What if you knew you might lose your job to technological innovation in the next ten years? What would be your next line of action?
Will you believe it and look for ways to stop it from happening, or will you rebuke it and keep moving until it happens?
The job market is quite competitive, and recently, we also have had to compete with technologies to keep the jobs we have worked so hard for.
One common news that has been making rounds worldwide is "Most jobs will be replaced by AI (artificial intelligence) very soon"; if we are honest, this is not far from the truth.
Artificial Intelligence, commonly called AI, is the ability of machines or computer systems to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. These tasks include learning from experience, understanding natural language, recognising patterns, solving problems, and making decisions.
AI aims to create machines that can mimic cognitive functions such as perception, reasoning, and problem-solving, allowing them to perform tasks without explicit programming for each step. It's about making computers smart enough to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence.
As AI progresses, it's shaking up various industries. It's changing the job landscape, and we'll examine its impact on some job roles.
To understand this clearly, we will be categorising these jobs into three groups and the effect of AI on these jobs.
The replacement of jobs by artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced technologies has been debated in recent years. While the impact of AI on employment varies across different industries and roles, there are several reasons why these roles may eventually be entirely replaced with AI.
Let's delve into each of these roles and explore why AI might replace them.
Data Entry Clerks
Data entry clerks are responsible for inputting and maintaining data in various databases. AI-powered data entry solutions, like Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and natural language processing, have become increasingly accurate and efficient. They can read and process documents, forms, and even handwritten text, reducing the need for human data entry clerks.
Telemarketing often involves making repetitive, scripted calls to potential customers. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle routine customer interactions, answer frequently asked questions, and even conduct personalised sales pitches. They can work around the clock without fatigue and offer cost-effective alternatives to human telemarketers.
Self-checkout machines and automated kiosks are becoming commonplace in retail stores, supermarkets, and restaurants. These systems can handle transactions efficiently, reducing the need for human cashiers. Additionally, mobile payment and contactless payment technologies further diminish the demand for traditional cashiers.
The manufacturing industry has been at the forefront of automation for decades. Robots and AI-driven machines are increasingly capable of performing tasks traditionally carried out by human workers, such as assembly, quality control, and material handling. AI-powered machines' precision, consistency, and efficiency make them attractive options for manufacturers.
The need for in-person bank tellers has diminished with the rise of online banking, mobile apps, and ATMs. Many banking transactions, including deposits, withdrawals, and transfers, can be performed through digital channels or self-service kiosks. AI-powered chatbots also assist with customer inquiries and problem resolution.
Toll Booth Operators
Electronic toll collection systems, such as RFID and license plate recognition technology, are gradually replacing toll booth operators. These automated systems eliminate the need for human operators and can process toll payments more efficiently.
File Clerks and Record Keepers
Digital document management systems and cloud storage solutions have reduced the reliance on physical paper files and the need for file clerks. AI-driven document scanning, indexing, and retrieval systems are increasingly adept at managing and organising digital documents.
AI and IoT (Internet of Things) technology have enabled remote monitoring of utility meters, such as electricity, gas, and water. Automated systems collect data, reducing the necessity of human meter readers visiting each location in person.
Postal Workers (for sorting and distribution)
Automation has significantly impacted postal services. AI-driven sorting machines can process mail and packages more quickly and accurately than manual sorting. Autonomous delivery vehicles and drones have also been tested for last-mile delivery, potentially replacing the need for postal workers in certain areas.
Copy Shop Employees (for basic tasks)
Copy shops have seen a decline in traditional photocopying and printing services as individuals and businesses have access to high-quality, cost-effective printers and copiers. Self-service options are increasingly prevalent, reducing the need for human employees in these roles.
Parking Lot Attendants
Automated parking systems, including ticket dispensers, gates, and payment kiosks, are replacing the role of parking lot attendants. These systems can efficiently manage vehicle entry and exit and process payments without human intervention.
How to prepare for this:
AI will continue to advance, and one major thing the workforce may need to do is to adapt;
Many jobs and tasks are being partially replaced by artificial intelligence (AI and automation, but the extent to which these replacements occur varies depending on the nature of the work and the level of human involvement required.
In the following sections, we'll explore why each mentioned role is only partially replaced with AI.
Retail Sales Associates:
Retail sales involve substantial human interaction, including understanding and responding to customer preferences, providing personalised recommendations, and handling complex queries. While AI can assist by analysing customer data and providing product suggestions, the human touch remains crucial in establishing rapport and addressing unique customer needs.
Customer Service Representatives:
Customer service representatives are often the first point of contact for resolving customer issues and inquiries. AI-driven chatbots and automated response systems can handle routine questions, but more complex or emotionally charged concerns still require human intervention. Empathy and understanding are qualities that humans excel at and are challenging for AI to replicate convincingly.
AI has made significant inroads in the legal profession, automating tasks like document review and legal research. However, legal assistants also perform functions that require human judgment, such as interacting with clients, understanding context, and providing emotional support. Additionally, legal decisions often involve ethical and moral considerations beyond AI's capabilities.
