Will AI Take My Job?
Artificial Intelligence is disrupting many different industries from transportation to healthcare. With any disruptions fear begins to pop around how that will impact me! One question poised on Big Data Big Questions was if “AI Will Replace Data Scientist”. We are truly in the early days of AI and Deep Learning but let’s look forward to see if AI will be able to replace Data Scientist. Find out my thoughts on AI Replacing Data Scientist by watching the video below.
Transcript – Will AI Replace Data Scientist?
Hi folks! Thomas Henson here with thomashenson.com. Today is another episode of Big Data Big Questions. Today’s question comes in from a viewer. If you have a question, put it in the comment section here below, or you can reach out to me on thomashenson.com /big-questions. I’ll do my best to answer your question. This one came in around, “Hey, you know, is software going to replace data science?”
Whenever I think about software, specifically we’re probably talking about artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence, or machine learning, or deep learning, or any of those models, are we going to be able to build models that can replace the data scientist?
This is a common theme, if you go out and Google anything right now, you can see, “Will AI replace lawyers?” Will AI replace doctors? All kinds of different things. Unequivocally, I think the short answer is no, but I’m going to talk about what I think are some of the reasons that I don’t think that AI is going to replace data scientists. Also, at the end, I’m going to give you some industry experts on what they think and what they’ve said about that whole concept.
Let’s jump in. Let’s talk a little bit about what a data scientist is, and then, talk about how we would even begin to look at how AI would replace that. Remember before, when we talked about data scientists in the past. These are the types of people that are trying to work on finding data that can build a model that might be able to predict an outcome. If we can predict the outcome, then maybe we can do something prescriptive. Hey, this is what’s going to happen, so let’s do this portion here after something happens. Think of if you’re creating, building a model to detect insider threats. You want to be able to decide, “Okay, does this user, maybe they’re potentially an insider threat.” Once you’ve identified that, maybe you can drop their access. Be prescriptive [Inaudible 00:02:04] it. Drop access that they have to certain directories, certain folders, and then also alert security.
We’re wanting to be able to build applications or models like that, that can be able to help. Can artificial intelligence do all that, kind of take the data scientist out? I don’t believe that’s the case. That’s very, very hard. If we really look at AI, and what’s going on right now, any time you hear the word AI, replace that with automation, and you’re like, “Okay, now I understand what’s going on.” Really, we’re not at the point where we’re actually building these super intelligent systems, kind of like what you see in Hollywood. I’m going to give you three different reasons around why I think that AI is not going to replace or software is not going to replace data scientists.
The first thing is, when we think about it, artificial intelligence has been around for quite some time. The term has, we’re getting better with our models. If you listen and read some of the books that I’ve read, we’re in that implementation phase where we’re putting these things out there. If you really look at it, even in the past, when we talk about the world’s best chess player versus artificial intelligence, we got to a point in the late ’90s where the world’s best chess player could win, or I’m sorry, the machine would beat the world’s best chess player. However, if you took a medium machine or artificial intelligence that was pretty good at chess, you paired it with a pretty good or an advanced human chess player, they could beat the world’s best machine learning model, or deep learning, or AI chess player. Same thing. What we’re doing, I think, the tools and the skills that you’re seeing being implemented for data scientists are about how we can help, right? What are the types of tools that can help us identify quickly maybe some complex algorithms that would work. Should I use a Generative Adversarial Network here? Should I used a convolutional neural network, or different types of things there?
Same thing that we’re seeing in the medical industry. Doctors aren’t going to be taken out of the loop, but doctors are going to be given maybe a voice assistant that you can prescribe and give the different, these are some of the symptoms that we’re seeing. What are some of the latest journal articles, and giving a summary to that, versus your data scientist or your medical, somebody in the medial field, they’re having to go out, and there’s always research, and research papers that they could be reading, and could be intaking, same thing here. You’re going to have assistants as a data scientist, to be able to say, “Look, what are…?” Run some stats on this, and let’s see what models might be good indicators here. I’m still in the loop. I’m still deciding what we’re going to do from that model, but it’s going to help me streamline and get faster, what we’re doing.
Number two, really simple, just go out there and look at the talent gap. We’re still looking for data scientists. That’s, go do a Google search, and you’re finding that there’s a ton of different open job applicants. If you go to any kind of symposium. There was a symposium over at Georgia Tech. One of the people from Google there was talking, and they were like, “Hey, man, I will take every PhD or even Master’s level candidate you have around data science and statistics,” and everything like that. There’s still a huge, huge talent gap there, and I don’t think it’s going to be cured by AI. Like I said, I think it’s going to be about automating, and then maybe AI can help us to train better humans that can fill those roles, but I think that’s another indication that, man, I don’t even know that we’re at our peak in data science. Just from a hype cycle perspective, either.
Number three, the industry experts. If you look at Andrew Neen, you look at Kai [Inaudible 00:05:41], you look at what their predictions are, data science is in one of those quadrants where it’s like, “Hey. It’s not a simple task that can be repetitive.” You’ve all seen the videos where it’s like, hey, robots, and AI can help on assembly lines. It’s a controlled environment. Data science is not controlled. It’s out there. It’s in the wild, and you’re having to, “This model,” or even ETL. We can’t even fix ETL. We’re still having to rely on human beings to help and automate, and make sure that we’re curating the right data sets, too. We’re still not at that point, and even if we do get to that point from an ETL perspective, still going to have to have data scientists. No, AI will not replace data scientists in the near future. All that’s subject to change. There could be advances in technology in 10 years that I don’t foresee. I’m not a futurist yet. Maybe, I don’t l know. I don’t have enough education, I guess, or understanding to be that. If you have any questions, put them in the comment section below. Make sure you subscribe, so that you never miss an episode of Big Data Big Questions. Ring that bell. Until next time, see you again. Big Data Big Questions.