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Artificial Intelligence: The New Frontier of the Future

In the not-so-distant future AI will be everywhere, and we’ll need qualified IT pros to make it happen.
A graphical image of a face made out of connectors and circuits representing artificial intelligence and machine learning

You see it everywhere: Siri, fast food kiosks and even Netflix. Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more prevalent, and it’s just the beginning. In the not-so-distant future AI will be everywhere. That means we’ll need qualified IT pros to make it happen. From development, to execution and security, those bringing AI to the world will need solid training and experience. Read on to see how you can be a part of this new frontier of the future.

What Exactly Is Artificial Intelligence?

Contrary to popular belief, AI is not the big brother of science fiction movies. It is, however, an emerging technology that is quickly growing.

Juan Fernandez, vice president of managed IT services at ImageNet Consulting, said AI was created to quicken decision making, reduce the possibility of human error and give humans more time to do the things they want to do.

Fernandez, a CompTIA Subject Matter Expert, breaks AI into three categories:

  • Machine Learning: When AI learns by experience
  • Neural Networks: When AI progressively improves on a task using prior, experienced-based knowledge
  • Deep Learning: When AI learns human characteristics, such as speech, text or image recognition

While AI technology may seem capable of just about anything, Fernandez pointed out the fact  that AI is limited, as it cannot truly embrace humanity. This new breed of technology isn’t capable of creativity or compassion; which is why AI can never fully mimic the human mind. As the AI industry continues to grow, it may be possible for machines to develop the same humanist tendencies as real people, but the technology and innovation just isn’t there yet.

Artificial Intelligence to the Rescue

No matter the industry, AI can help. While in some ways AI is considered the new frontier ushering in innovative ideas and applications, this new technology is already making significant contributions to a variety of industries.

  • In travel and hospitality, AI can determine traffic patterns and manage congestion
  • In the manufacturing world, AI can enhance demand forecasting and process optimization
  • In retail, AI can optimize sales through predictive inventory planning and customer return on investment (ROI)

“It’s giving us insight into everything we do,” Fernandez said. “It’s an exciting time, because never in our history have we had this amount of data for us to harvest and look through and sift through to make decisions on.”

Access to all that data means the real advantage of AI technology is time – or rather, saving time. From auto-correct to self-driving cars, AI can help us become more efficient.

Think about being stuck in traffic with an old-fashioned map versus real-time traffic info and GPS technology; which would be more efficient? Or what about getting an automated phone call from your doctor’s office reminding you about your appointment?

Fernandez said we all enjoy the benefits of these value-added time savers. Even the time saved by the algorithm that lets Netflix suggest entertainment options based on what you previously watched is something we now rely on. All of these things, from the superficial to the lifesaving, are thanks to AI. And Fernandez said we are only beginning the AI climb.

Will Robots Take Our Jobs?

Artificial intelligence brings the inevitable question of whether or not robots will take human jobs. According to recent data and projections, there will be some jobs that machines can do better than humans, especially in fields like manufacturing, telemarketing and retail.

However, fields like software development, data science and network engineering will actually flourish with the evolution of AI, because AI needs skilled people to bring the future forward. At some point, everyone has to look at where the job trends are going and decide whether or not it’s time to make a change, Fernandez said.

The very first step anyone should take in becoming an IT specialist, for example, is to “realize that your journey begins at point A and has a trajectory,” according to Fernandez. As long as there is a goal in sight and a path to follow, a motivated person should be able to accomplish that goal.

The technology industry is where these AI developments will be happening, and it’s a good idea to consider getting into the tech industry, especially if you’re in a position that may someday become obsolete.

“Technology is advancing, even now,” Fernandez said. “This is the start of AI.” Job titles like machine psychotherapist or digital programming philanthropist may exist in the future. “We are legitimately watching history being made again,” he said. “We’re creating the jobs and the trainings to take AI anywhere we can imagine.”

The evolution of AI will bring jobs in development and coding, but also in cybersecurity.

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“Securing AI is going to be bigger than the design of it,” Fernandez pointed out.

He said that while the tech industry will create the content and training needed for the future, a good place to start is with CompTIA A+. After all, he called it “the operator’s code to the creation of AI.”

“Anyone who wants to work in AI will need, of course, a basic understanding of programming to insert code into an algorithm,” Fernandez said.

After CompTIA A+, earning additional CompTIA certifications will advance tech careers and get those who want to be in AI into a particular niche of the industry.

“AI is the outcome of everything else,” Fernandez said. From coding to hardware to security, it’s all going to be important as AI creation and implementation evolves.

On the Forefront of Artificial Intelligence

AI is in its infancy right now. Jobs will be created to help build AI and organically grow the technology.

“We’re digitally transforming ourselves and evolving with technology to create a new world of tech support and functions,” Fernandez said.

Companies like IBM, Microsoft, Google and even the federal government have been developing AI for years.

“There are lots of flavors of AI,” Fernandez said. While we’re not even close to knowing its full potential, we know that what we’ll be able to do with AI is exciting.

“We’re beginning to build a trust in AI; we are falling in love with it.”

Hear more from Fernandez in this on-demand webinar, The Impact of Machine Learning on the Human Race.

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