Why you need to know what this new and disruptive milestone in AI means for humanity
The new “digital” careers and Artificial Intelligence
Much more than a threat, like any technology that promotes major social changes, Artificial Intelligence can be seen as a great opportunity for careers and business.
Much is said about the loss of jobs, the threat that Artificial Intelligence imposes on humans, especially professions with a high level of education. The fear is that technology may occupy, performing faster and better, the space of men and women in their professions.
In my reading, people who see technology as a major threat to humans and their jobs either overestimate the ability of algorithms to "think" like us, or underestimate the ability of us humans to create, be empathic, and the role of software -skills and emotions in our lives.
It is indisputable that Artificial Intelligence technology will change life and impact the profession of virtually everyone on the planet. Many of the repetitive activities defined in clear and well-formulated routines, which require some kind of human cognition, will not need to be performed exclusively by people. There is a lot of evidence in this regard.
In January of this year, an algorithm built by Google surpassed doctors in analyzing breast cancer images both in relation to false positives (lower rate of classification of people with cancer when in fact they did not have the disease) and in relation to false negatives (lower rate of classification of real cancer patients diagnosed as free from the disease). Check it out here: https://www.ft.com/content/3b64fa26-28e9-11ea-9a4f-963f0ec7e134).
The technology also shows surprising results against lawyers in document review (https://mashable.com/2018/02/26/ai-beats-humans-at-contracts/), against readers eager to understand texts (https: / /www.cnet.com/news/new-results-show-ai-is-as-good-as-reading-comprehension-as-we-are/) and against gamers in the StarCraft II strategy game (https: // www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03298-6), among other achievements.
And regardless of the context in which these algorithms were tested, one thing seems evident, technology has reached ever better levels of performance, and often, in certain situations, superior to the best of our species, let alone in relation to ordinary people . Kasparov, our best chess player for a long time, and Ke Jie, our best “Go” player, so to speak.
Some important things that are not said in this debate. There is still an enormous human need in various aspects of evolution, use and value creation when using technologies related to Artificial Intelligence.
In the evolution of technology, it is necessary to have professionals trained in at least two major areas of knowledge: mathematics and computer science. In fact, these are professions with an increasing demand for professionals, and whoever today is well educated in areas such as Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, among other related areas, has the challenge of choosing between the great opportunities that are offered to them. presented.
It is important to understand the nature of the data, the different ways of organizing it, the most efficient search processes, and problem solving through algorithms. Statisticians who know the difference between a hierarchical classification of clusters, in relation to clustering by centroid (k-means), the difference between linear regression, polynomial regression, and logistic regression and in which problems and situations they can be applied, or yet an “A *” algorithm, or a MAX-MIN approach in a decision tree, has a lot to contribute to more efficient choices in solving real problems. In the war between algorithms that the companies of the future will compete in, efficiency and effectiveness are drivers of success. To reach them, the data approach strategy, resulting from the understanding of these fields of knowledge and human creativity and imagination, are important differentials of any professional, especially in relation to machines.
A second demand for professionals, which has not yet reached its peak, and which is gradually moving towards being essential in organizations and companies are the business specialists who dominate fundamental aspects of technology.
The best image diagnosis algorithms have in the teams of developers, doctors who are profoundly knowledgeable about the elements of medicine and health. The best pricing algorithms need people who know your company's business dynamics well. Artificial Intelligence applications in recruiting people need to assess what is the best strategy for assessing skills and attributes, among other things.
Business analysts who can work together with the data modeling and technology teams become essential to produce robust solutions. Managers who are able to evaluate the various solutions available in the market to choose which service or product should be purchased to solve which business problem is an important differential.
In particular, having leaders and "digital" senior management that seeks and evaluates all the different opportunities for applying technology in their processes, products and services is something that will be valued more and more by companies. In this sense, there is a growing need for leaders who can build organizational transformation in a responsible, efficient and results-oriented manner.
Achieving the transition from traditional companies to companies better prepared for the digital world is still for few. These digital skills and in Artificial Intelligence, should be part, in a short time, of the list of mandatory and desirable qualifications in the professionals most sought by companies. They are professionals from all areas who have a solid basic knowledge of the main concepts and technologies related to Artificial Intelligence and an ability to find opportunities for improvement and optimization in all spaces of organizations.
In the same way that computers, and a few years later, the internet, invaded all departments of a company, the technologies of Artificial Intelligence will do so. And the professionals who manage to bring about this change will be increasingly valued.
Finally, visionaries who understand and have insights into what our future should be like and the needs, expectations, pains and desires of the new generation of customers, users and consumers are professionals who must be fought over. Companies that have professionals who can not only increase the quality and performance of an organization's processes, products and services, but also create new business models, innovative products and services using the best of new technologies and Artificial Intelligence are rare professionals, that given the possibility of entrepreneurship for new ideas in their own startups, they need to see space and incentives in large and medium-sized organizations so that they can prefer the security and benefits of intra-entrepreneurship.
So, in my perspective, much more than a threat, like any technology that promotes major social changes, Artificial Intelligence can be seen as a great opportunity for careers and business. The question is much more: how should I prepare to guarantee a successful professional career in the coming years, than whether or not my profession will cease to exist.
About the author
É sócio fundador da I2AI – Associação Internacional de Inteligência Artificial. Também é sócio-fundador da Engrama, sócios das Startups D2i e Egronn e investidor nas startups Agrointeli e CleanCloud. Tem mais de 20 anos de experiência em multinacionais como Siemens, Eaton e Voith, com vivência em países e culturas tão diversas como Estados Unidos, Alemanha e China.
Palestrante internacional, professor, pesquisador, autor, empreendedor serial, e amante de tecnologia. É apaixonado pelo os temas de Estratégia, Inteligência Competitiva e Inovação.
É Doutor em Gestão da Inovação e Mestre em Redes Bayesianas (abordagem de IA) pela FEA-USP. É pós-graduado em Administração pela FGV e graduado em Engenharia Mecânica pela Unicamp.
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