Artificial Intelligence has been a trending news topic for the past few years. AI programs such as ChatGPT, IBM Watson, Alexa and Google Assistant are all driving awareness of AI to new heights, and the industry is evolving all the time.
It’s inevitable that AI will impact the labor market: in fact, it already is. This article aims to demystify AI’s impact on future jobs. We’ll discuss what AI is, the types of AI and how it impacts careers, and which jobs are most at risk from ongoing developments in the field.
What is AI?
Artificial Intelligence is intelligence generated by machines or computers, and their ability to learn, analyze and create context. AI is not science fiction: it’s with us right now and is used in a variety of settings such as chatbots and other specific tasks. This is known as Weak AI.
In the world of work, AI is already used to improve our lives. For example, chatbots can assist with basic customer and employee interactions. When it comes to applying for roles, applicant tracking systems are becoming more reliant on AI, with this being used to screen candidates.
AI can also be used to increase the accuracy of data and keep that data safe and secure from hackers. Generative AI can create images, audio and text. In short, AI is being used more and more with every passing month.
How does AI work?
AI works by two things coming together: data and algorithms. Modern computing science allows AI programs to analyze complex data patterns and use learning models to process these patterns. AI undertakes “machine learning” by using algorithms to let the data carry on programming, independent of external programmers. This is called Strong AI.
There are different types of AI: we are seeing Weak AI take a backseat to Strong AI, as well as Generative AI becoming more prevalent. The acid test for AI is whether people can distinguish its output from that of a human. This is called the Turing Test.
All this means that AI can teach itself to do things and can, in principle, improve itself with additional interactions and experiences to create more data for algorithms to process. This whole process might sound clunky, but it can happen in seconds!
Which jobs is AI likely to replace?
AI is here to improve our lives and contribute to the working world, but it will inevitably impact some jobs in many different sectors. Here’s a list of the top 10 jobs that AI could likely replace in the future.
AI-powered bookkeeping programs exist already and are known for swiftly and accurately analyzing increasingly complex sets of accounts. These tools can also provide extensive data analysis and integrate into other areas of a company’s operation.
Bookkeeping programs are becoming less costly and likely to become a preferred option for companies who require detailed accounting in geographically disparate locations.
2. Content marketers
Content marketing is the promotion of products through social media posts and simple articles or blog posts. AI tools can already generate significant marketing content, and as these programs continue to learn or evolve, their applications will only become wider.
More advanced writing and detailed content might still require human touches, but content marketing is at significant risk of becoming automated.
3. Customer service roles
Many customer service roles, such as call center jobs or online support, require basic interaction and scripted, linear responses to inquiries. AI is already being used to run some custom service chatbots, and their use will become more varied as time goes on.
Given that many customer service tasks serve a basic function and don’t require much in the way of emotional intelligence, AI might be the perfect tool to take on these roles.
4. Data analysts
AI is already used to analyze high volumes of information of limited complexity and support with problem solving, but the potential for it to get involved in more complex analyses is not far away.
AI can analyze data in real time, and it will be tempting for companies to invest in these programs, especially as they can also result in higher accuracy than humans.
5. Driving jobs
The self-driving car market is attracting a lot of investment, and whereas there’s some discussion as to how advanced AI-driven vehicles will be, their use will become more prevalent over time.
People driving cars for a living would be at risk of AI taking over their jobs. This could include couriers, chauffeurs, cab drivers, as well as truck drivers. Governments are already planning transport infrastructure to support self-driving vehicles.
6. Military personnel
Although no war will always be the best war, AI can reduce the human cost of conflict, thus allowing governments to shore up support for military engagement, which is an important factor of military doctrine.
AI is already being used to design equipment and control drones, but robotics could soon be used to replace soldiers on the ground or even pilots and sailors in complicated military equipment.
Entry level programming jobs will be severely impacted by AI. There are already AI tools on the market that automatically generate high-quality code. Additionally, AI is currently being used to develop code quicker than human coders — in some cases, twice as fast.
There will still be a need for human programmers, who might adapt to such changes and retrain to become software engineers who create commands for AI coding programs.
Proofreading and editing tools powered by AI are already offering services to writers and companies and are currently being used alongside human proofreaders.
As machine learning develops, AI will be able to proofread text to a much higher complexity. It will become able to analyze and correct advanced or more complicated writing where amendments are needed.
9. Retail workers
AI might result in increased numbers of shops going online, and payments and interactions becoming virtual. Additionally, existing retail workers need to get involved in stock counts, customer service and processing payments.
All these responsibilities can be executed by AI, and this might facilitate the closure of retail outlets and a complete change in the way we shop, as well as a reduction in the need for retail workers.
Online translation has come a long way in the last few years, and the advances we’re seeing in AI are likely to push this along even further.
In the future, AI will be able to translate more complex words, sentences and meanings with greater accuracy) maybe in real time as you explore a foreign country), meaning that people will be relying on translators less and less.
How AI will change the future workplace
By its very nature, AI will change the future of work through learning and analyzing what we do. For example, as robots become more advanced and autonomous, they’ll begin to have many more uses in our workplace.
AI will become more ingrained in our jobs through machine learning. Connected to this is the rise of natural language processing, where AI programs pick up on the nuances and emotions to aid with speech recognition. Breakthroughs in computer vision and generative AI will mean that programs can support workplaces in these areas, too.
The rise of AI doesn’t mean that millions of people will be out of work. Many creative or manual professions will continue to be best served by humans. Whereas some job markets might shrink, other job markets will open as people retrain into roles that are necessary to support AI programs in various ways.
There’s no denying that AI will have profound impacts on the way we work, as well as the future of some jobs that we work in. That said, it’s important to recognize that AI is very unlikely to completely replace humans in the workplace.
AI is a remarkable scientific achievement, and we’re living through an “AI arms race” that is changing our lives on a daily basis. Humans will live alongside AI and our unique values such as creativity and emotional intelligence will always ensure that we’ll complement the work of AI — not be replaced by it.
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