AI Talent Pool in 2020: Past, Present & Future

Albert Christopher
May 28, 2019 · 5 min read
Country comparison is done by benchmarking every country against the United States

AI will transform the way we work, is a known fact. ‘How will that happen,’ is a subject of numerous debates. While the demand for skilled AI professionals is on the rise, the blurry picture of available talent pool is widening the gap between demand and supply.

The myth ‘AI is coming for our jobs’ floating in the corporate world is a hindrance in AI adoption.

However, the research says something else.

According to a survey by Dun & Bradstreet about 40% of organizations are adding more jobs as a result of bringing AI into their business.

The survey that was conducted on 100 business executives from Global 2000 organizations, who are working in AI and machine learning, reported that

· There were just 8% of respondents who revealed that their organizations were cutting the jobs post AI implementation

· About 34% of respondents revealed that job demand in their organization was same regardless of AI implementation

· About 18% of respondents believed that AI has not impacted their workforce at all

And if this is not enough to allay the fears, here’s something more to ponder on…

With artificial intelligence taking over our jobs, it will be a blessing in disguise, as it will increase efficiency and reduce the cost. Think about it — with the automation of routine tasks, we the humans will be free to do something more creative and think beyond data.

It is important to understand here that it is the responsibility of the CTOs and CEOs to ensure the workforce that artificial intelligence is not meant to displace jobs but to redefine them.

The Other Side of a Coin … New Jobs On the Horizon!

As there is always a second side to any situation. Here’s the other side to artificial intelligence, which is that AI will only streamline the current jobs and workforce will have to retrain, upscale and learn new skills to stay employable in the AI-enabled work place.

World over studies prove this…

Various studies have revealed that the management need not fear about losing jobs to AI. In fact, AI will only make those jobs more strategic.

McKinsey, for instance, in its separate study concluded that the proportion of work that will be displaced by 2030 is expected to be lower due to technical, economic and social factors that affect AI adoption.

A similar report from PwC stated that about 30% of the existing jobs in the UK are vulnerable to automation from robotics and artificial intelligence by the early 2030s. However, it also stated that the chances of jobs disappearing were lower as compared to the changed nature of the existing jobs.

Validating the above two reports was the report from the World Economic Forum, which concluded that no doubt the machines will take over numerous jobs from us (humans), however, this ‘Robot Revolution’ will create 58 million more new jobs in the coming five years.

According to a report by PwC, if AI will displace around 7 million jobs then roughly around 7.2 million jobs will be created as well.

So then what is stopping us?

AI Adoption Hindrance — The fear of AI Snatching Up the Jobs

Globally, companies are adopting artificial intelligence to solve their business problems to become AI-driven enterprises, however, the route is full of challenges/obstacles like

· Lack of data science resources

· Losing valuable time with manual processes

· Being not able to trust in artificial intelligence processes

This apart, the researchers around the world have observed a disturbing trend with the key observations being –

· Demand for top-tier AI talent has never been higher

· 🔗AI specialists with strong educational profiles and experience are still relatively rare

· Anecdotal accounts from recruiters reveal that they are unable to fill the positions because there is a dearth of skilled talent in the field

So how is the industry fighting this mindset? While there are numerous researches and studies around the world. Here’s a brief glance at how the organizations deploying AI will see an impact on the key functional areas.

Profound Impact of AI on Different Functional Areas

Stiff Competition between AI-Driven and Non-AI-Driven Economies: Forrester predictions from 2017’s Artificial Intelligence Will Drive The Insights Revolution stated “AI-driven organizations will steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less-informed competitors.”

Quick View at Global AI Talent Pool!

The demand for skilled AI professionals is raging fire with countries like — the US, China, India, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, France, Spain and Singapore — in that order.

The US at 100% penetration of artificial intelligence skills, is the benchmark for other countries like China with about 92% of AI talent found here. India, Israel and Germany come close third, fourth and fifth with 84%, 54% and 45% of AI talent found in these countries.

The US stands a clear winner in terms of skilled AI professionals across various categories including research, followed closely by China at number two and the UK at number third. Australia and Canada are the other two countries with highest penetration of AI talent at number four and five respectively.

Budding Stars & the Challenges ahead

While the 🔗demand for skilled AI professionals is on the rise, the place where all the talent is nurtured is facing severe crunch. Simply because the universities are not able to recruit professors. In addition, the enrolment in the related program has more than doubled in the last four years, with an increase recruitment of faculties by only 17%.

Reason…

The experienced researchers and recent doctorates prefer private sectors because of high salaries, as compared to professors. Result is lack of experienced staff in the universities, where vast majority of ML talent is nurtured.

Building the Future Talent Pool …

In order to bridge the gap and build the AI talent pool for the future then we need to train not only the students but also retrain the existing employees. It is a simple thing of accepting what the technology has to offer — higher efficiency, reduced cost, and what will humans bring to the table — personal touch and creativity.

Albert Christopher

Written by

Researcher, Writer, AI geek. Love to play with tech. #cobots #coding #algorithms

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