12 jobs that robots (AI) will replace in the future, and 12 that won’t

Last updated on October 5, 2021

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Artificial intelligence has become a buzzword that has permeated all our lives. AI and automation are transforming how businesses communicate with their clients and execute their operations. The transformation in the industry has also led to a change in skills requirements.

As a result, 34% of HR leaders invest in workforce learning and reskilling as part of their strategy to prepare for the future of work.”

These technologies have brought numerous benefits such as:

  • Higher productivity.
  • Better GDP growth.
  • Improved performance.

But they have also changed the way we view human workers now.

In an interview with the New York Times, the tech avantgarde Elon Musk said that artificial intelligence would take over humans in the next five years.

In this blog, we shall discuss which jobs AI or robots may take over in the future.
But first, let’s discuss what these terms mean:

 

  • Artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Machine Learning (ML).
  • Robots.
  • AI-enabled robots.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

 

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1. What is AI?

Artificial intelligence or AI simulates human intellect to machines. AI-enabled machines are capable of performing specific tasks better than humans and mimic human actions. There are four types of AI:

  • Reactive machines: This is the most superficial level of AI. Reactive machines can do basic operations. They cannot form memories or use past experiences to make decisions. IBM’s Deep Blue is the perfect example of this type of machine. This AI beat international grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997.
  • Limited memory: This AI type can store existing data and create better output by using the data. For example, Tesla’s self-driving cars observe the speed of vehicles and direction and act accordingly.
  • Theory of mind: Theory of mind can connect with human thoughts and interpret them better. The AI can understand people and have thoughts and emotions of its own. These AI machines are still hypothetical, but researchers are making many efforts to develop such AI machines.
  • Self-aware AI: This type of AI is a thing of the future. A self-aware AI will have an independent intelligence, and it will make its own decisions. These machines will be smarter than the human mind.

2. What is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning is a discipline within artificial intelligence where systems can learn from past data, identify patterns, detect anomalies, and make decisions with minimal human intervention. Once the system has learned from the past data, it can provide an inference based on the new input parameters.

There are primarily three different types of machine learning, namely:

2.1 Supervised Learning

Learning takes place from the training dataset under supervision. The input and output data are known for the training data, and the learning process establishes a relationship between them.

2.2 Unsupervised Learning

The corresponding output variables for a set of input variables are not established in unsupervised learning. Algorithms such as clustering and association are designed to model the data’s underlying structure or distribution to learn more about them.

2.3 Reinforced Learning

Reinforcement learning employs trial and error methods to come up with a solution and gets either rewards or penalties for the actions it performs. Reinforcement learning is the most effective way to hint at a machine’s creativity.

3. What is a robot?

A robot is a machine that is capable of carrying out specific tasks automatically. It can replicate human efforts and provide better outcomes.

There are five types of robots:

  • Pre-programmed robots: Pre-programmed robots can perform simple tasks. A mechanical arm used for welding in the automotive industry is an example of a pre-programmed robot.
  • Humanoid robots: These robots can perform human-like activities. They look like humans and mimic human actions. Hanson Robotics’ Sophia is a perfect example of humanoid robots.
  • Teleoperated robots: Humans control these robots. They perform tasks in extreme conditions where humans cannot operate. Human-controlled submarines or drones are examples of teleoperated robots.
  • Autonomous robots: These are independent robots that do not require human intervention. They carry out tasks on their own. A perfect example would be the Roomba vacuum cleaner. It uses sensors to roam throughout a home freely.
  • Augmenting robots: Augmenting robots enhance human capabilities by replacing the ineffective part. Some examples of augmenting robots are prosthetic limbs or exoskeletons.

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4. What is an AI-enabled robot?

Reinforcement learning principles apply to AI-enabled robots. It enables a robot to autonomously discover an optimal behavior through trial-and-error interactions with its environment. Solving complex problems using this approach allows AI-enabled robots to take over repetitive tasks from human beings.

AI-enabled robots can navigate, sense and monitor their actions through computerized vision. These robots can learn on their own and calculate their reactions accordingly.

The manufacturing factories use AI-enabled robots. The following are some of the fields where AI-enabled robots are used:

  • Assembly
  • Packaging.
  • Customer service.
  • Repetitive custom tasks.

5. What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) allows the robot to integrate with human interactions and execute business processes just like humans. RPA enables the robots to manipulate business applications, interpret and communicate with systems to automate repetitive tasks.

RPA robots can operate tasks nonstop and at a much faster rate than humans. Their precision and reliability are unparalleled.

Most organizations are implementing AI and other technological advancements in many areas, starting from manufacturing to customer management. The introduction of technology has made some rapid changes in the way we work. And ideally, automation will lead to some significant changes, to the extent of AI replacing jobs.

