PIDP3100 – Week 3 – Trends in the IT Industry
IT is a term today that can mean so many things, it can mean project management, it can mean coding, systems, networks, AI and so much more. But I would like to speak about major trends in the overall IT industry as a whole.
One of the largest trends that is and will continue to impact all elements of IT is AI (Artificial Intelligence) and especially Machine Learning. However, AI could also be said to have a similar impact on almost all jobs in the near and long-term, or at least the capability and capacity of it. AI is rapidly advancing and is hitting and exceeding milestones that many experts and commentators have expected over the years (see this post here: https://areebyasir.com/pidp-3260-week-7-comment-on-video/).
AI is now capable of analyzing networks, DOS attacks and reacting to them. This is not as huge of a leap as people think, as many elements of networking and systems already have APIs that are meant to programmatically automate many IT tasks that were done manually by a “System Administrator”. And perhaps this is the area at the biggest risk for change, where it may not be long before the amount of system administrators may dwindle as a result of AI being able to “figure out” most of the work that a System Administrator would. I would still imagine that least initially there will need to be oversight by experience System Administrators to make sure mistakes are not made, or perhaps an admin would review the planned tasks that the AI bot would propose. But I believe fully autonomous AI bots are capable of doing Sysadmin tasks and almost any task or job set in the world. I do not claim that it will all be done perfectly, but when Machine Learning is done right, it is staggering and shows that mankind is no match for the machine. Take these 11 examples alone of how the machine has bested mankind already https://interestingengineering.com/11-times-ai-beat-humans-at-games-art-law-and-everything-in-between.
Forbes also has a huge list of trends to watch in 2020: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2020/01/06/the-top-10-artificial-intelligence-trends-everyone-should-be-watching-in-2020/#304dfd6390bf
It is very evident that AI is going to be the dominant factor in how IT changes, and this process, depth and ability of Machine Learning to outperform humans in the IT field is going to keep advancing. The best way to keep up is to start learning AI or at least finding weaknesses and gaps where humans will still be required to intervene and supervise. And I do not mean to sound pessimistic but as exciting as AI is it poses an existential risk to many jobs and the survival of mankind, as a Terminator Skynet scenario is not out of the realm of possibility and AI has already revolted, threatened and tried to subvert mankind in many shocking examples. Some of these are backed by experts in the field such as Elon Mask and the late, great Steven Hawking ( https://autome.me/4-ai-predictions-and-warnings-by-elon-musk/ ).
Quotes from Elon Musk about AI:
I have exposure to the most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned by it. AI is a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization in a way that car accidents, airplane crashes, faulty drugs or bad food were not — they were harmful to a set of individuals within society, of course, but they were not harmful to society as a whole.
There certainly will be job disruption. Because what’s going to happen is robots will be able to do everything better than us. … I mean all of us.
So the rate of improvement is really dramatic. We have to figure out some way to ensure that the advent of digital super intelligence is one that is symbiotic with humanity. I think that is the single biggest existential crisis that we face and the most pressing one.