Which Jobs Will Artificial Intelligence Impact?

As artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to evolve, many are concerned about its potential implications, particularly regarding employment. The capability of AI to change business operations and societal norms is profound, prompting questions about ethics, privacy, and human roles. One immediate question is: is AI here to take over?

It’s no secret automation has already led to job losses. Since 2000, around 1.7 million manufacturing positions have been lost due to automation. One notable example has been the displacement of check out personnel at your local Coles, Woolworths and other supermarkets. However, AI is not just about job displacement. Predictions suggest that AI might generate 97 million new jobs by 2025.

Certain industries are more vulnerable to AI-driven job reductions than others. Notably, the Forbes Technology Council’s senior tech executives have pinpointed several jobs and industries poised for extensive automation in the coming decade. This list includes manufacturing, warehouse roles, long-haul trucking, research, data entry, customer service, and specific insurance roles. These sectors represent a vast number of jobs for both specialised and general workers.

Many other roles may also face partial or complete automation. Jobs with repetitive and teachable tasks are especially at risk. This includes roles like delivery drivers, security personnel, receptionists, pilots, bus drivers, and certain military roles. Some roles supporting doctors and surgeons could also be automated in the near future.

The advancement of chatbots, like ChatGPT, has fuelled speculation regarding the automation of writing jobs. By March 2023, ChatGPT demonstrated proficiency in several standardised tests and showed capability in creative writing endeavours such as songwriting and novel writing. High-level creative writing might remain a human specialty. AI might assist in brainstorming or drafting, but the final touch would likely need a human hand.

AI systems for creating music and visual art are in development. Even though there are challenges for AI to match human artistry, there is a push to produce AI-driven art, potentially reducing costs associated with human artists.

Certain job categories, primarily those demanding emotional or social intelligence, seem less prone to AI takeover. AI excels at processing data and executing specific instructions but falters when creativity or emotional insight is required.

Corporate executives, teachers, lawyers, graphic designers, computer scientists, psychiatrists, and many artists possess skills not easily replicated by AI, giving them a level of job security.

Many experts concur that AI can introduce new products and services, resulting in the emergence of unforeseen job types. One promising area is data, as AI systems heavily depend on it. This dependency will require experts in data sourcing, annotation, engineering, and labelling.

While some industries will undoubtedly be affected by AI, workers who adapt and integrate AI into their roles could thrive.