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Will A.I. do most of the tech related computer jobs in the near future?


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I'm considering a career switch and I personally know a decent number of people/friends who are in the computer tech field. A few are programmers. One is a self-employed subcontractor who is paid by a firm who hires out the subcontractors to large corporations. Another just got an advanced degree in cyber security and is just starting a well paying job less than six months after graduating.

Here is my question: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is so advanced and so capable that apparently AI writes a lot of computer code (ie programs). From my understanding it even handles customer service (e.g. chat bots, etc). Won't AI take on a lot of computer related tech work and if so, won't that render many current tech jobs done by humans, obsolete?

Why or why not?
AI is extremely clever and improving all the time, but what we forget is that it can't make decisions, it can only respond with preprogrammed actions. So when confronted by something out of the ordinary it becomes useless. Admittedly I've met quite a few humans that are no better.

I got an angry response from a Phillipino woman at a call centre once when I told her that I don't have a computer with Windows on it - "Silly man! You not have Windows then you not have computer!". AI will definitely take her job away from her, but there is no replacement for genuine talent.

That said, if the field interests you then you should go for it. I vote for "why not?".
Sometimes it feels everything will become obsolete, but Starbucks still has baristas , and at the grocery store, l still go to the live checkout because it's more comfortable then the self-checkouts where l am squashed into a small area. My friend seems to like hanging out with me then a robot facsimile. :)
Cyber Security.

Consider since the advent of technology and how it has made crime itself obsolete.

Oh yeah. It hasn't. I don't see crime going away no matter what technological progress comes our way.
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Sometimes it feels everything will become obsolete, but Starbucks still has baristas , and at the grocery store, l still go to the live checkout because it's more comfortable then the self-checkouts where l am squashed into a small area. My friend seems to like hanging out with me then a robot facsimile. :)

The crazy thing is, they always need people monitoring the robots, too. The more of those they install, the more watchdog humans there need to be to make sure nobody's pretending to scan something they're not.

I think it just shifts humans into other roles, even though I'm sure there's some stat out there that can easily prove me wrong. I think we're going to need humans for a lot of things going forward.
If you want to have fun with a really amazing AI try playing Black & White, now available for free on abandonware sites. Interesting note on the release dates - Australia got it the same time England did, in 2000.

I was in computer related technology for my entire working life. I experienced a rudimentary form of AI and the internet when I was in high school. And while AI is improving all the time, it will only ever have the intelligence that it is coded for. We are quite a long way from fully autonomous Robots which would require AI that is self-aware and self modifying. I am skeptical of that happening anytime soon.

AS @Outdated pointed out, any AI is only as good as the programming behind it and AI that is writing code is only using code blocks that have been pre-written by programmers to form basic building blocks it uses in writing code and then only to a minimal level. IF an input parameter exists outside of analysis because it's decision tree lacks a node to which that parameter can attach to, you wind up entering error code.

Another thing about programming, code errors are always present in even the best written applications and operating systems out there, even in so called bullet proof code (otherwise, why do we have an endless stream of updates delivered to our so called intelligent devices?). AI is a long way off from the creative leaps in thinking necessary to find and repair certain problems. The reason for this is being able to project all possible situations and code for them. I do not see AI being able to function error free and capable of creativity until it is programmed with self-awareness and then able to focus to the same level as any Aspie programmer out there.

These are just my views as one who has worked in both computer hardware and software. From what I have seen to date, AI is barely at a functional level with a limited IQ (also artificial because lets face it, current AI is incredibly dumb when it comes to interfacing with actual human beings).

IT and computer technology is still going to need people to replace we who retire. Debuggers, designers, and so forth. If you have any talent in one of these areas you would be able to secure a job and be employed for better or worse. I say that because if you work at anything long enough, so that the challenge disappears, it can become a bore. The last 5 years of my working career was incredibly boring possibly even a bit stultifying. If you are drawn to it for reasons other than economic ones, I say go for it (although the compensation can be quite remarkable in the right job ;)).
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Think of it this way. No lazy human in his own right mind wants to constantly be used as a tool and overwhelmed especially autistic. What a.i. will do is make the work less, pay the same, lessen the hours when the workers are stuck doing job half of their life and missing out on personal growth, health breaks and rest.

Humans value will increase, in the best way.
It's still "Artificial Stupidity", not artificial intelligence.

As @phantom says above Machine Learning has turned out to be surprisingly useful. But it's not "AI" in the sense that people think of Intelligence - it's efficient and flexible automated pattern recognition.

Pattern Recognition was once considered to be something humans would always do much better than computers, but it's not. Of course if anyone had considered that birds (even really "bird-brained" ones) use pattern matching to navigate while flying fast in e.g. in forests, and hunt (flying insects at short range, small game by hawks etc), they might not have wanted to see it as a purely human skill after all /lol.

"A.I." doesn't write code in the sense that people imagine it.
It's very easy for airhead journalists to make stuff up about this though, because computer programs have been writing code since the 1970's (perhaps a little earlier). But it's very simple code, and it's completely specified in the program that writes it.

Back in the real world, what employers pay coders for is to handle things which are difficult to specify, or only done once.

The range of things that can be fully specified keeps increasing, and if they are also needed many times, they'll be "productized" one way or another.
There's definitely room in there for Artificial Stupidity, to help make custom solutions out of building blocks. But the IT business has been trying to do this since the 1970's, and still hasn't come close. Lots of "Theranos projects" over the years though /lol.

