There has always been a certain air of conversation revolving around a mutual concept: Artificial Intelligence (AI) will take over our lives. While the world welcomes voice-operated AI systems like Alexa and Cortana, worries rise to an all-time high about what the increasing number of AI-operated devices will do to the future of America, and our workforce. As technology evolves, little has been done to explore the creation of artificial intelligence jobs.
AI in some cases has already passed the testing phase. Numerous video compilations show how Tesla’s AI crash prevention system has helped drivers avoid accidents.
In this widely viewed video, Tesla’s autopilot accurately anticipates an automobile accident seconds before it happens.
New studies have arisen to contrast the previously popular belief that AI is completely taking over our lives. While we rely on technology more and more each day, jobs will be created in more abundance than this new movement will displace.
The report cites experts predictions of the indirect creation of two million jobs from this fast-approaching curve in Artificial Intelligence technology. While the 800,000 quoted would be related directly to these AI machines and operating systems, the additional numbers would be less directly affected by the boom.
Different industries have already begun adopting AI in various applications across their networks. While some companies are slow on the uptake, other organizations state they’ve been implementing AI technology for years, while others say they will be adopting this technology in the coming years, optimizing business and maximizing revenue.
The study from IDC Salesforce compares to reports late last year in 2016, stating distinct predictions with a vastly differing methodology. IDC Salesforce has spent more than a decade per field, specifically communicating with IT companies to review spending, trending and using various other techniques to predict accurate, realistic numbers, not merely speculation on a “robot takeover” as some suggest.
As a result of this rapid escalation, public cloud-based companies can expect an equal boom. The report cites the prediction that “Cloud vendors are expected to lead in the delivery of AI to customers by embedding AI into their applications.”
With the growing number of AI-operated devices, such as Siri and Google Assistant, we are indeed entering a revolutionary five-year pattern for technology.
How Will Women Benefit From This AI-Backed Job Boom?
America has progressed concerning male to female ratio in the workplace; however, this doesn’t apply to all fields yet.
Let’s look at the Women in Machine Learning Conference, created by Hanna Wallach, and her roommates, Lisa Wainer, Angela Yu, and Jennifer Wortman Vaughan. There’s been a significant gap in women in the technological industry, applying to nearly every field and subfield you can imagine. Wallach estimated that less than fourteen percent of the entire machine learning field, is in fact, female.
The WiML conference has grown in numbers over the years. Since 2006, when the Grace Hopper Conference hosted the first one, Wallach looked at the planning and scheduling procedures and realized that a single stand-alone conference wouldn’t serve the purpose. When the inaugural event turned out to be a success, it rolled forward and still convenes today.
The conference aimed to bring women in the machine learning community together. It’s a place to discuss ideas, to view what your colleagues are doing, and to grow as a minority in the field. While one may look only at the negatives of alarmingly low numbers of women in these professions, Wallach and her roommates looked at it as an opportunity to bring those fewer numbers together, and to build on one another.
However, while the support and unity are fantastic, one has to look at how the current impact on AI in the real world are biased towards men, not women. Numbers are evening out in the coming years, but while AI aims to dominate certain industries with job replacement, will the gap be bridged in time?
Women Are Encouraged To Join STEM Jobs
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is a government-made division through the U.S. Department of Education; their numbers of female employees in these related fields have dwindled as of recent years, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Sharon Sassler, a demographer and Cornell University Professor, has published a study specifically about this gap in the field. With high-profile figures bringing this issue to light, it raises the question: is there a bias in the STEM workforce?
At Oakland Tech in Northern California, while the bell rings, many girls are still within the building, accompanied by their mentors. They are participating in an after-school program where they learn how to build and operate electronics platforms, 3D printers, computers, and other devices in preparation to be more professionally competitive in a high-tech marketplace. Their workbenches flood with various equipment to tinker with, and this space encourages them to look at the technological field with wide eyes. An educational non-profit called Techbridge runs the program that teaches kids how to put technology to innovative and practical use.
“We’ve made a space just for girls to see that it’s fun and cool to work on tech things and to complete projects that are hard,” Dr. Linda Kekelis, the CEO, and executive of Techbridge told The Atlantic. “They learn skills by being hands-on, and they have a thing to bring home at the end of the year that makes it so cool to them.”
Not only does Techbridge have a medley of hands-on programs and encouraging mentors, but they lead the front on inspiring more programs just like it to pop-up all around the country. While women make up nearly half of the workforce in America, they hold less than a quarter of STEM jobs. Staggeringly lower numbers populate the engineering field, while the computing and mathematical science fields boast less than thirty-percent.
With programs like the one at Techbridge and the promise of increased AI-powered job creation, we can expect more women to land jobs in high-tech fields in the coming years.