AI is coming for professional jobs

Most pressing for the general population is what impact, if any, AI will have to them personally. As I explained in my recent book, “The Artificial Intelligence Citizen”, applications of AI are geared towards improving the overall quality of life of humans. This means more time-saving measures and more efficient operations from task automation. However, the automation of tasks will also cause considerable changes in the blue and white-collar job markets.

For example, in the transportation industry, with the improvements in vehicles' ability to navigate road networks, human drivers are set to suffer job losses. AI is not only disrupting the boring and risky blue-collar jobs, but also white-collar job professions. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, investment managers, will be soon replaced or augmented with narrow AI systems. As conversational AI agents, digital humans and other related technologies continue to improve and offer dynamic interactions with humans, many professionals maysoon find jobs difficult to come by.  But how should these changes be viewed? The previous industrial revolutions help provide context as we know that while job losses resulted from automation, many more jobs were created.

Therefore, the more ideal way to look at the changes that will happen in the job market is to view it as a transition rather than elimination. It is estimated that there is already a shortage of at least 500,000 AI and data scientists.

It is unlikely that AI will take over entire industries or even occupations. However, there are aspects of an occupation that may be automated. Data from McKinsey states that 60% of current jobs have up to 30% of their tasks automatable. Overall, the expectation is that 1/3 of the current jobs will be displaced by AI over the next couple of years.

The World Economic Forum projects that even though 75 million jobs will be displaced, an estimated 133 million new jobs will also be created.

Affected individuals would need to upskill to equip themselves to be better able to interact with the adopted AI solutions. People in the labor force will also need to keep track of changes within their industries to be prepared to take advantage of the jobs that will becreated.

What Jobs AI Will Replace

The result of automation will be job losses in professions where most tasks are automated. Some of the people whose jobs are under the most threat include:

1.           Telemarketers

2.           Book-keeping clerks

3.           Receptionists

4.           Couriers

5.           Drivers

6.           Financial analysts

7.           Investment managers

8.           Customer service assistants

9.           Manual laborers

10.      Retail salespeople

11.      Accountants

12.      Market research analysts

13.      Computer support specialists

14.      Proofreaders

15.      Benefits managers

16.      Waiters

17.      Construction workers

18.      Security guards

19.      Chefs

20.      Journalists

21.      Data entry clerks

What Jobs AI Won’t Replace

Some jobs are more likely than others to survive the automation of tasks that AI is set to cause. Some of them include:

1.           Creative jobs (e.g., novelists, poets)

2.           Strategy jobs (e.g., diplomats)

3.           Empathetic jobs (e.g., teachers, care givers)

4.           “Unknown jobs” (e.g., new jobs that will be created by AI)

The Most In-Demand Future Jobs

In the ever-evolving world of work, these jobs are set to be the most in-demand:

1.           AI Business developers

2.           Machine learning developers

3.           Data scientist

4.           Data engineers

5.           Machine learning engineers

6.           Virtual reality architects

7.           CGI engineers

8.           Data brokers

9.           AI human collaboration specialists

10.      Registered nurses and care givers

11.      Software engineers

12.      General and operations managers

13.      Financial managers

14.      Management analysts

15.      Physicians and surgeons

16.      AI Marketing specialists

17.      Computer and information systems managers

18.      Elementary school teachers

19.      Post-secondary health specialities teachers

20.      Physical therapists


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