I removed a short section about "barriers to entry", but one comment: Customer Service generally isn't "technical work" by IT standards, and it doesn't pay well anywhere I've worked.

Of course normally good coders and system people have an easy life. And once you're in, if you stay current and useful it never ends.
OTOH very high pay requires demonstrably excellent skills - those jobs are hard to qualify for, and extremely competitive.
A bit of both. We are still trying to find the balance of human-AI partnership. Some companies jumped on AI too fast, relied on it too much and discovered it wasn't what they imagined. They learned the hard way that letting AI have the final say led to some embarrassing PR mishaps, for example. Some are still living in the past and rely too much on humans where AI would be more efficient. I would say ideally, the future will be a balance between humans and AI complimenting and supplementing each others strengths and weaknesses.
I have tried those customer service chat bots and if that is any indication of how good AI is, it is garbage. Completely useless. I have still not seen a customer service chatbot that actually did something that was helpful. Because they don't understand what you ask them, they just pick out some keywords, search their data bank and spit out an answer that most of the time doesn't help at all. For example, I always ask them "how do I kill a chat bot as fast as possible to get rid of it?". And they never have a helpful answer.

Those things have annoyed me for some time, more and more businesses use them. So when you need help from customer service, you have to waste 10 minutes on a stupid robot, then it tells you to get help from a customer service employee and then you have to wait in a queue for 15 minutes to get contact with a human being.
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Thanks to everyone who has offered opinions so far. The prevailing sentiment seems to lean toward AI will be little to no threat to future tech industry jobs.

Maybe I should also phrase the question another way to "crack the nut" a bit more:

What types of computer/tech/I.T./cyber jobs of today, specifically, could be threatened by AI in the future? You can see why I'm asking this, having in interest in going into such a field. Imagine picking a concentration, getting schooled in it, learning about it and then the concentration becomes obsolete.
Based on what I have read so far it is biased, far from taking over way over hyped, follow your heart not the crowd when it comes to career choices. The future is not always what it seems on the surface, experience has taught me that lesson many times over the years.
What types of computer/tech/I.T./cyber jobs of today, specifically, could be threatened by AI in the future?
That is a very difficult question to answer. The major governor of such things is innovation and AI is never going to create but merely mimic. Another thing to look at is where we are at currently. Look at all the problems with autonomous cars. That is of major concern and I noted that there are pilot programs to bury sensor wires in roadways to essentially cheat, although I think that will also have birthing problems because there is no such thing as a perfect program, and AI has no imagination or the ability to adapt without human intervention.

It is a very large area you are talking about and also employment in any field is subject to outside forces you will have no control over. The more you know, the more employable you are. I taught myself the ins and outs of hardware and software and the efficiencies and trade-offs of both. As my working life moved on, I would pick up some new talent. Any field tends to move on and you need to evolve right along with it.

AI is not going to replace many elements of IT because there are not going to be robots that can replace human beings anytime soon if ever. Why would humanity program itself into obsolescence, that does not make any sense. AI's sole purpose is to eliminate drudgery. To do the things that we do not want to think about or bore ourselves with.

What attracts you the most, what you have the most enthusiasm for and interest in should always guide you but the more diversity you have, knowledge wise, the less likely you will find yourself at odds with the job market. Finding a good fit for your talents is always difficult. You opt for a job and you either leave it or it leaves you. That has always been the case. I cannot imagine having the same job with the same daily routine at work for an entire lifetime. The longest that I managed was about 20 years and that was because it was the last 20 years of my working life. I was seriously bored the last 6 years or so, but being in my 60s at the time my chances of finding a job with the benefits and salary I was enjoying were nil.

I do not think you should worry too much about it and let your passions and interests guide you. AI is not going to be stealing a job from a highly skilled human in the computer/IT field in the foreseeable future, in my opinion.
It's not easy trying to predict the future, just ask your local stock broker. When I started out in life I thought I had a good reliable trade, I was a printer. There was no way I could have seen computers becoming so popular back then but in a 5 year period about 75% of the market for my trade vanished.
One final observation from me and then I will be silent ;).

There is still no AI program ever devised that can PASS the Touring test, although many have tried from the very start of computing. There is reason, because of that fact, to believe that milestone will not be reached in your lifetime.

For those who are not familiar, the Touring test is a game devised in 1950 by Alan touring, who devised a methodology for cracking the Enigma code during WWII. It is a game with two humans and one computer, the object being for the computer to fool the two humans so that they cannot determine which participant is a machine.

You need to reconsider your questions. The goal of an accurate forecast of the future is understandable, but unattainable.

Here's a thing I (as a real IT guy) say to non-IT people sometimes to make them think about the difference between desirable and possible:
"An hour after humans figured out how to talk, one person walked out of earshot from another, and realized they wanted a mobile phone".

If they keep being boring I point out that landlines have been quite useful, but were an obviously dead-end technology by 1890 (back in the days of Hertz and Marconi). Alexander Graham Bell was awarded the first landline patent in 1876.
(BTW it's still impractical to make an IT-centric version of that. because far too many people think using IT services means they understand IT. The same is true with money, which is why there are so many people stealing so much of it in the current "Crypto" space /lol..

In some ways IT hasn't changed much except in scale since the mainframe days (1970s).
Of course a lot of useful refinements have been made, and one or two unexpected things have turned up (like today's "deep learning" S/W).

But nobody can tell you what will be "hot" in ten to fifteen years. And if they could, they couldn't tell you how to get there.

You should be looking for viable entry points. This isn't easy either, but it will help your decision process.

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