10 human jobs that will be done by AI and robots in the future
By Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington, Maria Romero, and April Koury, from Fast Future Publishing.
Fast Future publishes books from future thinkers around the world exploring how developments such as AI, robotics and disruptive thinking could impact individuals, society and business and create new trillion-dollar sectors.
The future is not a statistic. Whilst the cataclysmic ‘replaced by robots’ job warnings may well be overstated in the short term, the pace of change will inevitably quicken.
Whether eliminated or transformed, one reasonable take-away remains: AI is recalibrating the division of labour between humans and technology.
To help put the potential changes in an everyday context, we identify, in our new book ‘Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity’ a number of currently human job roles that could be transformed or eliminated completely by the use AI and robotics over the period from 2020 to 2030.
- Entrepreneurs/Leaders – Instead of looking for human partners and employees, entrepreneurs might increasingly scout for a combination of AI systems. One-person businesses could be more common as artificial general intelligence materializes – enabling the growth of fully automated Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) which have literally no employees.
- Managers – a vast swathe of management roles could disappear as the workforce they supervise, and the majority of their own tasks gets automated. Reports, meetings, performance appraisals, and team briefings become a thing of history when you have no staff. For those who still have roles, the priority will shift from managing the present to creating the future, designing how work gets done with an in-depth appreciation of the limitations and advantages of AI and human workers alike.
- Research and development – from pharmaceuticals to new materials and electronic devices – AI software is increasingly being used to conduct more and more of the R&D value chain. The use of AI allows researchers to conduct more trials faster and compare real-time data with historic and predictive consumer profiles to better target the solutions.
- HR managers – Employee diversity might take on a new dimension when many business environments include a mix of AI, physical robots, holograms, “standard issue” humans and those with artificial augmentations of their brains and bodies. Different types of AI would have different jobs to fulfil alongside and – increasingly – in supervision of humans. Recognizing and nurturing the value of humanity in the workplace, helping people retain their worth and dignity and resolving human-machine disputes could become priority tasks for HR managers to address.
- Marketing researchers and strategists – The data shared by consumers would be automatically analysed by AI in real time. This feedback loop would create dynamic marketing campaigns able to optimize themselves based on each response. Offers would be tailored to the individual according to both the preference and the time of day when they are most likely to make a purchase.
- Customer service representatives – Chatbots are already making sales calls, helping customers make choices and solving callers’ problems across a wide range of industries. This will increase, however, there might still be delicate and complex issues that would be handled better with a human touch.
- Personal assistants – future generations of Siri, Cortana and Alexa should be able to undertake personal shopping, screen incoming calls and determine which news to show us. They could also save our time by sorting and responding to email backlogs and look after our wellbeing sharing our health and allergy information with a restaurant prior to our visit.
- Investment analysts, fund managers and traders – investment bots will have the capacity to analyse ever larger volumes of current and historic trading data, news, company updates, and market sector information in a fraction of a second to make investment decisions.
- Life coaches/therapists – Automation forecasts today are already causing anxiety and stress among healthy professionals. When mass layoffs start, society could see mental health issues rise to crisis level. Addressing these issues would be fundamental priorities for life coaches and therapists. Many might choose to become coaches and therapists with the disappearance of their former roles as lawyers, accountants, engineers, doctors, retailers, and taxi drivers.
- Sales representatives – AI could become the personal shopper of the future – learning our desires and requirements and over time making purchases with less and less need to check in with us. Retail algorithms may offer recommendations drawing on vast databases of consumer preferences and our own shopping history and social media profiles. Shopping could become a task that no longer require humans to allocate their precious time to do it.
In addition opportunities might arise in areas such as personal trainers, care of the elderly, the performing arts, helping older workers learn about the new and disruptive technologies and possibly teachers/classroom facilitators if greater emphasis is placed on developing life skills in smaller-sized, face-to-face classes.
Ultimately, today’s business leaders acknowledge that the robots are coming; it is just that we don’t yet know where they may have their biggest impacts.