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How To Prepare for the AI Revolution As A Student

Updated: Mar 5

The Economist reported a while back in 2016 that automation will remove many jobs in the future. One example they gave is where a deep-learning software outperformed human radiologist by 50% in classifying malignant tumors. In another example, in that same year, DoNotPay a bot made to challenge traffic summonses successfully challenged 160,000 out of 250,000 tickets according to Not so recently, McDonald's too have started automating their business. I just ordered a Big Mac from McDonald’s automated self-ordering kiosk while typing this article :x

From the chart above you can see that jobs that have a high chance of automation (the ones at the bottom) are routine jobs while jobs that have a low chance of being automated (those at the top) are those that require more creativity and analytics.

As a student, how should you prepare for this AI revolution? While there is no doubt that, some jobs are in jeopardy 5, 10, or 20 years down the road, you should not worry if you are studying in fields that are “future proof”. While automation may displace certain professions, it could also create employment growth in others.

A recent study by McKinsey & Company showed that jobs that require human interaction and technology are not susceptible to automation. In fact, automation and AI may even see a boost in productivity in these fields’ thus improving wages. AI may even create up to 58 million new jobs by 2022 according to Forbes with some of the fastest growing job opportunities include data analyst, software developers, and jobs that require “human skills".

Looking at the News Straits Time article, we see many jobs that will survive the AI revolution are related to STEM field or in areas where the “human touch” such as coaches, healthcare professionals and marketing are needed. Indeed the top five highest paying jobs in Malaysia are all related to STEM courses with computer science graduates consistently having the highest starting salary.

Do your research before considering what degree to pursue in the future. A left-handed puppetry degree might end up being a viable course after all =P

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