Smart machines and robots may replace highly-trained professionals in the jobs related to medicine, law and IT sectors by 2022, market research firm Gartner has warned.
CIOs have a major role to play in preparing businesses for the impact that artificial intelligence (AI) will have on business strategy and human employment, it added.
“The economics of AI and machine learning will lead to many tasks performed by professionals today becoming low-cost utilities,” said Stephen Prentice, vice president and Gartner Fellow, in a statement on Tuesday.
“AI’s effects on different industries will force the enterprise to adjust its business strategy. Many competitive, high-margin industries will become more like utilities as AI turns complex work into a metered service that the enterprise pays for, like electricity,” Prentice added.
The effects that AI will have on the enterprise will depend on its industry, business, organisation and customers.
Financial services is another industry where jobs such as loan origination and insurance claims adjustment could be automated.
“Ultimately, AI and humans will differentiate themselves from each other,” said Prentice.
AI is most successful in addressing problems that are reasonably well-defined and narrow in scope, whereas humans excel at defining problems that need to be solved and at solving complex problems.
“They can collaborate with one another, and when situations change significantly, humans can adjust,” the Gartner Fellow said.
AI will eventually replace many routine functions of the IT organisation, particularly on the operations side, such as in system administration, help desk, project management and application support.
Some roles will disappear, but AI will improve some skills shortages, and the IT organisation as a whole will increasingly focus on more creative work that differentiates the enterprise.
“The CIO should commission the enterprise architecture team to identify which IT roles will become utilities and create a timeline for when these changes become possible,” said Prentice.