Market analysts rely on AI for data collection and analysis, which can quickly process vast amounts of information. However, interpreting the data in the context of broader economic and social factors, understanding consumer behaviour, and making strategic recommendations require human expertise. Market analysis often involves qualitative insights that go beyond raw data.
AI has made significant strides in medical diagnostics, aiding in interpreting medical images and data. However, medical professionals are critical in confirming and refining AI-generated diagnoses, considering patient history and symptoms, and making treatment decisions. Medicine is a highly complex field that relies on human judgment and empathy.
Copy Editors and Proofreaders:
While AI can assist in grammar and spelling checks, it often needs help understanding context, tone, and style. Copy editors and proofreaders ensure that content is error-free, coherent, engaging, and tailored to the target audience. Their creativity and language skills are challenging for AI to replicate fully.
Social Media Content Moderators:
AI algorithms detect and filter inappropriate content, but human content moderators remain essential for making nuanced decisions. Context, cultural sensitivity, and understanding humour or sarcasm are complex aspects that human moderators excel at. Additionally, they play a crucial role in addressing emerging issues and evolving content trends.
Mail Carriers (with automated sorting and delivery):
While automated sorting and delivery systems have reduced the manual labour required in the postal industry, mail carriers are essential for delivering packages to homes and businesses. They can navigate complex addresses, interact with recipients, and adapt to changing circumstances (e.g., package delivery instructions) in a way that automated systems cannot.
One thing that still stands among all these jobs mentioned above is human discretion. The partial replacement of these roles with AI highlights the importance of human touch in tasks involving complex decision-making, emotional intelligence, creativity, and context awareness.
AI is a valuable tool for augmenting and streamlining these roles, enabling workers to focus on higher-value tasks that require uniquely human skills.
The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into various industries has transformed the landscape of work. While concerns about job displacement have been raised, many jobs are being fully augmented and enhanced by AI rather than being replaced.
AI has become an indispensable tool for graphic designers. It streamlines design processes, offering quick access to design templates, suggesting colour palettes, and generating layouts. Graphic designers can harness AI to automate repetitive tasks, leaving more time for creativity and refining concepts. AI assists in the design, but the artistic vision and originality remain in the hands of the designer.
The use of AI complements the expertise of medical professionals. It aids in diagnostic processes, analyses medical images, and offers data-driven insights into treatment options. With AI handling routine tasks, doctors can focus on patient care, complex diagnoses, and personalised treatment plans. The synergy between human intuition and AI precision results in improved healthcare.
Quality Control Inspectors
Quality control inspectors benefit from AI's ability to detect defects with remarkable accuracy. Automated systems with AI algorithms can quickly identify product flaws, ensuring quality standards are consistently met. Human inspectors can then oversee more complex and nuanced aspects of quality control.
Taxi and Delivery Drivers (with the rise of autonomous vehicles)
Autonomous vehicles powered by AI are transforming the role of taxi and delivery drivers. Human drivers become supervisors and safety monitors while the AI handles navigation and vehicle operation. This collaboration makes transportation safer and more efficient, reducing the risk of human error.
Construction Laborers (for some tasks)
Construction labourers are embracing AI-powered tools that make their work more efficient and less physically demanding. Exoskeletons, drones, and smart helmets assist with heavy lifting, surveying, and safety monitoring. This augmentation reduces the physical strain on workers and enhances the precision of construction tasks.
Agricultural Laborers (for routine farming tasks)
AI and automation have revolutionised agriculture. Drones, automated tractors, and sensors assist with routine farming tasks such as planting, watering, and harvesting. Farmers can optimise their operations using data-driven insights and remote control, making farming more sustainable and productive.
Mining and Geological Engineers (for data analysis)
Mining and geological engineers now harness the power of AI to analyse vast datasets and predict resource locations with higher accuracy. AI processes geological information, while engineers make critical decisions based on AI-generated insights. This partnership maximises the efficiency of resource extraction.
Call Center Operators (for routine queries)
AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants handle routine customer queries, allowing call centre operators to focus on more complex issues and providing exceptional customer service. Call centre operators can leverage AI to quickly access customer data and history, enabling a more personalised and efficient response.
Data Enrichment Specialists
Data enrichment specialists use AI to automate the tedious task of sorting, categorising, and cleaning data. AI can identify patterns and relationships within datasets more efficiently, leaving specialists to apply their expertise in data interpretation, analysis, and insights generation.
Loan Processors (for basic application processing)
AI accelerates the loan application process by handling data entry, verification, and initial assessment. Loan processors can focus on more complex tasks like risk assessment, customer interaction, and ensuring compliance with regulations. This collaboration streamlines the lending process while maintaining a human touch in decision-making.
The AI's impact isn't limited to one industry. It's widespread, leaving many workers needing clarification on their future. People must be flexible and find new opportunities to adapt and succeed in this AI era.
AI also creates possibilities. By embracing AI and learning how to work with it, professionals can stay relevant and succeed.
Which job do you think will be impacted by AI? Let us know in the comment box.