Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way we work and live. It has the potential to enhance productivity, optimize processes, and reduce costs. However, with the rise of AI, there is growing concern that it will replace human jobs, leading to unemployment and economic instability. In this article, we will explore the impact of AI on the job market and identify which jobs are at risk and which ones are safe.
The short answer is yes, AI will replace jobs. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, by 2025, AI will displace 85 million jobs, while creating 97 million new ones. While this sounds alarming, it's important to understand that AI will not replace all jobs. Rather, it will transform the way we work and create new opportunities.
Many experts predict that several professions will become completely automated within the next five to 10 years. Forbes Technology Council's group of senior-level tech executives identified 15 jobs that are at risk of being taken over by AI, including customer service, warehouse and manufacturing jobs, research and data entry, insurance underwriting, long haul trucking, and any tasks that can be learned.
According to the World Economic Forum's "The Future of Jobs Report 2020," AI is expected to replace 85 million jobs worldwide by 2025. However, the report also states that it will create 97 million new jobs in the same timeframe. AI expert Kai-Fu Lee predicts that 50 percent of all jobs will be automated by AI within 15 years, including jobs in accounting, factory work, trucking, paralegal work, and radiology.
Multiple studies by McKinsey Global Institute, Oxford University, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that both specialized and blue-collar workers will be impacted by the continued implementation of AI.
AI writing tools such as ChatGPT and Bard are already being used to offload formulaic writing tasks such as creating social media posts, writing emails, and responding to customer service requests. While AI may never match the authentic creativity of humans, it can assist with repetitive content creation and generate ideas.
AI art generators like Midjourney and Dall-E have produced work worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and AI-generated art and design are gaining traction. While some view AI-generated art as a tool, others view it as a threat to the art industry. As these tools become more refined, graphic design and commercial art fields may be impacted.
Although AI is sure to change the future of work, many theories on the nature of that change are neither gloomy nor doomy.
The number of jobs that will be replaced by AI will vary by industry and region. For example, in the healthcare industry, AI is expected to create more jobs than it replaces due to the increasing demand for healthcare services. However, in the retail industry, automation is expected to lead to a significant reduction in jobs.
Although AI is advancing rapidly, it still relies on human labor for development and maintenance. According to a New York Times article, researchers hope to build systems that can learn from smaller amounts of data, but for the foreseeable future, human labor is essential.
As AI technology becomes more advanced, there will be a growing need for human workers to help create, monitor, and train AI systems. This means that new jobs will be created in fields such as data analysis, maintenance, and monitoring. In addition, there will be a need for experts who can ensure that AI systems are not running amok and causing harm.
Byron Reese, CEO of Gigaom, believes that AI will be "the greatest job engine the world has ever seen." He predicts that while some jobs will be lost due to AI, many others will be created. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts faster-than-average job growth in many occupations that AI is expected to impact, including accountants, forensic scientists, geological technicians, technical writers, MRI operators, and more.
Chris Nicholson, CEO of Skymind.AI, believes that the impact of AI on jobs will be similar to that of the Industrial Revolution. While some jobs will disappear, many new ones will be created. As AI technology continues to evolve, new and unforeseen jobs will emerge, just as they did after the Industrial Revolution.
It's comforting to know that there are some jobs that will remain untouched by AI. These include creative and empathic roles, as well as complex political and strategic jobs.
AI will not be able to replace teachers, writers, editors, lawyers, social workers, medical professionals, therapists, and management professionals. Although these fields may benefit from advancements in AI, the empathy and social intelligence required for these roles cannot be replicated by AI and robots. For example, AI can help educators understand students' varying levels of competence and temperament, but teachers will still excel in providing mentorship and diving into students' special interests.
There are four fundamental weaknesses of AI that prevent it from taking over certain jobs. AI struggles with complex strategic planning, precise hand-eye coordination, dealing with unknown and unstructured spaces, and using empathy. In addition, there will be a demand for human workers to help adapt to a new world with a larger AI presence.
As technology advances and encompasses more of our lives, more people will be needed to facilitate its adoption. Workers in fields that require a human touch, such as contractors, plumbers, electricians, and window installers, will always be in demand. Although AI is poised to aid many industries, human-to-human connection in the workplace will remain essential.