Will a robot take my job? As artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to advance, it’s a question almost everyone is asking. And while there is no doubt that AI will transform the job market, not all positions are under threat. So, what are the jobs most at risk? Here are five roles AI has in its firing line.
1. Factory workers
As the fourth industrial revolution takes over manufacturing, routine manual tasks are increasingly being filled by robots rather than humans. Using a combination of AI, machine learning, and logistics robotics, manufacturers are automating everything from inventory management, to storage, and even distribution. Jobs less at risk in manufacturing include managerial and supervisory positions. And, as the technology advances, manufacturers will likely start recruiting people with skills in robotics technology.
With big names in automotive including Tesla, Volvo, and Google’s Waymo telling us that self-driving cars will be on roads very soon, drivers could be in trouble. GM plans to launch its driverless taxi-service next year, with Nissan hot on its heels. If all goes to plan, jobs for taxi drivers and chauffeurs could cease to exist. Next up will be truck drivers and couriers, whose roles could be replaced by AI-powered drones and transport vehicles.
In addition to factory workers and drivers, many jobs in the retail space could also be displaced by AI in the near future. We already have cashier-less stores and airport check-in desks, powered by computer vision and sensors, popping up around the world. In addition, jobs with components of inventory management and ordering are already starting to see the effects of automation, thanks to software like Kounta and Ordermentum which monitor stock levels and order replacements when you’re running low.
Everyone from clerical staff and administrative assistants, to secretaries and data entry personnel could be at risk of AI either taking their job – or parts of it. Almost every tech company has created – or is in the process of creating – AI-powered personal assistants that can schedule appointments, send emails, book meetings, and even answer your phone.
5. Customer service reps
AI, chatbots, and automated self-service technologies are increasingly taking the strain off the customer service sector. This means we can likely expect fewer roles for both call centre personnel and face-to-face customer service agents. Some experts go so far as to predict that by 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent. While AI is set to revolutionise the type of work we do, it doesn’t mean we’re all going to lose our jobs to robots. Despite it trickling into everyday life, AI is still in its infancy. It still relies on human data and intelligence to function and learn. At least for now, this is where it’s limitations lie.
As the technology evolves – and displaces some roles – it will create others. To stay in the race, always keep up-to-date with the technology affecting your industry.