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There is no doubt millions of jobs will be absorbed by impending robotic and AI technologies. It is already beginning in the financial and services industries where there is a major push to improve efficiency and replace the decades old infrastructure which handles mundane transaction processing. Millions of new jobs will be created for data scientists, systems architects, machine learning experts, robot designers who can teach robots how to design robots, manufacturing systems engineers who can design the factories of the future, bioinformatics experts, and many others with advanced skills. The key question we need to focus on is how we can transform our educational system to create these new skills. The demand will be there. The supply may not be.

There is hope the administration is finally getting on board and providing some leadership in AI, and equally important with the educational system needs. This week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty were among 25 members appointed to the Administration’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. The board will make recommendations on policies to help bridge the skills gaps between American students and workers and jobs needed in the modern economy. This is an overdue, but really important, action. 

CNBC reported the story and titled the article as “Apple and IBM CEOs join Trump’s advisory board to make sure AI doesn’t kill jobs”. There is no possibility of prevented the killing of jobs, but as noted in my prior post, many new jobs will be created, and we need a newly energized educational system to ensure the new jobs do not all go to China where huge investments in AI are being made. The Advisory Board has a good mix of leaders from community colleges, universities, and technology companies. The creation of this Board follows another Administration move to create an executive order to foster AI technology. Seems the alarm bells have gone off in Washington. There are reasons to be hopeful. If you want to see the full list of the 25 members of Advisory Board, click here.