Author: Joe McKendrick
Many view artificial intelligence as a job-killer. While this is the subject of debate, one thing is certain: there will need to be an entire new support system of professionals required to build and guide AI efforts.
In their latest book, Human + Machine, Paul Daugherty and H. James Wilson explored the practices and approaches of 1,500 organizations, and found new categories of jobs emerging. “These new jobs are not simply replacing old ones,” they find. “They are entirely novel positions, requiring skills and training never needed before. Specifically, sophisticated AI systems are necessitating new business and technology roles that train, explain, and sustain AI behavior. ‘Symbiotic with AI, the new roles draw on distinctly human skills.”
Daugherty and Wilson outline three broad new career categories that are emerging with the rise of AI:
Trainers: “In the past, people had to adapt to how computers worked. Now, the reverse is happening — AI systems are learning to adapt to us. To do so, these systems need extensive training, and the jobs of trainers may involve activities including data cleaning, data discovery, working with HR for work design, error correcting, and defining personalities. “As AI creeps across industries, more businesses will need trainers for their physical and software-based systems.” Daugherty and Wilson say roles as “information modelers” will “help train the behavior of machines by using expert employees as models.”
Explainers: “These new jobs need to bridge the gap between technologists and business leaders. These jobs will become more important as AI systems become increasingly opaque.” A role such as “transparency analyst” will be “responsible for classifying the reasons a particular AI algorithm acts as a black box.” Another role, an “explainability strategist,” will be responsible for “making important judgment calls about which AI technologies might best be deployed for specific applications”
Sustainers: These individuals will be charged with the proper use of AI. They must “continually work to ensure that AI systems are functioning properly as tools that exist only to serve us, helping people in their work to make their lives easier.” A sustainer will engage in such tasks as setting limits or override decisions based on profitability or legal or ethical compliance.” In addition, sustainers will oversee applying critical thought to AI performance and designing interfaces for AI-amplified workforces. Job titles may include “ethics compliance managers” who will “act as watchdogs and ombudsmen for upholding generally accepted norms of human values and morals.”