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This entry includes my opinion about @roxanamurariu’s story "Automation, AI, and the Future of Jobs" I'll try to cover this topic with a perfect example of a career that evolved from a hobby to the invention of the scientific method, and which today is essentially a data science. Let me guide you through the evolution of Astronomy.
The article shows us the evolution of the workforce on time. Throughout the reading, the author explains the changes during the "first, second, and third industrial revolutions" and introduces the fourth industrial revolution with artificial intelligence + modern robotic as the leading root cause.
In general, I like how the author presents the topic, primarily due to the references supporting her ideas. I enjoyed the reading, and I agree with most of the points.
The references are essential since they give the reader more context, and it helps to illustrate her points.
In my opinion, the third industrial revolution is still in progress and is too soon to consider we are experiencing the fourth. Artificial intelligence, modern robotics, gene editing, and 3D printing are part of the spectrum of the third industrial revolution. Moreover, I think there are some blockers like computer power, specific Internet-related issues, and the upcoming generations' learning curve, which prevent us from moving into a new technology revolution.
Another fact that supports my argument is that the most advanced robots of Boston Dynamics do not use artificial intelligence at their core. The technology is still in progress, and it will be some time until we can see robots immersed in our day-to-day life. If you are interested in their technology, please refer to this Boston Dynamic talk and the “Flipping the script with ATLAS“ blog post.
Finally, I think the fourth industrial revolution is highly attached to quantum computers. Once we control the quantum power to process a large amount of data, the new era of computers will start, which will allow the fourth industrial revolution to begin.
As I promised at the beginning of the story, let me talk about how Astronomy evolved.
Let's talk about the past. The first "modern" data scientist was Tycho Brahe, who generated detailed data about the stars in the sky using his naked eyes. That data allowed Johannes Kepler to formulate the equations that are essential in today's astronomy. During the same era, Galileo used a telescope to generate the second generation of observations and confirm Tycho's and Kepler's works. Finally, Newton wrote Principia, which describes the bodies' mechanics using math language based in all the previous work to support of his ideas. Every effort helps build the future.
Today there are multiples ground telescopes, and we have the first generation of telescopes orbiting the earth. The astronomer's profession has evolved with the new technology, and it has been adapted according to human reality.
In October of 2021, there are 4300+ exoplanets confirmed. Are we alone?
What do you think today's astronomer does? Astronomers spend most of their time watching a computer screen than using telescopes (I'll refer you to Dr. Becky's video ""). However, the objective of astronomy as science is fundamentally the same.
In a nutshell, as a new technology revolution happens, new roles and jobs will appear, and computers will do the tedious processes. Moreover, as described in the article, deep learning, data models, and artificial intelligence will help build our future by classifying data, creating models, making bold predictions.
Talking about the future is a complex task that requires data from the past and continuous monitoring of the present. The idea is to reduce the risk of an undesired future. However, long-term predictions carry uncertainty (new science discoveries, changes in humans priorities, lack of data etc.) that make it hard to generate a 100% accurate model.
It is the reader's responsibility to understand the scope and the limitations of the predictions? While reading this kind of article, it is the perfect time to self-evaluate your current skill set and identify new items to add to your learning path. For instance, how many languages do you know? Do you consider that speaking to a computer is a new kind of language?
What a remarkable time it is to learn how to communicate your ideas to a computer!
It's well known that with the right amount of data, we can make predictions about the next state of a well-defined system. Nevertheless, you have to remember there is not enough data neither computer power to model the human race, so it will be impossible to predict the future. At least in 2021.
Lastly, If you want to try to make reasonable predictions about something, there is one thing you can do: become an expert in a specific field. Once you are involved enough within a single topic, you will have enough information to create a model and make short-term predictions. For instance, don't you try to predict the end of your favorite series? Well, it is the same, but in real life.
"We will need to reinvent ourselves periodically: get an education, get a job, upskill, get a job, upskill, get a job, etc."
That quote clearly describes my life strategy. Once a year, I try to evaluate myself regarding how useful I can be for the industry. As an example, because I am part of the software development business as a developer, I try to organize the conferences I want to attend, the books I should read, and the courses I would like to watch during the following year. I would love to read some of the other people's strategies.
I didn't think before about the top 10 most desired skills to get a job. As a developer, I always think about the new technical skill that I need to unblock. However, after reading the article, I can see how soft skills are equally important as hard skills. It makes me think that we work with humans, and having excellent soft skills will make you a team player within your company.
I want to use this space to say everything will be alright. Technology is here to help. You don't need to be an expert in everything. Humanity is about communities, and everybody in a community has a way to contribute to its success.
There is a misconception that every technology revolution carries more problems than benefits due because it could cause some people to lose their jobs. You can read more about the term Technophobia in a paper called "Psychological Barriers to Digital Living in Older Adults: Computer Anxiety as Predictive Mechanism for Technophobia." I hope it can help you to clarify your ideas around that topic.
Have fun, learn something new as soon as possible, and double-check your lifestyle to allow future humans to enjoy the world as you do.
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