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Informatica 2017 Predictions: Relax, AI will not replace jobs in 2017. It will up-level them.

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Ronen Schwartz, SVP and General Manager, Data Integration, Big Data and Cloud at Informatica

Relax, AI will not replace jobs in 2017. It will up-level them.

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) will infiltrate all industry verticals (and business processes) in 2017. In fact, AI is projected to grow to become over a $5 billion market by 2020. Data is behind this unavoidable AI phenomenon and momentum. Big data, and big data generated by devices in real-time, are driving this new and increasing demand for machine learning and AI.

However, although almost everyone is familiar with the term "artificial intelligence," it has become a mystified buzzword. The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of artificial intelligence reads, "The capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior." However, there is a common misconception that defines artificial intelligence as "machine learning that replaces intelligent human behavior." There's another common misunderstanding - and corresponding fear - that AI technology will replace jobs in 2017. Do not fall victim to this fear - AI will not take away your job, at least not in 2017. Here's why.

AI will not replace human jobs -  it will change their role by empowering employees to be data-driven.

In many industries, AI is up-leveling human positions instead of replacing them. How? AI enables employees to stretch from the role of a "worker bee," working based on instructions, into a data enabled decision maker leveraging data-driven, business strategy frameworks. For example, AI increases the number of people that can define their data analysis and reports, that have access to summarized data without a need for a reporting expert to work on it. AI and machine learning will reduce the time it takes for employees to pull insight from data by 50-80 percent. This dramatic, AI-enabled efficiency improvement will allow employees to handle growing demand for insight and give employees more time and resources to develop actionable (and valuable) business insights - instead of burning through hours and resources to complete mindless number-crunching and reporting tasks. By leveraging AI and machine learning in 2017, businesses will be able to predict, respond and react to changes and events much faster than ever imaginable and in all levels.

The customer service industry is positioned to benefit the most from AI in 2017.  

In the next year, AI will transform customer service as we know it - for the better. Today, automated customer service processes are not flexible enough and not tailored to individuals. This model, as you may know from your own personal experiences as a customer, can often generate frustration. Advanced automation, customized to the customer, time and place will enhance the experience and address customer satisfaction.

Within the customer service market, AI will usher in a dramatic increase in workers who are basing work more on data, rather than experiences and feelings. These employees will know the customer better than ever before. They will leverage the hard data around customer behavior and predict his or her future needs.

When leveraged strategically, AI will simultaneously simplify business processes and help businesses be more productive and collaborative, while improving customer experiences. However, to be strategic, it is imperative that the raw customer behavior data for customer services organizations is accurate and unified. Also, AI and machine learning analytics need to be put into the hands of the right people, reports and applications within customer service companies in order to make the data actionable (and monetizable).

Looking beyond 2017 - what's next?

Now that I've hopefully squashed your fears of a robot replacing your job next year - let's look ahead a little bit further. Within the next five years, data experience will hold equivalent value as work experience. This means employees will not need as much industry-specific work experience if they can leverage data strategically within their role.

However, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's put our focus on the ways that AI and machine learning will up-level roles - specifically in client services - in the year to come.


About the Author 

As SVP and General Manager of Data Integration, Big Data and Cloud at Informatica, Ronen is responsible for product strategy, product management, strategic ISV partners and go-to-market for Informatica's core Data Integration, Cloud Integration and Big Data Management.  

ronen informatica

Published Friday, January 13, 2017 7:56 AM by David Marshall
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