However, the primary question remains,

12 jobs that robots (AI) will replace in the future, and 12 that won't

6. Will robots take our jobs?

It is probably not an easy answer to provide, but the concern is far from being baseless.
Even if the change is not imminent right now, industry experts such as Fortune have stated that “robots will replace 40% of jobs in the next 15 years”.

AI and advanced technology expect that processes will become smarter, and machines will be more humanized in the long run. However, the problem is that it may also make a few jobs redundant.

According to the World Intelligence Congress, AI, virtual personal assistants, and chatbots will replace almost 69% of the manager’s workload by 2024.

When technology and computers were introduced, they showed improvements in productivity, global reach, and faster communication across the world. Computers have reduced or eliminated paperwork to a great extent, for one. IT and software have enhanced our problem-solving, reasoning, knowledge, learning, and planning qualities.

But do you think robots are taking over your job as well? It may be hard to predict the exact impact that AI will have on specific assignments. Mechanization and technology have had some effect on particular professions. Similarly, AI might also have that impact.

Let’s look at some of the professions that may be deemed redundant in the future and why.

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7. 12 jobs that robots will replace in the future

Based on the nature and type of these jobs, here is a rundown of the jobs that AI machines are most likely to perform in the future:

1. Customer service executives

Customer service executives don’t require a high level of social or emotional intelligence to perform. Many companies now rely on AI to answer FAQs and customer support questions. Chatbots are not only becoming a significant part of customer interaction. They also support a lot of internal queries, among others.

2. Bookkeeping and data entry

There is a chance you may not have heard of bookkeeping as a profession in a long time. Instead of using humans for data entry and bookkeeping, it makes sense for AI and ML (Machine Learning) to be introduced in the product cycle.

3. Receptionists

And with auto check-ins in both large and small hotels, there will be a lesser need for receptionists in the long run. Nowadays, even in fast food joints, people can place orders through communication screens or tabs. With AI’s introduction, there is a good chance that robots can handle ordering and other related functions.

4. Proofreading

While editing is a more complex job in terms of tonality, comprehension, and others, proofreading is much simpler. Detecting grammatical mistakes, sentence construction, and other errors can easily be automated through different apps. For example, Grammarly is one of the most famous apps that professionals use for this purpose.

5. Manufacturing and pharmaceutical work

This sector is probably the most extensive area where people are scared that AI will take over jobs. When the production process for most commodities produced today has been mechanized, the operational aspect can also be handled by AI.

Even in pharmaceutical labs, robots can work together with scientists providing a much safer environment. Scientists will no longer be putting their lives less at risk.

6. Retail services

Automated services have replaced people who carry out the way sales. From several merchants focussing on self-ordering and payment options, AI can very quickly be involved as well.

Robots are replacing retailer jobs in many shopping conglomerates to understand customers’ patterns. Moreover, the advanced data analysis of AI machines shows other products that customers might be interested in in the future.

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7. Courier services

AI has introduced many social and economic changes to the delivery industry. It has streamlined various logistics and supply chain functions. Drones and robots are already taking over courier services. Aside from the manufacturing industry, the transport sectors will be most affected when robotic automation booms in the future years.

8. Doctors

We are already witnessing robot-surgeons perform critical operations worldwide, and it’s only a matter of time before they completely replace us. Robotic doctors will make more accurate and effective treatments for the patients compared to their human counterparts. There is also less chance of infection due to more sterile measures and no room for human error.

9. Soldiers

Military professionals are sure that future battlefields will consist of robots that can follow orders without constant supervision. Robots are significantly being used in military operations for various tasks such as surveillance, intelligence, and many more.

Recently, the head of the UK military stated that “autonomous robots could soon form a quarter of the British army by 2030.

10. Taxi and bus drivers

There is a 98% chance that this sector will be completely automated. Self-driving cars are already here, and it won’t be long before fully autonomous vehicles take over us.
As per the Los Angeles Times, self-driving trucks could replace 1.7 million American truckers in the next ten years.

11. Market research analysts

Research analysts are crucial for every organization. They conduct market research to increase the performance of their business. AI-enabled robots are gaining popularity in this sector because of the comprehensive data that they provide.

12. Security guards

AI has made substantial advancements in the field of physical security. For example, Yelp’s security robot can inspect a building with its high-definition camera. It also has a directional mic and infrared sensor that can detect any suspicious activity. There is an 84% chance that AI will fully automate this sector in the future.

With an increasing dependency on technology for these functions, human involvement will be redundant for future jobs. But does the future look that bleak for everyone who has a job?

