Data Scientists Automated and Unemployed by 2025?

Will Data Scientists be unemployed by 2025? Majority of voters in latest KDnuggets Poll expect expert-level Data Science to be automated in 10 years or less.

Data Science Automation 2025 Data Scientist has been called the sexiest job of the 21st century. But perhaps the century will last only 25 years.

With even knowledge-based jobs like lawyers and accountants being automated, will Data Scientists prove to be an exception?

What predictive analytics professionals predict about the future of their profession?

Latest KDnuggets Poll asked:

When will most expert-level Predictive Analytics/Data Science tasks - currently done by human Data Scientists - be automated?

51% of voters expect this to happen in 10 years or less - see results below. At the same time about a quarter expect this to happen in over 50 years or never.

When will most expert-level Predictive Analytics/Data Science tasks - currently done by human Data Scientists - be automated: [255 voters]
Now (it already happened) (13)
in 1-2 years (10)
in 2-5 years (35)
in 5-10 years (72)
in 10-20 years (42)
in 20-50 years (20)
it will take more than 50 years (16)
never (48)

The regional breakdown was
  • US/Canada, 43%
  • Europe, 28%
  • Asia, 16%
  • Africa/Mideast, 4.7%
  • Latin America, 4.7%
  • AU/NZ, 3.1%

Plotting the results for the top 3 regions, we see only minor regional differences. Asians believe the most in automation, with 60% saying it will happen in 10 years or less and only 17% saying in 50 years or never.

When will Data Science be automated, by Regions
Fig. 1: When will expert-level Data Science Tasks be automated, answers from US/Canada, Europe, and Asia

What do you think?


Brian Stamper, "expert-level" defined by poll
Since we are unclear on what is meant by expert level, we can use the results of this poll to define it - whatever the winning outcome is, say 5-10 years, we then define "expert level" talents as those things which will be automated in 5-10 years.

Katharina Morik, expert level analysis
The answer to the question depends on the definition of "expert-level analysis". More and more subtasks have been made available for automatic processing. However, the expert-level is exactly above. Hence, expert-level analysis becomes more and more demanding until it covers all science and philosophy. At this ultimate point, I doubt robots or other machines can operate without any expert-level above. But. I admit, this is then mere guessing.

Thomas W Dinsmore, Automating Data Science
It's fair to say that some data science tasks are automated today and some will never be automated. The key words, of course, are "expert level"

Gregory Piatetsky: let's call "expert-level analysis" what is done now by PhD-level Data Scientists (some of whom don't have a PhD). I think the results of the poll still stand.