By Jeff Tyler, Head of Product, Data Science and Engineering
AI is coming for your job. Adapt or die. You are replaceable by a machine.
Do these phrases sound familiar to you? Chances are you’ve been hearing and reading them everywhere you look. Everyone wants you to know that your job is in jeopardy.
I’m here with a slightly different perspective. Instead of worrying about the disruption AI will cause, the way forward is to embrace the change that it offers in a way that continues to make you what you are: humans. No one expects you to be a machine.
As someone who has been following, adjacent to and at times directly participating in the AI community for over two decades, there’s no doubt this is an exciting time for the discipline. Since the time I finished my graduate work on applied neural networks in 2003, advances in computing power and availability, combined with renewed focus on these techniques, have accelerated a once sleepy discipline. It’s reached the point that you’ll hear about the latest developments on the news and in thinkpieces, often in the form of the doom-and-gloom angles I referenced above.
Development of technology has always served to propel humankind forward into a more convenient, comfortable and efficient world, but it’s often in the form of a gradual evolution, not an instant transformation. For instance, the internet boom enabled e-commerce, which was heralded as the “end of brick-and-mortar retail.” Certainly some physical storefronts have been decimated by this rise, but plenty have not only survived, but thrived in this environment. This is often because these companies embrace the new technologies and use their storefronts as a way to create a human connection to their products and services.