A NEW SURVEY SHOWS PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED
An AI think tank called Fountech recently surveyed over 2,000 people in the UK and found that 67% are concerned about the impact that AI will have on their career. Only 31% believe that AI will not be able to outperform them in their job duties. These findings may seem daunting to some, but its pretty clear that after we experience a surge in jobs due to AI we will experience a serious loss of jobs. Eventually the only jobs left will be highly skilled tech positions involving the creation and maintenance of the AI programs that replace most of today’s workers. That prospect does and should frighten a lot of people.
MAJOR JOB LOSS IS COMING
As we have discussed on here before it is probable that in the short term AI will create many new jobs. These new jobs will be mostly programming and data science related positions that will require specific training though. Most, if not all, non skilled labor is going straight out the window within the next few decades. We stated in the post that we linked to above that major job loss was so far in the future that it wasn’t practical to be concerned about. Our opinion on the subject has changed, and as a result, we now believe that everyone should be thinking about whether their current job is an “at risk” job. In other words, one that can be easily automated.
The above graphic highlights a disturbing trend that stems from job loss due to automation.
AT RISK JOBS
Most jobs will be automated in the far future but the question here is which ones will be automated within the next few decades? Generally speaking jobs that require working directly with people like in the medical or psychology fields are hard to automate because AI is not capable of connecting emotionally with humans. Also jobs that have a wider array of possible tasks are more difficult to automate because AI lacks general intelligence which is needed to learn new things quickly. These include occupations like surgeons, engineers, and electricians.
Other jobs that don’t require much human interaction and have a much smaller and less complicated set of day to day tasks are easily automated and will be gone within the next few decades. Truck drivers, cashiers, waiters, retail workers, and secretaries are some of the easiest jobs to delegate out to AI programs.
Here is a link to an interesting graphic that ranks jobs by how likely they are to be automated on a graph. Other data points are taken into consideration as well such as education level and average wage.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT AUTOMATION
The bottom line here is AI will take away a lot of low skill jobs that some people rely on. There is no easy long term fix for this. If you believe there is a chance that your job could be automated you simply need to learn some new skills. Highly skilled jobs are some of the hardest to automate. You have to be employable in more than one area to compete with AI. With the rise of online universities learning these new skills is easier than ever before. Remember that while many jobs will be lost, the influx of AI in the workplace will result in world’s GDP surging higher than we could possibly imagine. If handled properly, the abundance of wealth could be used to solve all of the major problems humanity faces.