered was that of a lawyer, and how a lawyer could be replaced by a machine. Lawyers go through a long and expensive education and training period. Enterprises that hire lawyers need to offer them a salary that can compensate for the costs of training a lawyer. The more expensive it is to become qualified in a profession, the more one can expect to be paid for their work. A firm will also need to hire each lawyer at the same price, so the costs of legal representation quickly build up.

While it is true that a smart machine replacing a lawyer will need to undergo a similarly long and expensive training period, it’s also true that the enterprise will be able to add all the smart machines they want after training their first one, and that these machines will cost very little.

Insurance is another example of an industry that could be affected by AI. Gartner said that roles for originating loans and adjusting insurance claims could be automated. This has already become a reality. The Japanese insurance company Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance say that they are going to use the IBM Watson cognitive computing software to replace over 30 staff members. The machines will read through the medical documents used to assess a payment, with the robots that calculating payments. Even so, the final decision will ultimately be made by humans.

As far as financial services go, the Swedish company SEB is making use of IPsoft’s cognitive technology in their customer services department.

Meet Amelia!

The software robot – which is known as Amelia – was launched back in 2014. Amelia understands the semantics of language and is able to learn and understand how to solve business process queries similar to humans. The difference is that Amelia is able to read 300 pages in 30 seconds. This enables it to learn through experience by assessing the interactions between customers and human agents.

Gartner did have some good news for human workers, suggesting that there will be new and more rewarding jobs emerging to replace the lost jobs. AI is going to cause some industries to lose human workers, but there are other industries that will benefit from automation and AI. By using robots toa take care of all the repetitive and routine tasks, it affords the human workers more time to work on improving service levels, handling the more challenging aspects of their roles, and reducing stress in a high-pressure environment.

CIOs – the in-house expert on AI – is going to play a major role in ensuring adopting AI technology improves the business, and that AI can be used to transform the world of IT. Gartner did say that AI is going to replace the routine functions an IT organisation; such as automating system administration, project management, application support, and the help desk. It is true that some roles are going to disappear, but AI can improve skill shortages while allowing the IT organisation to focus on differentiating their enterprise through creative work.

The risks technology could pose to political stability and jobs was recently discussed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. The Global Risks 2017 report highlighted potential problems, including the fact that disruptive technologies such as AI were spelling the end of long-term jobs. More and more people are becoming self-employed and creating a “gig” economy. The result is that individual people are having to bear greater responsibility for the costs that come with unemployment, old age, and sickness.

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