Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ready to take off in a big way. The AI market is doubling every year and Analysts predict it will reach $119 billion market by 2025. But frankly, you could pick any big number you like and you’ll find a forecast that matches it.
I’m confident they are right. AI is no longer the stuff of science fiction and it has moved beyond simply being the latest over-hyped field of technology. It is set to have a profound impact on the business world, as well as on each of us as individuals. For businesses, AI will present a major opportunity as well as presenting a competitive threat. On a personal level, there will be inevitable changes in the workplace and to the type of jobs we do in the future.
There’s little doubt in my mind. Now is time to embrace AI rather than resist it.
The current status of AI
From a business perspective, AI is already paying dividends in many areas. These include voice recognition, chatbots, customer services, machine learning, intelligent applications, big data and analytics. But in many ways, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
SUSE’s research suggests that right now only about a third of organizations already use, or are planning to use AI solutions. That leaves nearly two-thirds of businesses that have yet to take the plunge. This means that there’s still a clear opportunity for forward-thinking executives to lead the way. And according to the latest Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, there are plenty of new AI-related technologies for them to take advantage of.
Workplace implications and job prospects
Unsurprisingly, there is widespread agreement that AI will change how we work. SUSE’s research highlighted that 47% of employees in companies that were already committed to AI felt that AI would lighten their load. That makes sense, given that AI has the potential to handle all the boring or repetitive parts of a job, freeing workers to get on with more valuable tasks. There’s also the real prospect of combining AI resources and workers in a human-centric augmented partnership to improve efficiency and drive better quality outcomes.
However, there’s also little doubt that some job roles will end up being eliminated due to AI. Here are two examples:
- Combining AI with robotics often means that humans no longer need to work in dangerous or toxic environments.
- Using AI to monitor and manage IT systems means that we need fewer administrators.
Even so, the consensus is that AI has the potential to create more jobs than it removes. There will definitely be a need for more programmers, system installers, data scientists, HPC administrators, decision-makers and AI augmentation experts. To stay relevant, all of us will need to adapt and develop the appropriate skills and experience to match the changing work environment.
The role of open source
Community-driven open source projects are at the forefront of innovation of virtually every leading technology trend. The fields of AI, ML, deep learning, predictive analysis, and neural networks are no exception.
It’s also worth noting that HPC is a vital element for successfully delivering AI and ML. Both rely on high levels of compute capacity for fast analysis of huge datasets – and Linux is at the heart of all the top-performing HPC solutions. Just this week, the latest TOP500 list of supercomputers was released. It was no surprise to see that, yet again, every one of the world’s fastest computers run on Linux.
The “International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis” (conveniently shortened to SC19) is being held this week in Denver. If you’re attending and would like to discuss HPC, AI/ML or HPC in the Cloud, please stop by the SUSE booth (#1917).
Thanks for reading!