Jan 3, 2024
The Benefits of Learning AI in a Struggling Economy
Two things stand in stark contrast today. First, the economy is experiencing significant challenges at the moment. Despite record employment levels and a robust job market, inflation remains high, and the risk of a recession is imminent, stretching Americans' purchasing power to the limit.
Also, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. We can see this through the popularity of AI-based programs like Chat GPT and Google's Lambda, just a couple of examples of how AI is being used today. Artificial intelligence powers Amazon, Netflix recommendations, self-driving cars, and more.
At first glance, that might make the future look bleak for job seekers. After all, where should you turn to enjoy a rewarding career in a poor economy with algorithms taking on an ever-increasing number of roles?
The answer is right there in the fine print: learning AI.
To put it in more concrete terms, McKinsey & Co expects AI to take over 70 million US jobs by 2030. Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures, expects AI to automate 50% of all jobs within the next 15 years. That includes many career paths, such as truckers, radiologists, factory workers, and even accountants.
Learning AI offers several critical benefits for anyone hoping for career advancement and job security. But what sector of AI should you enter?
Increasingly, the answer is machine learning (ML).
What Is Machine Learning?
Artificial intelligence has many applications. One of the most in-demand is machine learning. But what is machine learning?
Microsoft defines it as follows: 'Machine learning is an application of AI. It's the process of using mathematical models of data to help a computer learn without direct instruction. This enables a computer system to continue learning and improving on its own, based on experience.'
Why Machine Learning?
There are numerous career paths related to artificial intelligence, but why should one consider machine learning? One of the key factors is its wide-ranging applicability in multiple industries, including but not limited to the following:
Internet of things (IoT)
Banking and finance
By acquiring expertise in machine learning, one can gain access to a diverse range of job opportunities in these industries and play a crucial role in driving innovation and progress.
In addition to the many career paths, ML is expected to see massive financial growth. In 2021, Million Insights published a report highlighting ML's tremendous performance potential, pointing out that the machine learning market size is expected to reach $96.7 billion by 2025, based on the rising usage of data science and AI technologies for driving business processes.
Forbes takes things further, predicting that the global AI software market will be worth $126 billion by 2025 (AI accounts for much more than machine learning). PwC says that 'AI, robotics, and other forms of smart automation' will contribute up to $15 trillion to global GDP by 2030.
That's a lot of potential when it comes to finding a rewarding career. You only need to look at the evolution of digital technology today to see how using artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning, creates even more demand for other applications. For instance, consider technology like Facebook's image tagging capabilities or the necessity of spam detection for today's email providers.
That very versatility means that AI is and will continue to be in demand.
AI's Versatility Means Continued Demand
AI makes diverse career paths possible by blending data science with machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision to solve challenges facing small and medium businesses (SMBs), enterprise-level organizations, non-profits, and government agencies.
From electrical engineering to entertainment, banking and finance, and healthcare, machine learning AI continues to drive job growth and evolution. Again, it's not just jobs directly related to AI or ML. As new demands occur within one industry, additional jobs are created in related and unrelated markets.
It's Not Good News for All Career Paths
Automation is always disruptive. You can look back into history to see just how this played out with analog technologies. Consider the introduction of textile machinery in the 19th century. Before this, all textiles were hand-woven. However, machinery was able to do the same job as a human in a fraction of the time, with no need for breaks and fewer errors, allowing business owners to reduce their costs and increase profitability.
Seeing the demise of their entire profession, weavers took to the street in violent protests, broke into businesses to sabotage and destroy machinery, and even burned down businesses. Eventually dubbed 'Luddites' after their alleged founder, the legendary weaver Ned Ludd, this group faced reduced job security and independence.
Today, most textiles are made by machines. Traditional weavers still exist, but they occupy niche roles.
However, the introduction of machinery didn't just irrevocably alter the weaving profession. It introduced new positions, like machinery operator, machinery designer, and machinery manufacturer, as well as enabled the rise of businesses that supplied textile manufacturers and textile users (clothing designers, etc.).
AI and machine learning will continue to have a similar effect on the world today, ending some careers while opening new possibilities. For example, consider the rise of platforms like Chat GPT and their impact on jobs like advertising. With AI that can create content ranging from PPC ads to entire whitepapers, writers and marketing professionals across the board are seeing changes to their career prospects.
However, that very evolution opens new potential paths. Marketers must learn to work with these AIs to create content, guide production, and generate high-quality advertising collateral faster and more accurately.
Or consider the plight of America's truck drivers. Long considered the backbone of the economy, truckers face an uncertain future thanks to the rise of self-driving technology. That technology promises safer roads for everyone, faster delivery times, and more dependable deliveries. However, for drivers, it seems to promise an end to their very livelihood.
The truth is that while AI might take away some driving jobs, it will open many more. Manufacturers are testing multiple types of autonomous trucks, ranging from those with no driving automation at all to fully automated systems. Each type will need human interaction and intervention. The truth is that every company testing autonomous systems intends to always have a human driver in the cab, from Tesla to Waymo.
So, driving jobs will change. They will not disappear entirely, however. We are seeing an AI-accelerated version of the continual evolution that's always been at the heart of human societies.
AI Is Here to Stay
While many technologies come and go, AI and machine learning aren't going anywhere. They will continue to play central roles in our lives and our careers as time passes, even in a down economy. From automating data science and helping businesses parse and model big data to its use in forecasting industry growth, it can be used at all levels within any industry and even deployed locally.
Education is the trick to discovering a rewarding path with plenty of career advancement potential. Learning AI for a bright future begins now. Thankfully, you'll discover powerful, flexible learning platforms that help connect you with the machine-learning skills necessary.
For instance, Rolai offers options for individuals, businesses, and academic institutions. You can learn essential technical skills in AI and machine learning, apply those skills in virtual labs, and even use them to solve real-world problems.
AI is not some fad. Increasingly, artificial intelligence is entwined with our daily activities, from listening to music or making a grocery list to our job-related duties. No industry will be exempt ' AI and machine learning are as applicable in farming and ranching as they are in autonomous vehicles or sales forecasting.
The most important takeaway is this: artificial intelligence is here to stay and anyone hoping to enjoy a rewarding career with plenty of advancement potential must realize this. Educating yourself now and learning AI is the best way to ensure you have the skills and knowledge employers increasingly demand.
For employers, closing skills gaps is becoming imperative. You can do that by hiring workers who already have AI and machine learning-related skills, but you can also invest in upskilling and reskilling your existing workforce. Not only does that ensure you have access to the talent you'll need to compete in your industry, but it breeds employee satisfaction and enhances retention.
AI and machine learning have immense applications. You must be prepared to embrace artificial intelligence's changes in your career path or industry. The right educational partner can hel