It’s very difficult to predict the future, and when you are trying to choose what to study for your future career, things get even more complicated and confusing. At a recent Meet The Stemettes panel event, our panel was asked the question…

As the world moves towards Robotics, AI and Machine Learning – What Subjects Do You Think Will Become More Relevant In 10 Years?

So we put it to our expert, Ruth Miller, read her answer below…

10 years seems a long time when you’re working with technology. I’ve already got domestic robots – a vacuum cleaner and a lawnmower. Both are named and feel like part of the family – Dobby the house-elf and Roy the mower. Some of my neighbours are disconcerted seeing a robot almost silently moving around the garden, others can’t wait to get their own. It’s by far the greenest way to cut my grass and vacuum the house and it saves me at least 4 hours a week, so I’ve become really attached to my robots.

So what? Well robotics, AI and machine learning have been around for a long time. Scaling them up depends on new technology such as quantum computing, and the endless amounts of data we are now producing via mobile phones, connected devices and everyone’s favourite social media. Our acceptance and adoption of this technology is a different matter. Somehow these things need to be ‘humanised’.

So What Should I Study?

  1. Mathematics/Statistics/Economics – it’s all about understanding how you can model real-life and predict outcomes. Read more on Quantitative Analysis here.
  2. Data – understand how IT works with both structured and unstructured data, and get some experience in data preparation and visualisation tools, along with databases and SQL. Read more on Data Science here.
  3. Psychology and Behavioural Sciences – yes a bit weird I know, but if we are truly going to live surrounded by technology it has to make some sense to us.

Things haven’t changed since the industrial revolution, where people rejected mechanisation for fear of losing their jobs. It’s important to appreciate how this advanced technology is successfully integrated into our lives. A good example is the use of exoskeletons to help disabled people walk, and help factory workers avoid injury when doing repetitive tasks. Good design based on excellent technology and a view to improving lives surely is the way to go.

This piece was written by Ruth Miller, Dell Technologies Enterprise Architect.


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