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8. 12 jobs that AI can’t replace

Human creativity knows no limits. Strategic thinking, thought leadership, conflict resolution and negotiation, emotional intelligence, and empathy are qualities in jobs that AI cannot replace at any point in time.

Following are some of the professions which would stand the test of time:

1. Human resource managers

A company’s Human Resources department will always need a human to manage interpersonal conflict. Humans possess non-cognitive and reasoning skills. Robots cannot understand human emotions; hence this job won’t be replaced by robots soon.

This sector will grow 9% by 2024. The likelihood that robots will take over this sector is 0.55%.

2. Writers

Writers have to ideate and produce original written content. Every piece of writing is unique. Machines can never personalize the way humans do. They cannot relate to other humans. Writers need to have creativity and empathy, which AI won’t be replacing soon.

AIs can do some of this with pre-programming, but robots can never take over the creative side.

3. Lawyers

Being a lawyer implies being smart enough to bend the rules in your favor. A robot will never know the precise point to hit the opposite party with the right argument. Robots cannot have the emotional intelligence to persuade people. A robot cannot reason with another human being.

However, robots can help in terms of processing evidence.

4. Chief executives

Chief executives have to look after a broad spectrum of operations. They need to motivate vast teams of people working for them. Every leader is integrated with a myriad of leadership skills. There is no absolute formula for being the best leader and no fundamental algorithm to teach the machines.

Robots cannot understand a person’s feelings or state of mind and cannot replace this job.

5. Scientists

There is a lot more to a scientist than just performing wet-lab experiments. The countless hours in research, the curious trait to invent cannot be replicated by any possible machine. Robots can help analyze data for scientists, but robots cannot develop or be very creative.

6. Clergyman

A clergy needs to have the power to guide and preach to his audience. He should have empathy, emotion, and faith to inspire other people. One cannot teach a robot to instill confidence in other human beings.

But it would be amusing to see an AI-enabled priest in the future.

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7. Psychiatrists

Even the best scientists and doctors in the world do not understand completely how a human brain is wired. To connect to every individual, it takes extreme empathy and compassion. Robots can never understand the human mind. Robots cannot express feelings or have compassion for others.

So it is quite impossible to have a robot psychiatrist in the foreseeable future.

8. Event planners

Planners have to coordinate and negotiate with other people to make things come together. Event planning needs creativity and coordination. Do you think a machine can ever have coordination and organizational skills? Certainly not. Thus, this job is unlikely to be taken over by robots.

9. Graphic designers

Graphic design is both artistic and technical. It takes an immense sense of understanding to comprehend what your client wants. Every consumer’s requirements are unique, and a machine cannot possibly do so. Like writing, it has to be original and created as per the requirements.

Robots can never have these skills or the creativity required to operate.

10. Public relations managers

PR managers need to rely on a network of relationships and contacts to create buzz for the clients. They have to raise awareness around an issue and raise funds. PR managers should have a connection with people to make them participate in the campaign. This requirement makes it a safe position for humans in the future.

11. Software developers

Software development is hard enough for even human beings to do. It requires a tremendous amount of time and skill investment to create applications or software. Since different clients have different demands, the product has to be customized and perfect. It will be hard for AI to replicate the work and make it responsive.

12. Project managers

The project manager is responsible for leading the project from start to finish. They must keep constant communication with all others on the project and are required to be on-call at all times. AI can help project managers to a great extent. It will lead to increased project success rates. But it is improbable that AI will replace project managers. On the other side, activities where the schedules are continually changing, and there is no exact pattern, robots will not be able to master.

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9. Will robots replace humans?

Robots today are continually being developed and are learning and adapting to their environment. To some extent, there will be a significant impact of artificial intelligence on employment. But, one should also remember that empathy, cognitive thinking, and emotional intelligence are traits that make humans unique and irreplaceable.

Some customers prefer to talk to human representatives when they have a problem, and AI can never take that.

Overall, AI has a great future and will be one of the essential tools for organizations in the future. It is unlikely that even the best of robots would replicate a human being’s warmth and understanding.

So the question: “Will they replace humans altogether?” cannot be answered.

10. Future-proofing the jobs

When computers were introduced to help business processes, many people were skeptical that there would be severe job losses. However, it became part of everyday life, and new categories of jobs emerged. The workforce, however, needed to reskill and adapt to a different style of working.

Artificial Intelligence is expected to bring a similar kind of revolution in the technology field. As a result, the future workforce will be required to go through a similar transformation. There will be changes in the old way of doing things, and a new employment source will be made available.

AI-enabled Robots will efficiently execute all the repetitive, well-structured, and mechanical tasks. Most of the analytical work which requires critical thinking cannot be taken up by machines. Human resources will, however, be required to upgrade their skill periodically and stay relevant.

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Dipayan Deshmukh

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