The head of IBM doesn’t think that automation will threaten most workers’ jobs.
“This is not about replacing people,” CEO Virginia Rometty told an audience at the Gartner Symposium this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s about augmenting what man does.”
Rometty also believes that knowledge of data science will become more prevalent as workplaces become “smarter” and more autonomous, creating new jobs (and forcing an update of old ones) in the process.
For everyone like Rometty who advocates an automated future, however, it seems there are just as many pessimists who believe that machine learning and robotics will end up eliminating broad swaths of jobs. Even highly skilled tech workers are potentially at risk; the rise of sophisticated software, for example, has gradually reduced the number of warm bodies necessary to keep even massive datacenters running.
If this is the trend, then tech pros who specialize in robotics, machine learning, and automation could end up profiting enormously. Even those who aren’t experts in those technologies could stand to bone up on their data science knowledge; according to Simon Hughes, chief data scientist on the Dice Data Science Team, those who don’t want to pursue a full degree in data science can still participate in data “boot camps” that teach analytics skills—check out this list of major ones.