There’s been a lot of talk about artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years, in part because of how mainstream the software is becoming. AI was purely the domain of tech nerds and science fiction writers back in the day, but the technology is getting so good today that it’s rapidly infiltrating all areas of our lives.
AI – and its sister technology, machine learning – are used beneath the bonnet of most of the tools that we use daily, from search engines to the recommendations on Netflix and Amazon. They do a great job of personalization and do an amazing job of crunching huge amounts of data.
But there’s a dark side to AI, too. There’s no shortage of thought-leaders in the tech industry who’ve warned that AI could eventually destroy humanity, and while that might be a little far-fetched at the moment, there are other real-world effects for us to think about.
Perhaps the most immediate threat is that of artificial intelligence algorithms taking our jobs. Of course, not all jobs can be automated, but it’s certainly true that many of them can. So let’s go ahead and take a look at which jobs are likely to be affected and how by AI.
What Jobs Are Affected by AI?
It’s not that all writing jobs will disappear because there will always be room for human creativity. With that said, certain writing roles are tedious at best and often outsourced to the lowest bidder. Given that these low bidders typically have a lower skill level, it will be easier for AI to take over and take on translation and article spinning jobs. In particular, AI is used to automatically generate financial news and other writing tasks that largely follow the same format.
- Digital advertising
Let’s face it: thanks to automation and programmatic advertising, a lot of digital advertising has already been taken on by artificial intelligence. As tools get better and better, the need for human oversight will continue to decrease because the algorithms will be better at understanding the vast amounts of data involved than human beings could ever be.
Okay, so it’s unlikely that AI will be replacing Beyoncé any time soon, but it’s certainly true that there are some real use cases where AI will soon supersede musicians. One great example of this is a byproduct of the growth of digital content creation. For example, kTokkers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers constantly need royalty-free background music for their videos, and AI algorithms are already being used to create it.
- Customer service
With more and more of our business transactions taking place online, it’s more complex than ever before for human beings to keep up. They can’t provide the same level of personalization without tapping into CRM systems and other tools, and AI can have those systems built straight in. unfortunately, they can’t work around the clock. That’s where customer service with chatbots and other AI tools comes in. They’re much more scalable and can also get better with practice, thanks to machine learning.
It might seem at first glance as though taxi, bus, and delivery drivers aren’t going to go anywhere, but the truth is that the industry is ripe for disruption. That’s because AI is the underlying technology that powers self-driving cars and automated vehicles. Indeed, we’re yet to see these vehicles becoming mainstream, but it can only be a matter of time. Proponents of self-driving vehicles point out that they’re actually safer than those that are manually driven. Some people believe that manually driven cars will become illegal in our lifetimes.
- Factory work
Factory work is arguably the most obvious job role of all that AI threatens because many factory jobs have already been lost to automation. This is because the most repetitive jobs are also most likely to be lost, and factory jobs are inherently repetitive. It’s like that apocryphal story that says that a man and a dog will staff the future factories. The man will be there to feed the dog, and the dog will bite the man if he tries to touch anything.
Now that you know which jobs are most likely to be affected by AI both now and in the future, it’s over to you to share your thoughts. We’d love to keep the discussion going in the comments, so be sure to let us know which jobs you think are the most likely to be affected by AI.
In the meantime, there’s plenty that you can do to make sure that an algorithm is not replacing you. First, retrain and upskill if you have to, and remember that it tends to be the less creative jobs that AI will replace. Good luck!