The Jobs That Artificial Intelligence Will Create

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As artificial intelligence systems become ever more sophisticated in the coming decade, a wave of job displacement will almost certainly occur.  A great deal of research and popular press has been devoted to the threat that automation will eliminate a broad swath of jobs across the world.

As the authors explains, we’ve been overlooking the many new jobs that will be created.  And that’s not too surprising because so many of those jobs will look nothing like those that exist today.

In a global study of more than 1,000 large companies already using or testing AI and machine-learning systems, Accenture identified the emergence of entire categories of new, uniquely human jobs.  These roles are not replacing old ones.  They are novel, requiring skills and training that have no precedents.

Specifically, the Accenture research reveals three new categories of AI-driven business and technology jobs which they’ve labeled trainers, explainers, and sustainers.  Humans in these roles will complement the tasks performed by cognitive technology, ensuring that the work of machines is both effective, as well as fair, transparent, and auditable.


This first category of new jobs, called trainers, are human workers who teach AI systems how they should perform; and this category is emerging rapidly.  At one end of the spectrum, trainers help natural-language processors and language translators make fewer errors.  At the other end, they teach AI algorithms how to mimic human behaviors.

Customer service chatbots, for example, need to be trained to detect the complexities and subtleties of human communication.  Yahoo Inc. is trying to teach its language processing system that people do not always literally mean what they say.  Thus far, Yahoo engineers have developed an algorithm that can detect sarcasm on social media and websites with an accuracy of at least 80 percent.

Consider, then, the job of “empathy trainer”; these individuals will teach AI systems to show compassion.  The New York-based startup Kemoko Inc., during business as Koko, which sprung from the MIT Media Lab, has developed a machine-learning system that can help digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa...

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