The tech world is abuzz with the possibilities and the perils of artificial intelligence. Among the myriad questions being asked: What does this technology mean for the IT workforce? With AI's growing capabilities, there is concern that the answer to that question is lost jobs. Why pay a person when an AI system could do the same job faster and for far less money?
That fear is not entirely unfounded. In May, AI was credited with cutting 3,900 jobs, according to a report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
That statistic, while startling, doesn't necessarily portend a long-term trend, a future in which IT jobs are swallowed whole by the inevitable forward march of AI systems. New technology also creates the demand for new skills and new roles.
"The job you have today in IT might not be the same job you have tomorrow in IT. But I don't think we've ever seen a shift in human technology where at the far side of it there was just less work to do," Neil Katz, co-founder and COO of EyeLevel.ai, which helps companies to build LLM-powered applications, tells InformationWeek.
So, how will AI change IT jobs? What functions could it take over for humans, and what roles will humans be stepping into as AI evolves?
Job Functions Ripe for an AI Takeover
Simple, repetitive tasks are first in line for the application of AI. Basic data entry and processing functions are likely candidates. Likewise, entry level IT helpdesk and support roles, hardly strangers to automation, could be further shifted away from human workers to AI.
"I know that we're actually looking at things like that right now within our workplace of where are the places that we can automate, where we're not going to need a customer support individual," shares Kristin Hales, vice president of people operations at Impartner, a channel management solution provider.