Every year we get closer to the familiar scenario of sci-fi movies, in which artificially intelligent machines, or robots, perform every job imaginable. Naturally, many people feel nervous about losing their jobs to automation. Those who are just starting out in their careers try to choose jobs that will be safe from automation.
Jobs Most Susceptible to Automation
According to recent studies, within the next 5 years, companies will be reducing their full-time workforce to make room for automation. As many as 80 million jobs will be automated in the US alone.
We now see more and more self-checkout aisles at stores. This is why we can safely predict that we will only see more of them in the future, which will result in the job losses for millions of workers.
Even now, artificial intelligence systems are doing most of the administrative work that was performed manually in the past – data processing, scheduling meetings, calculating payroll, etc. In the future, we can expect more office administrators to be replaced by computer programs.
Self-driving vehicles are rising in popularity. Because of this, millions of truck drivers can expect to be out of jobs in the coming years. However, considering there is no sleep involved in self-driving trucks, there are also potential cost savings and safety benefits that will come with this change.
Jobs Safe from Automation
In contrast to routine, predictable tasks, there are jobs in certain categories that are not likely to be threatened by automation.
Social intelligence is being able to recognize human emotions, get along with others, and build relationships. Jobs in teaching, sales, and medicine, that require well-developed social intelligence, aren’t likely to be replaced by automation – at least not for a very long time.
Machines are great at calculations. However, getting a computer to solve a problem it hasn’t seen before is extremely difficult. This is why careers in engineering, for example, are going to be safe from automation for a very long time still.
Creative and Artistic Work
Computers can be used to make art. Google’s AI has even been able to compose music that sounds pleasant enough. But can it invent a new musical genre like jazz on its own? So far, nothing a machine has produced to date has come close to what we call real art.
The Rise of AI is Coming, and That’s OK
It’s natural to feel anxious about the big changes associated with AI. The important thing is to be informed and have a general understanding of where it is headed, so that you can adequately prepare and make the necessary transitions to more secure positions.
- Sci-fi (short for science fiction) – fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances
- Make room (for someone or something) – provide space
- Manually – by hand rather than automatically or electronically
- Threaten – cause to be vulnerable or at risk
- Get along – feel friendly or comfortable with someone
- Adequately – to a satisfactory or acceptable extent
Questions for Discussion
- What are some of the positive and negative changes associated with AI??
- Do you think AI will ever replace humans completely?
- Are you worried about losing your job to AI? Explain.
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