The AI revolution is transforming the way we interact with technology. With each passing day, we are witnessing increasingly advanced AI and robots. It is common to come across news reports or videos showcasing talking humanoid robots or dog-like robots performing impressive stunts.

When people see robots in action, the two most common reactions are “cute” and “horrifying”. This is something that was previously only seen in science fiction movies. However, with the constant advancements in machine learning, it is only a matter of time before we see fully conversational robots.

AI’s ability to automate tasks has led to it taking over many jobs previously performed by humans. This has led to growing concerns about the safety and future of jobs. However, like all other innovative technologies in the past, AI is likely to bring many new opportunities and jobs while exposing the risks associated with old jobs.

According to a new report from Gartner, while AI will eliminate millions of jobs, it will also create two million net-new jobs by 2025. The following article will explore 10 jobs that are likely to be replaced by AI and 10 jobs that are unlikely to be impacted by advancements in AI technology.

What jobs will AI replace?

One of the most extreme examples of technology-driven job losses in history is the mechanization of agriculture in the United States. At the end of the 19th century, approximately half of all American workers were employed in the agricultural sector.

Today, that number has decreased to between 1 and 2%. The introduction of tractors and other agricultural technologies led to the irreversible loss of millions of jobs. This transition resulted in significant short- and medium-term unemployment as jobless farmers migrated to cities in search of factory employment. Nearly 80% of the American workforce is employed in service industries.

The critical question is whether the revolution in the labour market due to the impact of artificial intelligence will have a similar outcome. AI is a general-purpose systemic technology, much like electricity, and will eventually permeate every aspect of our economy and society.

Given its convenience and comfort, people are increasingly open to incorporating artificial intelligence into various aspects of their daily lives. However, this transition is gradual, and it may take several years before artificial intelligence completely takes over specific jobs.

Customer Service Representatives

Often, customer queries and problems are repetitive in nature. Answering these queries does not require high emotional or social intelligence. As a result, AI can provide automated responses to frequently asked questions.

These questions may include inquiries about delivery status, payment confirmation, order cancellation, or refund status. If the AI bot is unable to handle the query, it will be forwarded to a human customer service representative for further assistance.

Receptionists

Many multinational corporations are now using robots to manage their reception areas. Even phone calls are being handled by AI. You may have experienced this when booking a table at a restaurant, where you can use an online scheduling system instead of speaking with a representative. More advanced AI receptionists, such as AimeReception, have the ability to see, listen, understand, and communicate with guests and customers.

 Accountants/ Bookkeepers

Many companies are now using AI to manage their bookkeeping practices. AI-powered bookkeeping services provide an efficient accounting system and offer flexibility and security as they are available as cloud-based services. All that is required is for daily transactions to be entered into the software, which will then handle the rest.

AI ensures that data is collected, stored, and analyzed correctly. Using an AI accounting service is significantly less expensive than paying an employee to perform the same tasks.

Software products such as Automation Anywhere, Datamatics, and Blue Prism can automate various office tasks. Systems can be trained to extract and analyze data from Excel files.

Data analytics is another area where AI can be used. Products like PricewaterhouseCoopers Halo can process a company’s data to identify anomalies rather than relying on an audit. While humans will still be involved in training robots and performing higher-level analysis, rote tasks such as data entry, copying and pasting, sorting, and reordering will be eliminated.

SalesPeople

The days when corporations relied on salespeople for advertising and retail are gone. Advertising has shifted towards the web and social media landscapes. Social media platforms’ built-in target marketing capabilities allow advertisers to create custom content for different audiences.

Advertisers can also use self-serve ad marketplaces to generate ads. Brands are focusing on connecting with customers through content engagement strategies.

Retailers are democratizing the shopping experience by allowing customers to research products on their own. A salesperson is no longer needed to accompany customers during shopping or checkout.

AI can learn a customer’s shopping behaviours and patterns and provide product recommendations accordingly. One of the best examples of AI in retail is Amazon Go, which uses advanced shopping technology that eliminates the need for checkout.

Taxi and Truck Drivers

Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the taxi industry. These companies are now focusing on autonomous driving, where robots drive cars. It is inevitable that taxis and buses will become fully autonomous and self-driven in the near future. Every year, new AI features are being added to car models.

This is not just about cost savings. There is currently a shortage of truck drivers, as it is a difficult job with relatively low pay. According to a report by the LA Times, nearly 1.7 million American truck drivers will be replaced by robots in the next decade.

In addition to Uber and Lyft, companies such as Waymo (backed by Google), Cruise (backed by GM), Intel, and others are heavily invested in the development of autonomous driving technology. Waymo is leading the way in bringing an actual product to market.

By Shamiso Miracle

Shamiso Miracle completed her degree in journalism and media studies at the University of Zimbabwe before honing her skills at Savanna News. She then went on to work at iHarare News, becoming a voice for everyday SA citizens who wanted to share their stories. When she's not writing news that entertains and inspires ,Shamiso is an avid reader and a wellness bunny.

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