AI 101:Prepping For a AI Takeover

Brian McNeal

AI 101:Prepping For a AI Takeover

We’ve all seen a Sci-Fi movie or two that depicts a futuristic world that is run by robots. This concept has been around since The Jetsons all the way up until iRobot, and it’s slowly becoming a reality. But not in the way that it’s depicted in movies. In short, artificial intelligence is quickly gaining traction with various job markets, and for good reason.

One of the main goals that most businesses want to achieve is to lower their cost of operations while increasing their profit. Artificial intelligence will help accomplish this by allowing businesses to pay a one-time fee for the equipment or software, rather than having to pay the yearly salary and healthcare costs of several human employees. Businesses will also benefit from fewer traces of human-error in the final product that is produced.

Take a look at the journalism industry. Several media outlets have started using AI to produce more high-value and accurate work. The Washington Post, for example, has started using its own AI technology, Heliograph, to produce nearly 300 short reports that covered things such as the Rio Olympics and the congressional and gubernatorial races on Election Day of 2016. During the use of this and similar technology, the media industry has seen the error rate in the copy decrease, while the volume of output has increased.

You can also take a trip to your local Walmart to see that there are rarely over 5 cashiers at registers nowadays.Meanwhile, there are several self-checkout registers that are getting people in and out of the store seamlessly. Amazon Go, which is a new type of store that doesn’t require check out at all, is another example of the AI takeover. This works by allowing you to simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, grab your groceries and walk out. And lastly, take a look at the kiosks that McDonald’s and Wendy’s are placing in some of their stores. These digital kiosks allow customers to place their orders via a touch-screen within the restaurant. This is again attractive to businesses because it will ultimately reduce labor costs.

This shift in the usage of artificial intelligence doesn’t just apply to the retail and fast food world, although these two industries will get hit the hardest. According to Kai-Fu Lee, an influential technologist, robots are likely to replace 50% of all jobs in the next decade. Now, on the contrary, this doesn’t mean that jobs will totally disappear. A lot of jobs will just be redefined to work alongside robots. This will more than likely involve what’s called “machine learning and predictive analytics.” Which basically means, you will be inputting data that allows the robots to complete tasks and work requests. Here are two very important tools that will be used in order to implement this:


R is a programming language that is used by statisticians and data miners for statistical analyses and graphics. One of the good things about the R programming language is that it is free and runs on most laptops, including Windows and Mac. There are several sites that offer free tutorials for learning R language, including Data Camp , Coursera, and Try R. If these all look too complicated or look like plain gibberish to you, here’s a list of free online statistics courses.


Python is a high-level programming language that involves programming for general purposes. It is also insanely expensive, so if you are running a small business I wouldn’t recommend in making the investment. This program is generally reserved for larger organizations due to the expansive cost to implement the program, so if you are running a larger company, then I highly recommend taking the leap.

With all of that being said, this doesn’t mean quit your current job or abandon your dreams to pursue a career analyzing data. I would simply recommend reading up on it in your spare time and taking a few classes if you can. And although this topic may sound dire, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Outside of learning these two data languages, there are still several jobs that have a low risk of being run over by artificial intelligence. This includes nurses, dentists, practitioners, songwriters, social workers, athletes, lawyers, fishers and a long list of others. These jobs will remain safe, in part, because they hinge on creativity, human interaction, empathy, multi-tasking and making verbal arguments; all things that can’t be phased out by artificial intelligence.


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Twitter: @BrianJMcNeal


AI 101:Prepping For a AI Takeover