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According to Microsoft, by 2025, there will be 149 million new technology-oriented jobs globally across privacy and trust, cybersecurity, data analytics, and cloud and software development.

We quizzed Education Ecosystem CEO and technology guru Dr. Michael J. Garbade on how AI technology is changing to impact the future of IT. 

Education Ecosystem is a startup in the online education landscape that plans to revolutionize the sector by targeting intermediate tech professionals and college students. The platform works using a project-based model, covering areas such as artificial intelligence, programming, cybersecurity, data science, and blockchain.

1. Michael, in what ways is AI being used to perform the tasks hitherto done by humans, and what is its place in the future?

There are many ways in which AI can do the work that humans have traditionally done. Contrary to popular belief (or myth), the idea is not to take away people’s jobs but improve efficiency and productivity at the workplace. Imagine doing repetitive and mundane tasks all day long? This creates a lot of room for error.

Today’s world is run on data. But having too much data that you can’t extract insights from or utilize is as good as not having the data in the first place. Depending on the amount and complexity of the data at hand, it is always better to run AI-based algorithms to read the data and provide the insights you need.

The point is you can use AI for speed, efficiency, productivity, and more. There exist limits to human capabilities. AI starts from there. That’s the difference. And that’s where the opportunity and the future of AI lies.

2. Which sectors do you think are most interested in leveraging the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Are these sectors currently using AI? What are the key opportunities?

Perhaps the right question is, “which sectors or industries aren’t using AI.” Major industries such as healthcare, education, transportation, finance, manufacturing, entertainment, marketing, and even sports are all using AI.

The coronavirus pandemic is still with us. Humans can’t keep up with all the medical data. This has to be left in the hands of AI. The same goes for marketing and every other industry. We are limited in what we do. Our greatest strength is to improve the technology so that it better services our needs. Almost every sector is leveraging AI.

3. Is it true that AI will augment human capacities, or will it be a hindrance?

When you look at AI, you see humans who know what they can and can’t do. Human beings can create and program systems that can process vast amounts of data within a few seconds, but we can’t do it ourselves. AI is not a hindrance here. It is only amplifying what we can do. Obviously, as we embrace AI, there will be some casualties in terms of the job market. But apart from that, the future is exciting. We are in the early stages.

4. Critics think that AI will become more intelligent than humans. How can we predict how AI will evolve?

There will be critics, obviously. But what would be the purpose of creating expensive intelligent systems that are less intelligent than us? Of course, we cannot ignore what critics say. We should be more concerned about making sure that they don’t overrun us. This is what people fear the most.

If we can create intelligent and predictable systems that we can control, I think it will be good for humanity. We already see this. We need AI for weather patterns, predicting outbreaks, and more. This kind of intelligence preserves our earth and saves our lives. Critics are more worried about the ethics of AI rather than its intelligence.

5. Humans are still needed to drive AI technology and ensure its proper usage. Is it possible that one day AI will become smart enough to make these judgment calls?

We are largely in the age of artificial intelligence applied to single, routine tasks, otherwise called “Narrow AI.” We are not yet at the stage where AI can be used to make specific and big strategic decisions. However, we cannot discount the potential and ability to develop smarter AI solutions in the near future. Yes, we are not at that point today, but we should think about and discuss how AI will affect our societies for us to continue reaping its benefits as well as mitigate its risks.

6. You are in the field of education. Education is one critical way that addresses concerns about AI. What is the current state of education?

Presently, AI is being taught in various courses across top universities. AI has the potential to  Increase outcomes, access, retention, and lower learning costs. On the learners' side, AI has the potential to track them and help in offering them a personalized lifelong learning experience.

7. Finally, protecting data continues to be a big concern for organizations of all shapes and sizes. How might artificial intelligence factor into this?

We have all seen significant developments in machine learning, which is a field in AI. In machine learning, machines learn complex algorithms that enable them to analyze huge data sets. The machines then make predictions from the data sets. Apart from enhancing the machines’ skills, AI has accelerated the collection of huge amounts of data and is being used to gather and monitor information on human behavior. This has an effect on data protection.

 

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