Artificial intelligence will change the global economy and tech industry so fast in the coming years that 60% of the IT jobs that we’ll have in 2025 haven’t even been invented yet, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd predicted during his keynote session at Oracle OpenWorld 2018.
It was one of three predictions Hurd presented, all focused on the fundamental role that AI will play in our working worlds. Here’s a summary of all three:
1. By 2025, all cloud applications will include AI. AI is most valuable when it’s embedded into an application, and therefore into the work people do every day: helping a finance person know which accounts payable need the most attention, helping a recruiter know which job candidates to assess more closely, helping a supply chain manager know which shipments are in trouble without having to manually run a report.
“AI will be integrated into all those applications,” Hurd said. The same integrated approach goes for blockchain, the distributed ledger technology, he said. Blockchain will be integrated anywhere that people need a more trusted, verified exchange of information, rather than function as a standalone application.
Those integrated emerging technology capabilities will further separate cloud applications from legacy, on-premises apps, and thus accelerate cloud adoption, Hurd said.
2. About 85% of companies’ interactions with their customers will be automated. “You won’t have to deal with the, ‘Who are you again? What’s your number again? Where you from? What’s your problem?’” Hurd said. “All of that will get automated as we move forward.”
Instead of having to do that that kind of low-level support work, employees can spend their time solving the most difficult customer problems and thinking about better ways to serve customers, he said.
Companies need AI-driven automation because the amount of information that a company has about its customers, and the possible ways to best use that insight, are beyond the ability of humans to assess and make judgments—especially given customer expectations for real-time responses. “This has to be done in something measured in milliseconds,” Hurd said.
3. Roughly 60% of the IT jobs that will exist in 2025 haven’t been invented yet. Hurd’s key prediction here for IT pros: “This is not going to be less people in IT. I frankly believe there will actually be more people in IT, but more people in IT working on a different set of tasks.”
He offered examples, such as a supervisor of robots. “Everyone needs a boss, including bots,” Hurd said. If 85% of customer interactions become automated, people will play an essential role in making sure the bots doing that interaction are making the right decisions and leaving people with a good feeling about your company.
Hurd sees a day when AI-assisted health technicians, specialists in human-machine user experience, and many more IT jobs we haven’t thought of yet are the norm. These new opportunities will be made possible by automating more mundane tasks.
Hurd also cited database administrators, whose work will change because of the new Oracle Autonomous Database, which takes over nearly all of the manual work of provisioning, tuning, patching, and securing the database. “This is going to free up people to work on higher-level tasks,” he said.
On the Mark
As Hurd presented his new predictions, he also looked back at his predictions from previous Oracle OpenWorlds. For example, he predicted in 2015 that 80% of production apps will be in the cloud by 2025; Hurd noted that other analysts have since gotten on board with that notion. In 2016, Hurd predicted that the number of corporate-owned data centers will decrease by 80% by 2025, as companies shift those workloads to the cloud. Last year alone, 15% of US corporate-owned data centers shut down, he said, putting that prediction on or ahead of course.
“I might have been a little bit slow, as it turns out, as opposed to aggressive, but the predictions were true,” Hurd said. “Customers are using cloud technology, and now you're going to see a new era as we integrate AI into basically all of our applications as we move forward.”