IBM CEO: Fears About Artificial Intelligence 'Are Not Positioned Properly'

IBM's (IBM) cognitive computer called Watson will help add jobs for the future, CEO Ginni Rometty argued on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Tuesday morning. Rometty is part of President-elect Donald Trump's economic advisory committee.

"This is perhaps the single most important reason why I came to Davos because I think these fears are not positioned properly and in many cases are unfounded on this topic," she said. 

Rather than completely replacing most jobs, artificial intelligence will help complement jobs done by humans, she claimed. "Most important, you're going to find where most professions are going to work with these systems, that it's a partnership between man and machine if you want to put it that way."

In order to transition to this new system, there will need to be some retraining of current professionals as well as some new school programs offered to up-and-coming professionals, Rometty noted. "In this era, it's now going to again be all about building different sets of skills."

In the same way, people in the farming era had to learn to read and people in the industrial era had to learn how to do mechanics, she explained. 

The jobs that computers will takeover will mainly be ones that take humans a lot of time to research and do, Rometty pointed out. These will be done faster and will free humans up to do "what I think we all as humans do best." 

That means current and rising students need to understand what jobs can be done without a four-year degree, and they need to build new skills, she said. "If we would change the basis and align what is taught in school with what is needed with business. That's where we came up with this idea of new collar. It's not blue collar. It's not white collar."

IBM will release 2016 fourth quarter earnings on Thursday. The stock has fallen in after-hours trading on the company's last few quarterly reports, but that's simply because IBM is still in a transition period, Rometty claimed. 

"And that means that there are parts of the business growing, and there are parts of the business -- while they are really great businesses to be in -- they may not be in growth markets," she explained. 

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