The rise of automation & AI to trigger a demand in skilled thinkers
There’s another high-level skill that will also be needed. A point raised in the Aspen discussions was the problematic and inherent biases that may be embedded in AI, and thus, too much trust being placed in machines with flawed, or even dangerous, logic. The ability to design inherent biases out of AI systems, and to provide critical thinking over and above automated decisions, is is a skill area that needs to be developed and brought into every organization considering AI.
“With the rise of automation, you definitely have conversations about jobs that are going to be lost,” says Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League at MIT Media Lab. “But I think something we’re not talking as much about is who then become the gatekeepers for the jobs that are there? Even now, you have automated systems going through applications for jobs, looking for specific patterns. Those specific patterns might reflect prejudice in selection from prior decision makers. So now what you do is you embed that prejudice, potentially, if you’re not intentional about checking for bias or trying to take measures to ensure fairness. Data is destiny. If you have biased data, you’re destined to have bias in your outcomes or your predictions if it’s left unchecked.”
It’s very important, in fact, that business leaders to develop the skills and get involved in designing AI and machine learning algorithms, as these can quickly get away from businesses, with decisioning wrapped up in unknown logic. At the same time, there is insatiable demand for “storytelling” skills — often seen as part of data science, but extending well into other jobs — which can deliver tangible scenarios to decision-makers on what AI is capable of delivering to the business.
Image source: pixabay.com