[ Reading time: 6 min ]

Our civilization has never been on the threshold of such changes that await us shortly. Until now, economics, all its significant principles around which societies were built, assumed that work was of great value. Meanwhile, we hear a lot about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the future of the job market. Does it have a chance to outbalance it?

AI from different points of view

For several years, AI has been raising questions that have provoked more than one debate. In 2014, Stephen Hawking told the BBC that “the development of full artificial intelligence could mean the end of the human race”.

In 2017, the director of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, said that we are in a state of “renaissance” and “golden age” when it comes to the topics of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Dharmesh Shah, a co-founder of HubSpot, believes bots and AI will make us better at our jobs and more secure in our careers, not the other way around.

According to Vivienne Ming (theoretician of neuroscience and an AI expert), artificial intelligence should be thought of as a brush, which is part of a set of tools for creative exploration of the world. If a genuinely creative person has this powerful tool, then this person can do even more. Ming also warns that “Artificial Intelligence in the wrong hands can do more harm than good.”

Truths and myths

Will AI take my job? – Truths and myths

The truth is probably in the middle – in some cases, AI will make work easier and make it more effective. According to the analysis published by an audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in the next 20 years in the UK, artificial intelligence and related technologies can exclude as many jobs (approx. 7 million) as they generate (approx. 7.2 million). It also estimates that professional, scientific, and technical services will see a net increase of 16%, while education will increase by 6%. In contrast, the transport and storage sectors and public administration sectors will decline by 22 and 18%, respectively.

“As our analysis shows, there will be winners and losers,” said Euan Cameron, leader of AI, for PwC. “It’s likely that the fourth industrial revolution will favour those with strong digital skills, as well as capabilities like creativity and teamwork, which machines find it harder to replicate.”

According to PwC, AI can exclude as many jobs as it generates

It’s a fact that machines will replace some jobs. This is the inevitable consequence of any industrial or technological revolution. Artificial intelligence is already being used to develop marketing strategies and email marketing. However, its impact on individual sectors varies. PwC has shown that, for example, in the health and social work sector, the number of employees can increase by almost 1 million. In contrast, the number of jobs in the manufacturing industry can drop by around 25%, which means a loss of nearly 700,000 jobs.

The value of emotional intelligence

Will AI take my job? – The value of emotional intelligence

The good news is that some professions cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence. Roles and tasks that AI will not fulfill are certainly those that require emotional intelligence, social skills, and profound creativity. What AI cannot do so far is to use emotions, understand the situational context, assess situations, and generally perceive nuances. This means that it is better to have a job that uses this kind of human attributes. Besides, a computer or a robot can help you perform specific tasks more efficiently, but a man can perform them properly for now.

Sophisticated robots

AI won’t fulfill jobs that require emotional intelligence, social skills and creativity

Unfortunately, in the long run, it can also change. In the opinion of Kate O’Neill, author of the book Tech Humanist: “Machines will become more and more sophisticated and will be able to distinguish, say, happy and sad opportunities for people or interaction with children or adults, or know what tone to use in a given context, etc. And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg”.

There is a website, Will robots take my job?, where you can find out about its possible suppression by AI. There is also a groundbreaking 2013 study inspired by this site, which analyzes the likelihood of replacing some marketing and sales positions by automation and computerization. The criterion was adopted, among other levels of work routine and social and emotional intelligence required to perform them.

Occupations that will be replaced by AI (probability in %)

1. Telemarketer (99%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? – Telemarketer

Unlike other sales positions, telemarketers do not require a high level of social or emotional intelligence. We are already receiving calls from robots on behalf of various products and services, and by 2024 the attractiveness of these positions is expected to fall by 3%. Currently, sales use artificial intelligence in general high-level situations such as personalization and content selection. Analytical software and recommendations based on artificial intelligence provide marketers with a to-do list that is prioritized based on their specific goals.

2. Accountant (98%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? – Accountant

It can be expected that by 2024 the number of bookkeepers will drop by 8%. And it is not surprising considering that most accounting work will be automated if it has not already been done. QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Microsoft Office offer accounting softwares that are much cheaper than a person’s salary.

3. Insurance and benefits manager (96%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? – Insurance and benefits manager

This profession, due to the simplicity of categorizing data by machines, will become substantially unnecessary. Companies such as Ultipro (a cloud-based platform providing human capital management for all industries) and Workday (a provider of financial and human capital management software) are already widely used.

4. Receptionist (96%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? – Receptionist

Automated telephone and planning systems can replace the traditional role of a receptionist. These changes are especially seen in companies dealing with modern technologies or international corporations using automatic telephone systems.

5. Courier (94%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? – Courier

The are already attempts of replacing couriers and deliverers by drones and robots. So it’s only a matter of time before this space is dominated by automation. At the same time, this profession demand is expected to increase by 5% by 2024, so the changes will not happen so quickly.

6. Retail salespeople (92%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? Retail salespeople

It seems that shopping centers or car dealerships are less and less needed. Companies offer such functions as self-service or checkout, especially since a modern buyer is more willing to search the Internet and make a purchase decision.

7. Proofreader (84%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? – Proofreader

The correction software is already a standard, and we use it more and more often. From simple spelling and grammar checking in Microsoft Word to the Grammarly and Hemingway App, many technologies make it easy to check your writing correctness.

8. IT support specialist (65%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? – IT support specialist

It is predicted that by 2024, the demand for IT professionals will increase by 12%. However, with the increasing amount of content on the Internet, companies will rely more on bots and automation to quickly answer the questions of employees and customers in the future.

9. Market research analyst (61%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? – Market research analyst

Market research analyst plays an essential role in the development of news, content, and products. However, machine automation of data compiles information more efficiently. GrowthBot, a simple chat marketing bot, can conduct market research for companies and competitors with a simple command.

10. Advertising salespeople (54%)

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job?  Advertising salespeople

As advertising moves away from print and television towards online spaces and social media, people no longer have to manage the sales of those who want to buy advertising space. More and more platforms make it easier for people to buy them using free application interfaces (APIs) and self-service advertising platforms. This trend is reflected in forecasts of a 3% decline in the advertising industry.

Summary

To mitigate the “displacement effect “, PwC recommended that governments invest more in STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics – and encourage employees to update their skills in terms of machinery replenishment.

10 professions that AI can replace – will a robot take your job? – STEAM

So how can one continue earning money, if the demand for work decreases? There is no right answer to this question. Some countries are experimenting with the concept of guaranteed income, but so far without effect. So, if you are looking for a good plan for the future, start learning programming or IT engineering. It’s still the safest career direction, assuming you take it seriously (work is already underway to automate the processing of standard programming source code).

Sources:

1. CNBC – “These American workers are the most afraid of A.I. taking their jobs”

2. HubSpot Blog – ” 10 Jobs Artificial Intelligence Will Replace”

3. Spider’s Web – “Czy roboty zabiorą mi pracę”

4. PwC – “AI will create as many jobs as it displaces by boosting economic growth”

5. BBC – “AI will create as many jobs as it displaces – report”

6. Frey C., Osborne M., “The Future of Employment”, Oxford, 2013