I suppose expert systems or Knowledge Based Systems or AI might replace the human expertise in any field in the future. They are going to help human decisions by offering advice, so freeing human expertise. It allows organizations/companies/governments retain their expertise even as employees scarceness. No need of abundant credential holders or SMEs
It's just like doctors are taking the help of plethora of technical tools and computer systems assistance regardless of their smartness in their field of practice.
I don't know about you, but for me the practice of "How to deal with evolving systems" was not something that we were explicitly taught during our early schooling years. The fact remains however that systems will evolve.
I wouldn't worry much about machines decreasing the need for SMEs. "The machines" won't really decrease the need for SME's..."the machines" will decrease the need for SME's to hold the same type of knowledge and skillsets that they do now. This will come as a blessing for those who continue to learn and are competent in finding opportunity in change, but the evolution will destroy those who are stubborn and wish and dream for "the old days".
Remember the ABCs
I think there will always be a need for experts and trained persons with qualifications, but the barrier to entry and the training and experience needed to be successful and perform will increase as automated systems take over to make life easier. Entry level SOC jobs will be replaced by AI - we already seeing it, easier to pay a subscription to an AI / automated tool, then to employ 3/4 monitoring staff.
Also it depends on scale. A small SME can't afford to run a SOC or employ skilled staff, for their risk profile an AI or expert system that detects a large portion of common threats automatically, will be enough due diligence at a subscription price.
Also the entry level jobs won't exist much longer, the entry point to Cyber career will become much higher and naturally harder to enter. Also, the more people that get a qualification, the less they are worth as everyone will just get the exams to get the jobs even the lower paid positions, to get a foot in the door. You have guys with advance Cyber Skills and qualifications sitting on the HELL desk!
I expect some of this is down to HR putting unrealistic job requirements for basic level jobs!
I also am finding elitism across the job boards, If you don't have a degree even for basic first line jobs (not cyber) you will struggle to get past the HR Firewall shift these days!