Artificial intelligence is rapidly reshaping the job market and some D.C. workers are feeling left behind. According to a 2017 Accenture survey released in March, 65 percent of women and 56 percent of men say their jobs are not preparing their for human-machine collaboration.
Workers in the D.C.- area said that lack of time to take AI training during the workday, difficulty finding relevant learning opportunities and lack of clarity on what they need to learn are the biggest barriers preventing them from developing AI-related skill.
The challenge will be for jobs to build AI curriculums for their current employees. Forty percent of respondents in Accenture’s report expect tasks in their current job to be automated over the next three years. Katherine LaVelle, the managing director for Accenture Strategy, doesn’t believe employers have to reinvent the wheel to prepare their workers and advises companies to curate curriculums for all AI experience levels.
LaVelle said this is a time of opportunity for companies to build AI curriculums and train their workers on automated technologies.
“Corporate America can seize the day and upscale skills in the current workforce,” LaVelle said. “There’s a bunch of jobs that are associated with AI that didn’t even exist a year ago. There’s some jobs that don’t even exist today that we think will be prevalent in the next three years.”
She said employers need to evaluate the new tasks that will come with automating jobs in the workforce.
Data scientist, data analytics, AI developer and coder positions are seeing an uptick as in the job market as positions like data entry specialist are nearly going extinct. According to a 2017 Artificial Intelligence Index Annual Report, the share of jobs requiring AI skills in the U.S. has grown more than four times since 2013.
“It’s not just about automating task at work,” LaVelle said. “Once that is done, there’s new tasks to be completed. This creates new jobs and new outputs from those processes.”
LaVelle notes that automated learning technologies will reconfigure tasks on both ends of the job spectrum. Work that is highly repetitive or too complex for humans to achieve in a short time frame are most likely to be completed with machine learning.
Within the last 10 years, artificial intelligence and machine learning has been ingrained into everyday life. From automated cell phone schemes to spam filters in emails to ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft, AI has changed the way humans interact with information and each other.
“AI used to be something that sounded like science fiction and that the smartest of the smartest populations get to use, but that’s changed dramatically,” LaVelle said. “AI is here to stay.”