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If These Predictions are Right, We Will Lose Millions of Jobs (But Not To Brexit)

Source | LinkedIn : By Bernard Marr

The application of machine learning to the ever-increasing amounts of data being produced throughout the world will change everything when it comes to our jobs. Yes, these new technologies will make jobs easier for many people — but they also may make many of those jobs obsolete. Algorithms can now answer our emails, interpret medical images, find us the legal case to win, analyze our data, and more.

Machine learning relies on algorithms that “learn” from past examples, thereby relieving the programmer from having to write lines of code to deal with every eventuality. This ability to learn, coupled with advances in robotics, cloud computing and mobile technology, means that computers can now help humans perform complex tasks faster and better than ever before.

But what happens to the human they’ve outpaced?

The World Economic Forum postulated that we will lose 5 million jobs to computers and robots over the next five years.  Are they right?

  1. Data volumes will continue to grow. There’s absolutely no question that we will continue generating larger and larger volumes of data, especially considering that the number of handheld devices and Internet-connected devices is expected to grow exponentially. All this data, coupled with the ability to analyze it, will change the jobs market forever.
  2. More tools for analysis (without the analyst) will emerge. Microsoft and Salesforce both recently announced features to let non-coders create apps to view business data. This means that it’s very likely the need for data scientists and analysts will drop off markedly.
  3. Prescriptive analytics will be built in to business analytics software. IDC predicts that half of all business analytics software will include the intelligence where it’s needed by 2020. Predictive analytics can reduce or eliminate the need for human experts in the field. Programs have already proven that they can predict the outcome of the Superbowl and Supreme Court decisions, making human analysts on their way to becoming obsolete.
  4. Machine learning is a top strategic trend for 2016, according to Gartner. And Ovum predicts that machine learning will be a necessary element for data preparation and predictive analysis in businesses moving forward. But it doesn’t stop with business strategy: IBM’s Watson proved it can diagnose lung cancer from analyzing MRI scans much more reliably than real people. And sophisticated databases can use machine learning to review millions of documents in legal proceedings in a fraction of the time. This puts both some doctors and lawyers at risk.
  5. “Autonomous agents and things” will continue to be a huge trend, according to Gartner, including robots, autonomous vehicles, virtual personal assistants, and smart advisers. This will affect jobs including taxi and bus drivers, customer service jobs

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