My husband and I had lunch with our 19-year-old college sophomore last weekend. He's majoring in IT. I tried to persuade him to take a look at artificial intelligence (AI) as a career option. After all, it will likely be taking over his family's jobs — and we'll need him to support us.
You see, his dad is an accountant, one of "The Five Jobs Robots Will Take First," according to AdAge magazine. "Robo-accounting is in its infancy," the article explains, "but it's awesome at dealing with accounts payable and receivable, inventory control, auditing, and several other accounting functions that humans used to be needed to do."
Another of the top five jobs robots will take according to AdAge? His mother's. Given the fact that, last year, IBM and marketing company The Drum announced that Watson, IBM's AI tool, edited an entire magazine on its own, my days in publishing may, indeed, be numbered.
And, finally, there's his sister. She plans to follow in the footsteps of a long line of teachers in our family — unfortunately, it may be the end of the line. IBM's Teacher Advisor With Watson "is loaded with the lesson plans and proven strategies [needed] to teach across a variety of elementary grade levels and student abilities," reports 3BL Media. "And because it's cognitive, Teacher Advisor will get smarter — and better — with training and use."
According to Harnessing Automation for a Future That Works, a McKinsey Global Institute Report, "almost every occupation has partial automation potential." The report estimates that about half of all the activities employees are paid to do in the world's workforce could be automated by adapting current technologies.
The good news, according to McKinsey, is that less than 5 percent of occupations are candidates for full automation. Take internal auditing, for example. In this month's cover story, "Audit in an Age of Intelligent Machines," David Schubmehl, research director for Cognitive/AI Systems at IDC, says "There's going to be tremendous growth in AI-based auditing, looking at risk and bias, looking at data."
So maybe there's hope after all. Maybe these technologies will just supplement and enhance our jobs. Maybe they will even make us more productive. Maybe my family and the pugs won't have to move in with my son.
While I'm still the editor, I'd like to welcome Kayla Flanders, senior audit manager at Pella Corp., who joins us as the new contributing editor of "Governance Perspectives." A big thank you to Mark Brinkley for his years serving in that position. And, finally, we will be saying goodbye to InternalAuditor.org's "Marks on Governance" blog at the end of December. Norman Marks' contributions to the magazine have been invaluable. In addition to his blog, he has served as a contributing editor and written numerous articles throughout the years. Norman also was a member of The IIA's Publications Advisory Committee and continues to serve on the magazine's Editorial Advisory Board. We look forward to continued collaborations.