The Human Impact of a Capable AI

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715095

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Human Impact of a Capable AI

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75109

    The point at which you need to worry is when a company believes it doesn't need a DBA.  It doesn't have to be the reality, just the belief.

    If a DBA has set up their servers correctly then they will have automated a whole lot of their daily tasks.  You can reach the point where an instance can be left to its own devices for  a considerable period of time before some action is needed.  I'd say that the period of time will be until the people who got rid of the DBAs have been congratulated, been promoted, moved on.

    Things won't go pear shaped overnight.  The decay will most likely be the slow erosion of security.  More users granted elevated privileges etc.
    Service packs not applied.  I doubt that the lessons of this weekends NHS debacle will be learned.

    Eventually someone will do something in a production environment that requires a full restore.  At that point they will find that the backup jobs have been failing for several months and there is no backup.

  • Victor Kirkpatrick

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3672

    I believe this will take less than a decade to begin to eliminate some DBA positions, but not all... there will always need to be some level of human admin. Thank goodness, retirement for me is a decade away, and it's been a great career doing database development.

  • George W (no relation)

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1199

    DBA positions are already being eliminated. "Microsoft has noted in quite a few presentations that they run over a million databases on the Azure SQL Database platform without any DBAs."
    It's not necessarily that an existing DBA position (i.e. yours) will be eliminated this week, this year, or possibly even this decade, it's that the pace of DBA job creation will slow, and eventually reverse - people aging out of the profession will not be replaced. By the time existing jobs are being eliminated, the game will effectively be over for DBAs as well as many other current jobs in IT.

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124991

    This thing about Watson beating humans in a game show or a board game isn't really that remarkable, not when you consider that Watson has access to an internet connection (ie: Google search) and a camera with pattern recognition software. How does Watson fare against human players assisted with the next generation of Google Glass (web search and pattern recognition)? The workforce of today are enhanced with technology; they can both think on their feet and perform feats of complex computation. Pull Watson's internet connection and then see how well it competes against humans.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • roger.plowman

    SSChampion

    Points: 10136

    Certain DBA drudge work SHOULD be eliminated by intelligent DBs. Indexing, trimming log files as needed, handling hardware recommendations concerning space for growth, none of this humans should be doing.

    Fixing DB corruption? Shouldn't be a person, the software knows itself better than a human ever could, how many times does a human do what CHKDSK does? 🙂

    Let the software maintain itself, I've got other things that need doing.

  • smayer

    Valued Member

    Points: 68

    One thing no level of AI can ever beat -- micro-management (i.e., lack of trust). This can be, and often is, a DBA's worst nightmare, and must be rooted out before AI can ever replace a DBA.

  • Jedak

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4878

    I believe at some point machines will probably replace certain aspects of DBA work, but not all aspects soon or maybe never.  I would highly disagree with Microsoft's claim they are "managing" millions of databases on Azure without a DBA.  That's like saying a SAN administrator manages a database because he manages the disks SQL Server runs on.  The people managing the Azure databases are Microsoft's customers who created them in the first place.

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75109

    smayer - Monday, May 15, 2017 12:57 PM

    One thing no level of AI can ever beat -- micro-management (i.e., lack of trust). This can be, and often is, a DBA's worst nightmare, and must be rooted out before AI can ever replace a DBA.

    Are you saying that DBAs need to learn to trust AI?

  • qbrt

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2422

    roger.plowman - Monday, May 15, 2017 12:19 PM

    Certain DBA drudge work SHOULD be eliminated by intelligent DBs. Indexing, trimming log files as needed, handling hardware recommendations concerning space for growth, none of this humans should be doing.

    Fixing DB corruption? Shouldn't be a person, the software knows itself better than a human ever could, how many times does a human do what CHKDSK does? 🙂

    Let the software maintain itself, I've got other things that need doing.

    ha. amen to that.
    I can't wait for the day when mundane DB tasks are totally automated. Things like database backup/restore. That should just be baked in. So much time and energy (money) wasted on this process. We can concentrate on more creative things.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715095

    Eric M Russell - Monday, May 15, 2017 11:49 AM

    This thing about Watson beating humans in a game show or a board game isn't really that remarkable, not when you consider that Watson has access to an internet connection (ie: Google search) and a camera with pattern recognition software. How does Watson fare against human players assisted with the next generation of Google Glass (web search and pattern recognition)? The workforce of today are enhanced with technology; they can both think on their feet and perform feats of complex computation. Pull Watson's internet connection and then see how well it competes against humans.

    They've actually tested this. For awhile, human+computer > AI. That has started to change.

  • Manie

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4468

    Help me if I am wrong. I am a developer but I administer a +-40 GB database (only one). I learned from DBA's to do this. I set up maintenance plans and left them to do their thing. Every now and then I come across a poor performing stored procedure and do some performance tuning and if necessary create an index or two but otherwise I pretty much leave it to run on its own. Once in a blue moon I would pull out my checklist and run through some checks but I know if anything went wrong I will receive an alert. My database is set up in such a way that should I have a database crash I can restore it to within 30 minutes before the crash. I think DBA's should also be developers so that when DBA's become obsolete they can still have a job.

    Manie Verster
    Developer
    Johannesburg
    South Africa

    I am happy because I choose to be happy.
    I just love my job!!!

  • Stefan LG

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1875

    Yes, traditional DBA jobs will be lost to automation and machine learning - just as taxi and Uber drivers will loose jobs to automated vehicles and factory workers to robots.

    But we must just be willing to adapt to the changing conditions.
    There are still many tasks (development and maintenance) that must be handled by humans in the cloud.
    Perhaps a DBA of the future will look after both the database as well as the associated applications, websites and user base in the cloud infrastructure.

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124991

    Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Monday, May 15, 2017 5:57 PM

    Eric M Russell - Monday, May 15, 2017 11:49 AM

    This thing about Watson beating humans in a game show or a board game isn't really that remarkable, not when you consider that Watson has access to an internet connection (ie: Google search) and a camera with pattern recognition software. How does Watson fare against human players assisted with the next generation of Google Glass (web search and pattern recognition)? The workforce of today are enhanced with technology; they can both think on their feet and perform feats of complex computation. Pull Watson's internet connection and then see how well it competes against humans.

    They've actually tested this. For awhile, human+computer > AI. That has started to change.

    Jeopardy or Chess don't come close to modeling anyone's actual day job; unless you're a professional game player. Perhaps one way of testing the theory (that an AI could replace a human DBA) is for Microsoft to create a Virtual SQL Server MVP and have it participate in discussion forums. See how it scores over time compared to human counterparts.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Daario

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 822

    I, for one, welcome our new AI overlords.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 35 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply