Are We Racing Toward AI Singularity?
A message for prospective job seekers and employers.
With the quick progression of technology in the past 50 years, many are asking the question about AI singularity. Essentially, AI singularity is the invention of artificial superintelligence that surpasses human intelligence. In this hypothesis, a computer with artificial intelligence would maintain self-improvement cycles leading to an accelerated change in technology. Artificial intelligence now is much more benign. Most AI programs can only accomplish one function at a time such as facial recognition or translating foreign languages. Although AI is far from the singularity, many employers already see changes in the business environment.
Consider Otto, an American truck company experimenting with autonomous vehicles. They use AI to function as the brain of their self-driving technologies to collect and process data in their environment and make specific actions. Otto made its first automated delivery in late 2016 with a 120-mile route between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. Otto and Softbank are not the only two companies utilizing AI, as many other organizations use it to find patterns and process data. This brings up the question, what does this mean for prospective job seeker and employers?
For employers, this might change the nature of assessing candidates. Companies would be able to attain a large amount of unemployment data, analyze it, and make an informed decision in a matter of seconds. These new screening systems could also change the process of finding candidates. Recruiters will use new tools to analyze on-paper candidates before interviews. While AI may ensure better screening and candidate fit, it will be difficult to process human emotion during an interview. This solidifies humans as the dominant role in the hiring process.
Potential job candidates should also consider a world-leading towards the idea of AI singularity. Prospective job seekers will see changes in professions on how they were previously performed. This means adaptability is the key to success. Some occupations will be discontinued entirely. Although this may be real, new jobs that require more complex knowledge tend to replace older ones. For example, before computers, telephone operators were used. Since the rise of technology, this job has ceased to exist. According to a study by AT&T, many of the telephone operators found jobs as typists or transcriptionists. Just as computers created more jobs, artificial intelligence will sprout new industries for job seekers to go into. Being able to readjust to technologically is another key to success.
Beyond this, technical knowledge will be extremely important in the job market. To maximize chances for success, one may consider evolving and learning alongside technology. This will better prepare one for jobs that will use AI and automation. For example, positions such as maintenance technicians and IT are in high demand in the current market. Although these positions may be not relevant with AI singularity, similar jobs will be needed to fill such as machine learning technician.
Just because technology is advancing does not mean all hope is lost. Many industries will adapt to artificial intelligence, and new industries will be created. This produces many opportunities for both employers and potential job seekers. The most successful are going to be those who embraced the change and used technology to its full advantage.