Will A.I. take over data analytics?

by Justinas Aleksiejus

During my application to The Data School, a recurring question kept coming to my thoughts: Will A.I. ever replace data analysts?

To answer this, I thought of an analogy. Think about the aviation world—specifically, commercial flights and their use of autopilots. Consider the autopilot: a sophisticated algorithm trusted with the control of a flight, responsible for the safety of all its passengers. This system, conceptualized over a century ago in 1912, still operates under the supervision of human pilots. But why do we insist on human intervention? Is it a lack of trust in the autopilot’s capabilities, or rather a deliberate choice to ensure human oversight during critical phases, such as takeoff and landing or even emergency situations?

I believe in a similar trajectory for the realm of data analytics. AI systems will likely automate routine and laborious tasks, thereby freeing up experts and specialists to work on more complex aspects of the analysis. This is not necessarily to say that AIs won't be capable; it's an acknowledgment of our preference for human judgment and accountability when it comes to trust in the service, product, or outcome.

With all that said, I don't know if or when we will have autonomous planes or fully AI analytics. But I hope to see technology as a partner and not an enemy.