It is a fear for many of us. You find it dotted throughout history and on your screen. With technology developing at an ever-increasing rate, many are contemplating what the future of the workforce will look like.
Will artificial intelligence replace human jobs? Join us on a journey through the AI work portal as we uncover what AI could mean for human employment in the foreseeable future.
AI has taken over several human jobs and will continue to do so on a large scale in the future. Like in the industrial revolution, humans will find employment in new focus areas as their work becomes redundant. The truth is that AI needs humans on many levels, therefore we will not likely be completely overrun.
Robots have been taking over more and more human jobs for a while now. From as early as the mid-1930s, people have been replaced with hardier, more robust versions of themselves. So with AI taking automation to the next level, should we be afraid? Let us find out.
Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Human Jobs in the future?
A recent survey by the Stevens Institute of Technology determined that 71% of Americans fear that adopting more AI technology could lead to fewer jobs for humans.
Interestingly, in the same survey, 53% percent of Americans said AI could create better human working conditions. A massive 70% felt it could create safer work environments.
As enlightening as surveys are to determine public rhetoric, it remains vital to assess the data of what is truly happening now and what we can rationally expect to happen in the future regarding AI and our jobs.
According to the World Economic Forum, we can expect to lose around 85 million jobs within the next five years. But, before you spit out your coffee, there is good news too. Even with those 85 million jobs lost and replaced by AI, we can expect AI and automation to create 97 million new roles.
New skilled roles come with new technology and ways of doing things, and a larger human workforce will be needed to fulfill the requirement of these roles. AI may take one aspect of a job, but by implementing AI into the company’s system, places of work are opening up more employment opportunities for humans.
Watch the video below on the future of the workplace to learn more about the impacts of AI on our jobs.
As AI takes over more jobs, we cannot help thinking of the industrial revolution. When human workers began losing their jobs to machines, it likely felt like the world’s end. Indeed, lace workers, among others, fled from England to France to find work.
We tend to forget that England was an emerging country before the industrial revolution, with terrible living conditions for most people in the country at that time. After the industrial revolution, despite replacing labor-intensive jobs, many more jobs and work areas were available for anyone willing to pivot.
While the global pandemic of 2020 forced companies to downsize and let some workers go, we cannot deny that automation, digital, and technological development were fast-tracked.
An important realization to come to grips with is that wherever there is technology, AI or otherwise, there will be a need for human beings.
How many jobs will be lost to automation by 2050
The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2030, nearly half of the current work activities will be automated.
The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2050, there could be up to 7 billion workers without a job because of automation. However, the World Economic Forum also indicates that the rise of automation will create 133 million new jobs by 2050.
Both these predictions are based on the following assumptions:- Robots will perform most work activities, with some remaining human tasks being completed by computers and other robots.
Which Jobs Will Artificial Intelligence Take Over?
The fact that Artificial Intelligence will take over specific jobs is somewhat inevitable. Yet, while it may seem a little overwhelming and terrifying, we can take heart from knowing that particular jobs will always need human intelligence over artificial intelligence.
According to getting Smarter, a few jobs that Artificial Intelligence is expected to take over take over include:
- Bookkeepers and data capturers
- Retail workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Pharmaceutical workers
- Market research analysts
- Security guards
- Factory workers
We can already see a rise in the daily jobs AI does for us. Automated data management, analysis, and visualization, as offered by companies like Opennetworks, allow artificial access to companies’ sensitive data. The software handles the data securely, eliminating the human error element.
It may stress you to see your job mentioned as one that will become obsolete in the face of artificial intelligence, but know that there will always be new job opportunities in the future workforce for those willing to adapt.
Employees that are the least likely to be affected perform jobs that require human intuition, ingenuity, and touch. Unfortunately, this is something that artificial intelligence cannot easily replicate.
So teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, physical therapists, robotics engineers, software and hardware developers, creators, and the like are probably safe. Moreover, humans will remain the best option when a sensitive touch or discretion is needed, leaving those jobs available to us and not our artificially intelligent counterparts.
What Does An Artificial Intelligence Takeover Mean For Human Workers?
When we mention an AI Takeover, your mind may jump to scenes from the Terminator or Matrix films. But, in reality, we already live in an era when automated robots perform many aspects of jobs.
AI analyses much of your online activity. It selects which ads you see, which pages you engage with, and more. Bots help you with your online banking, studies, and surveys, which is the beginning.
When large-scale companies adopt automation and Artificial Intelligence as an integral part of their operations, they notice the small changes that lead to significant differences.
Imagine an auditing firm with an automated auditing process. Your mind likely jumped to questions of what the staff who did the auditing before do now. It is a helpful question, and the answer is a little surprising.
As the author of the Pressure Cooker: Leading in a Values and People Centred Way, Elmarie Vos, explained to us: “In a so-called connected world, it is the human element that is, and will most likely always be, the most important aspect of our experiences in life and our careers.”
When tedious work, like auditing or data entry, is taken over by automated or AI systems, workers are allowed to perform tasks that connect more with their humanity and that of their clients.
