AI employment crunch is "fanciful", claims HPE exec

Artificial intelligence will not replace human jobs but will instead help to augment human intelligence, it has been claimed.

Speaking at HPE Discover in Las Vegas, executive VP and GM of HPE Software, Robert Youngjohns, called the idea of AI and machine learning replacing humans "fanciful".

"Everything and everyone is producing data, whether it's enterprise apps, mobile phones, wearable devices, thermostats, sensors, log files, and more and more," said Youngjohns. "Machine learning does is employ advanced techniques - statistical inference, pattern recognition, artificial neural networks - to understand information in context and reveal hidden insights and predict outcomes"

"We need a pragmatic way to get and harness this, to augment human intelligence of our people and our organisation. This isn't about replacing people. Sometimes there's this fanciful view of machine learning and artificial intelligence will be replacing the intelligent [people] is a little far fetched. This is about augmenting human intelligence, making our people more insightful, more effective and more responsive so we can collectively deliver superior business outcomes," he added.

Asked by IT Pro why he was so confident in this prediction when others are predicting the imminent demise of jobs and the rise of the machines, Youngjohns said he would "never say never" to anything, but that it is a case of "stages and phases".

"When people talk about AI, they immediately go to 'ex-machina' and the robot that does everything and it's an incredible power with human characteristics and so on and that may well be something that happens later on down the track," Youngjohns said. "But I think that the real power of the analytics frameworks over the next five - 10 years is its ability to augment the decision-making processes we already have."

"We are drowning in information and if you can have tools to help you sort through it, select it, look at it in a different way, it can actually enhance the innate qualities we have. So that's why I talk about it being about augmented human intelligence as the next phase," he concluded.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.