IBM finds themselves in a bit of an awkward position. They have a fair amount of employees working on their Watson AI to ensure the project becomes better over time. At the same time, any improvements made to Watson AI will only reduce the number of human employees. The company wants so use Watson to slowly phase out small amounts of engineers as well.
The Battle Between AI and Human Operators
Advances in artificial intelligence are tools developed by humans, but are more than capable of replacing those people who helped build it. That sounds wrong on many different levels, yet there is very little one can do about it. IBM is at least honest about its intention with the Watson AI, which now includes slowly replacing human data center engineers.
When IBM customers need to access customer support, they often have to get in touch with a human worker. This process is pretty straightforward, but coming to a solution can often require some back-and-forth communication. This process can be streamlined and improve upon in every possible way by using artificial intelligence to minimize the disruption time.
AI can, in theory, predict when an outage may occur and the necessary measures to prevent it from happening or affecting too many customers. Having a solution capable of taking corrective action or even reroute network traffic in a split-second can save IBM millions of dollars every year.
IBM plans to follow this path in an effort to retain its market share in IT infrastructure management. Even though the company has been rather progressive in recent years, they still struggle with switching older products to AI and the cloud. There is stiff competition in these departments as well, which is not making matters any easier right now. Beating the competition to the punch is the top priority for IBM.
This is another example of how the company is cutting jobs on a regular basis. The company announced major lay offs last year, which was seemingly done to shift focus on cloud computing and AI. This new emphasis on AI has nothing to do with balancing the work or creating labor efficiency. The company wants to make an impact on the IT infrastructure, which often requires decisions like these.
Automating processes such as analyzing network performance data makes a lot of sense. It will improve the overall workflow, reduce issues customers have to contend with, and improve IBM’s position in the market. It is a win-win situation for all parties involved, even though it may lead to more people losing their job in the process.