Instead of burning the candle at both ends and performing tasks below their capability thresholds, workers can now leave those tasks to robots or ai machines that are not likely to make errors out of tiredness or boredom.
It seems almost ironic to think that if we leverage AI for some of the work we are afraid to lose, we are allowed to provide a better, more human service to our clients. Relationships can be built and maintained, resulting in better long-term company support, while the AI-handled work comes back flawless and on time.
Certain companies are making use of cobots. Cobots work with humans instead of replacing them. They have been described as the hardware version of augmented reality and likened to the Iron Man suit.
Humans control cobots. They manipulate every move the robot makes, teaching how to do the job in a way that is more precise than a human would be able to do. This type of collaboration is one example of what an AI takeover looks like, although, as we can see, it is a way of working together meaningfully.
As life during the pandemic showed us, those with technical skills and the ability to adapt quickly are the fittest in this new race for survival. In addition to being a digital wizard, the vital aspects of human creativity, human interaction, and collaboration will enable you to compete in an ever-changing job environment.
For now, artificial intelligence cannot compete with our understanding of soft skills and concepts. It cannot express itself as sincerely as we can. AI is great at performing dangerous, tedious, or lengthy tasks, but the rest will be up to us.
When considering what an Artificial Intelligence takeover means for us, keep in mind a few key points to stay ahead as human beings in an increasingly machine-driven world:
- Be adaptable
- Be open to accepting and using technology collaboratively
- Work on your people skills
- Prioritize teamwork and relationships within your job
- Be willing to work with AI, not instead of it
- Be ready to change focus or pivot entirely if your job becomes redundant.
Can AI Replace Creative Jobs?
AI is a powerful tool that can do many things, but there are some things that it cannot replace. One of the most important ones is creativity. AI can help us be more creative and improve our creative skills, but we will never be able to create something from scratch.
Robots are still not capable of feeling emotions and empathy. They also cannot replace humans in jobs that require those skills.
Although the ability of AI to create something from scratch has yet to be achieved, AI has already impacted many industries. For example, AI can now aid in creative functions such as image generation, image recognition, and speech synthesis.
The Negative impact of artificial intelligence on employment
It seems like there’s no area of work that isn’t affected by AI. And while there are certainly some benefits to this shift, it’s also important to consider the potential downside.
Several factors contribute to the impact of AI on jobs. First, as AI gets better at completing tasks, human workers will need less to do those tasks. This is already happening in some industries, such as manufacturing, where robots are increasingly used to perform repetitive and dangerous tasks.
Second, AI can automate multiple tasks simultaneously, which means that one machine can do the work of many humans. This increased efficiency could lead to large-scale layoffs as businesses seek to cut costs.
Finally, AI is capable of learning and improving over time. This means that its capabilities will continue to increase, making it even more difficult for humans to compete, especially when it comes to ai robots completing repetitive physical tasks.
While the impact of AI on jobs is a serious concern, some steps can be taken to mitigate the risk. One option is to provide training and education for workers to use and work with AI.
This will help ensure that there are still jobs available for those willing and able to learn new skills. Another option is to create regulations that limit the use of AI in specific industries or its capabilities.
This would help protect jobs in industries at risk of being automated. Finally, it’s essential to invest in research and development so that we can continue to create new and innovative applications for AI. This will help ensure that its impact is positive and its benefits outweigh potential negative consequences.
We must consider the potential negative consequences of AI and take steps to mitigate them before it’s too late. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in the future where only a privileged few can access meaningful work.
The positive impact of artificial intelligence on employment
Machine learning algorithms can now identify patterns and insights in data with incredible accuracy. Furthermore, machine learning can develop complex strategies that can be applied to various applications, from automated checkouts to self-driving cars.
It is still too early to say definitively how AI will impact jobs in the long term. However, in the short term, AI is at risk of job losses as machines automate tasks traditionally done by human workers.
In the long term, AI has the potential to create new employment opportunities, as businesses need more people to manage and interpret the data generated by AI systems.
In addition, developing new AI-based products and services can create demand for workers with the skills to design, build, and market them. Therefore, while there is some risk that AI adoption will lead to job losses in the short term, it also has the potential to create new employment opportunities in the long term.
Artificial Intelligence has begun to replace human jobs and will continue to do so in the future. While humans may lose specific positions, the ones replaced by automation and AI tend to be those that are mundane, tedious, time-consuming, or dangerous. AI can complete repetitive tasks that humans find boring mechanical jobs that may be less efficient for humans to perform.
AI allows humans to perform jobs that better suit our human touch. Work that involves soft skills, socialization, relationship-building, empathy, or, of course, the designing, programming, and building of robots, will always have a place for us. While most Americans fear AI taking their jobs, many also feel positive, seeing the benefits AI can bring.
If you look at the prospect of introducing more AI into your line of work, do you visualize a machine-led wasteland? A cooperative existence? Something altogether different? Perhaps as we venture further into the future, the actual reality of our co-existence with AI will become clear. But, for now, let us stay tuned and adapt as needed to hold onto our human experience.