It’s a growing discussion these days. We see more and more companies reducing their headcount because they are starting to, or predict they will soon, replace a significant number of jobs with Artificial Intelligence, or AI.
For example, according to a report by Bloomberg on 2 May 2023, IBM’s CEO Arvind Krishna said in an interview that the company expects to pause hiring for roles it thinks could be replaced with artificial intelligence in the coming years. Hiring in back-office functions — such as human resources — will be suspended or slowed, Krishna said. These non-customer-facing roles amount to roughly 26,000 workers, according to him. “I could easily see 30% of that getting replaced by AI and automation over a five-year period.” That would mean roughly 7,800 jobs lost at IBM alone.
And many other company executives are now thinking the same way. Which means that AI is currently already your biggest competitor if you’re looking for a (new) job!
So let’s explore which jobs are most at risk of being replaced by AI functionality in the near future, but also what types of jobs will still be mainly won by us, humans.
Here are some examples of jobs that are at a higher risk of being replaced by AI in the near future:
- Data entry and administrative jobs: With the rise of automation tools and software, data entry and administrative tasks such as record keeping, data processing, and scheduling can be easily automated.
- Manufacturing jobs: Jobs in manufacturing, such as assembly line workers, are increasingly being replaced by robots and automation technologies.
- Transportation jobs: With the development of self-driving cars and drones, jobs in transportation such as drivers, pilots, and delivery workers are at risk of being replaced by automation.
- Retail jobs: Retail jobs, such as cashiers and salespeople, are at risk of being replaced by self-checkout machines and AI-powered chatbots that can assist customers with their purchases.
- Customer service jobs: Customer service jobs, such as call center representatives, are at risk of being replaced by chatbots and voice assistants that can handle customer inquiries and complaints.
- Accounting and finance jobs: With the rise of accounting and finance software, many tasks such as bookkeeping and financial analysis can be automated.
- Journalism and writing jobs: With the development of AI-powered content creation tools, jobs in journalism and writing, such as copywriters and news reporters, are at risk of being replaced by automated writing programs.
- Legal jobs: Many tasks in the legal profession, such as document review and contract analysis, can be automated using AI-powered software.
- Banking jobs: With the rise of online banking and financial technology, many jobs in banking, such as tellers and loan officers, are at risk of being replaced by automation.
- Food service jobs: Jobs in the food service industry, such as fast food workers and kitchen staff, are at risk of being replaced by automation technologies such as self-service kiosks and cooking robots.
While AI may not fully replace these jobs in the immediate future, it is important for people in these fields to stay informed and develop new skills that are less likely to be automated.
Re-skilling would be a good option, to jobs that are less likely to be replaced by robots and AI in the near future. In general, these include:
- jobs that require creativity and innovation;
- jobs that require social and emotional intelligence, including those that involve complex human interactions that require empathy, compassion, and nuanced communication skills, which are difficult for AI to replicate;
- jobs that require manual dexterity and physical agility;
- jobs that require critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Examples of such jobs include:
- Healthcare professionals: Healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and therapists, require a high level of empathy, intuition, and human interaction skills, which are difficult to replicate by AI.
- Social workers: Social workers require a deep understanding of human behavior and emotions, as well as the ability to provide emotional support and guidance to their clients, making it difficult for AI to replace them.
- Educators: Teachers and educators require a high level of emotional intelligence, creativity, and adaptability, which are difficult to replicate by AI.
- Creatives: Jobs in creative fields, such as artists, writers, and musicians, require a high level of originality, imagination, and emotional expression, which are difficult to replicate by AI.
- Salespeople: Sales jobs require strong communication and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to build relationships with clients, making it challenging for AI to replace them.
- Customer service representatives: Customer service representatives require strong communication and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to empathize with customers and provide personalized solutions, making it difficult for AI to replace them.
- Emergency responders: Emergency responders, such as firefighters and police officers, require a high level of physical and emotional agility, quick thinking, and decision-making skills, which are difficult to replicate by AI.
- Scientists and researchers: Scientists and researchers require a high level of creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking skills, which are difficult to replicate by AI.
- Human resource professionals: Human resource professionals require a high level of emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and the ability to manage complex human relationships, making it difficult for AI to replace them.
- Skilled tradespeople: Skilled tradespeople, such as electricians, plumbers, and mechanics, require a high level of technical knowledge and problem-solving skills, which are difficult to replicate by AI.
While AI may continue to evolve and change the nature of work in the future, these jobs are less likely to be replaced due to the complex and uniquely human skills they require.
However, it is important to note that the development of AI is rapidly advancing, and the job market is constantly evolving. Therefore, it is important to continuously learn and develop new skills to remain competitive in the job market.