Are they taking our jobs?

Overview of the Packt AI Now survey: The present and future of AI

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
artificial intelligence
© Shutterstock / Chagochkin

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning our one of the hottest topics out there and not only in the programming world. Packt surveyed more 2000 professionals to find out what is the developers’ perspective on AI. Let’s have a closer look at some of the most interesting results.

The human vivid imagination has pictured AI taking over the world, running every aspect of human life or even trying to exterminate it!

But that’s just science fiction. Right?

For now, let’s keep our feet on the ground and have a look at Packt’s latest survey.

Packt surveyed 2,869 professionals from around the world during August 2018 in order to have a clearer image of that is the developers’ perspective on AI.

The topics of the survey vary from what applications of AI are the respondents currently using in their workplace to predictions for Artificial General Intelligence.

But enough chit-chat! Let’s have a look at the most interesting results of the survey.

Boring reality

To start things off, the surprising majority of 69% does not use any AI-related tools in their day to day roles, however, 75% plans to learn any new AI tool within the next 12 months.

The most interesting aspect is when breaking down this 75% and see from which job area the responses are coming.

All professionals appear rather keen on learning new AI tools but those working IoT, mobile, and data seem to be the most eager.

An even more interesting aspect is to see what tools those professionals are learning.

TensorFlow is the clear winner here and as the survey interestingly points out, cloud clearly plays “an important part in making artificial intelligence more accessible to engineers from across the tech landscape.

SEE ALSO: Pros & cons of artificial intelligence in mobile app development

How the respondents are using AI at work is also an interesting aspect we could take a look at.

Internal operations seem to be enjoying the most AI resources, according to the survey. Chatbots appear to have gain momentum as well.

Unfortunately, as we all know, no tech dream is challenge-free. And AI developers sure have their fair share of obstacles to overcome.

Quality of data seems to be quite a challenge among developers but what really caught my eye was the relatively high percentage of developers who have trouble choosing which framework and tools to use. That is most true for professionals working in cloud and security.

But even when you decide on the right tools, your troubles are not over! After all that, implementation challenges follow!

Internal data literacy as well as finding the people with the right skills seems to be one of the top implementation challenges professionals have to face. Not to mention issues with strategic alignment with business goals which apparently is a bummer in almost half of the cases.

They took our jobs

Ok, now we are coming to the interesting part! What are the main concerns in AI? What’s the impact of automation and how concerned should we be about AI biases?

And frankly, will machines take our jobs?!

As stated in the Packt survey, it is thought that by 2030, around 800 million jobs will be lost due to automation!

But tech professionals don’t seem to share this concern.

Quite the opposite actually! 40% of the respondents believe that automation is most likely to have a positive impact on their careers.

What’s more, the survey reports that 37% of the participants believe that AI will likely have a positive impact on society as well!

SEE ALSO: Artificial intelligence is rewriting the book on IT operations

Another interesting aspect examined by the survey is how people across the tech industry feel about algorithmic bias. Those who are concerned and those unsure of what they think regarding this matter seem to have the same share of the answers with 29% each. Data scientist seem to be the most concerned while professionals working in the mobile industry do not have a single care in the world!

Last but not least comes the topic that stars in every sci-fi scenario. How far are we from Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)? Are super smart, killing robots going to take over the world?

Well, we don’t know about that but AI professionals believe that AGI will be possible within the next 30 years.

So brace yourselves! Robot apocalypse may come upon us … soon!

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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