Can artificial intelligence learn to be a project professional
About the research and why it is important?
PwC reported that “Gartner forecasts that 80% of project management roles will be eliminated by 2030 as AI takes on traditional project management functions such as data collection, tracking and reporting.” What are the implications of this for human project professionals? On the one hand, it appears to be a loss of roles. On the other hand, association with AI could signal smartness and a future-facing attitude for an occupation and its practitioners. It may even increase demand for certain aspects of this class of expert labour. However, social scientists in the area of employment and the professions are cautious about a rush towards implementation of AI before we fully understand the interaction between occupations of expert labour and AI.
Led by the University of Manchester this research aims to identify AI-aware project managers' beliefs, opinions and expectations regarding AI in the project management profession. The research evaluates these, using the sociology of professions and AI expert opinion, as to how realistic those expectations are and the possible implications for the professional status of project management.
The main research question is: To what extent can we ‘un-blackbox’ project management as a profession – Can AI learn to be a professional project manager?
To answer this question, three research objectives and associated questions can be posed:
- What does ‘professional’ mean to project managers?
- What is the information in project management that cannot be digitalised as the input for AI to deliver project management professional practice?
- What are the distinctive, defensible project management actions or competences fundamental to status as a profession that are beyond the output of an AI?