News

Portland Business Journal: AI will remake work as technology progresses
Author: John Chandler
Posted: February 3, 2020

The Portland Business Journal featured Anthony Rhodes, machine learning engineer and university lecturer at PSU's Maseeh Department of Mathematics and Statistics, in a roundup of the impact of artificial intelligence on the jobs of the future. Read the full story by John Chandler in the Portland Business Journal. Below is an excerpt. 

Anthony RhodesFuture jobs and careers
Will there be “careers” in the future or will we be designated for assignments like rivets at a construction site?

“Today’s fast cadence of technological change has altered perceptions and expectations regarding jobs,” said Anthony Rhodes, a computer science instructor at Portland State University and a machine learning engineer at Intel.

A generation ago, he said, it was common for employees to spend their entire working life at a single company, in a particular field.

“The accelerated pace of changes in technology, consumer markets, modalities of media etc. has put pressure on the individual worker to keep pace with this change, to pivot with trends in industry, and to be more malleable and willing to assimilate.”


Surviving The Future
The problem with speculating about the implementation of future technologies is that timelines tend to be vague at best, and we cannot count on an easy transition based on previous eras.

Writing a new algorithm certainly requires less time than massive infrastructure projects.

“Whereas past tech-driven revolutions (e.g. steam, electricity, computing) exerted a significant impact across society and culture at large, these changes were nonetheless usually gradual and often localized,” Rhodes said.

By contrast, he said, it is difficult now to imagine any sector of global society that will not be significantly impacted by AI and machine learning in the next decade or two.

Rhodes said that, in the end, our inquisitive nature will prove to be the difference and the common good will steer AI advances toward the common good.

“I believe that AI and related technologies have the potential to wholly transform our society for the better in a multitude of ways,” he said.

“The future workforce, will, I believe, necessitate a willingness on the part of people to evolve and adapt professionally, as technologies change. ... The key, again, is for our social institutions to help cultivate this adaptation.”