Here are the Words You'll Hear Everywhere Once A.I. Gets Boring

Get ready to start saying "chatbot" a whole lot more.


Google, Microsoft, and Facebook all have their sights set on becoming the biggest A.I companies in the world. But maybe don’t expect them to keep using the term “A.I.”

According to Seattle-based language analysis company Textio, terms like “A.I.,” “artificial intelligence,” and “machine learning” don’t appeal to engineers and computers scientists the way they used to, even when people are looking for, well, those kinds of jobs. In a blog post posted to the company’s website on Wednesday, Textio illustrates how, just two years ago, job listings that featured those terms used to fill up about nine days faster than other engineering jobs. But in 2017, that rate has shrunk to just one to two days faster — just as the number of listings that use these phrases has increased in a big way.

According to Textio’s cofounder and CEO, Kieran Snyder, those keywords are following the same trends of “big data,” which was “once cool, then cliche, now beginning to feel hopeless dated.”

Of course, A.I. is not going away. Beyond Facebook, Google, and Microsoft’s efforts, companies like Apple and Amazon are devoting significant R&D money to A.I. as well. The A.I. jobs are still going to be around. So how should companies market them?

There’s so substitute for human creativity, especially when it come to language. So it’s just a matter of finding replacement words and phrases that still convey the expectations of machine learning and A.I., without saying it explicitly. As Textio observes, those words on the uptick for usage in engineering job postings include:

  • “deep learning”
  • “neural net”
  • “chatbot”
  • “internet of things”
  • “PaaS” (which stands for “platform as a service”)

Of course, those words have a finite trend lifespan as well. Who knows what we’ll be calling A.I. in another two years. Probably still Skynet.

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