April 18, 2018, by Carla Froggatt
The Future of Work: Artificial Intelligence
Jen Balloch, Employability Education Projects Officer: Faculty of Science
Known as the ‘father of AI‘, computer scientist, John McCarthy first coined the term Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 1956. It started as a philosophical debate about whether machines could ever imitate human thought. Nowadays AI can be seen in many aspects of our everyday lives, from using Apple’s voice recognition tool Siri, to Amazon predicting what we might like to buy, and the future of driverless cars.
The growth of AI has been exponential. Optimising scheduling for logistics companies and deep-learning algorithms to monitor crop and soil health are further examples of its applications and the range of sectors it is impacting. AI is influencing many research areas too, and the sheer number of opportunities for employment is far reaching.
AI is growing fast, and is the cause of many a topical debate. It expands so much further than just tech-related roles. Due to the very nature of what is posited and believed possible, the debates and discussions centre on philosophy, ethics, psychology and linguistics to name a few. It truly is a field which brings multiple disciplines together, and one that has a global impact.
Why is it important?
“This technology will change how we relate to technology… It will change how we relate to each other. I would argue that it will even change how we perceive what it means to be human.” – Microsoft’s chief envisioning officer, Dave Coplin
AI is stirring up excitement and caution in equal measure. There are mixed feelings about where AI might take the human race, so the importance of ensuring adequate safeguarding measures is essential. AI is important because it has the potential to impact on human lives all around the world. It is already shaping the job market and creating new opportunities for students and graduates.
Where are the jobs?
From academic research, small to medium businesses and large recruiters, many roles are available. They also vary considerably, so it really depends on what your level of experience is and where your individual interests lie. A quick search on Indeed, for example, throws up hundreds of roles in the field.
Thinking about your level of education, experience, expertise and even location will help you to narrow your search further. Considering your personal values and morals can also help you decide what type of organisation you would like to work for.
Where can I find out more?
There is lots of information on the web, which is a great place to start doing research. TED Talks have a whole section on it, for example, or you could listen to a podcast or delve into some journal articles.