Whenever the discussion around AI and automation advancements comes up, one of the biggest talking points is always, “How many jobs will be lost to robots?”. $15tn from AI is expected to boost the global economy by 2030. With this in mind, we want to look at which professions are most at risk, and which industries are the safest.
A report by PwC in 2018 showed that 30% of current jobs are at risk of being lost to automation by the early 2030s. The positions that are most at risk are roles with low education requirements. However, in the long term administrative or clerical jobs are also at risk of being replaced by AI. Let’s take a look at the jobs that are most at risk.
1. Research And Data Entry
Machine learning is all about the use of data. So it should be no surprise that data entry is one of the first jobs at risk by automation. With the likes of Google, Amazon and other tech giants ploughing money into research all the time, it’s highly likely that research and data analysis roles will become automated. This will be particularly useful for small to mid-sized businesses, where they don’t have the financial capacity to build in-house teams.
2. Outbound Sales
Let’s be honest, who really enjoys listening to an aggressive sales pitch? Even if the product/service might be right for you, the idea of speaking to a salesperson can often be off putting. Outbound sales could be automated sooner rather than later, with the technology already advanced in this area. AI bots are already capable of having conversations with customers via email or live chat and then passing this onto an employee when the lead is warm.
This technology is only going to become more advanced over the coming years, and we expect at some point that outbound salespeople will be replaced completely.
3. Bookkeeping Clerks
Brands such as Xero and Quickbooks are already making big strides into automating the bookkeeping market. These tools provide software that takes care of bookkeeping for small to medium-sized businesses at a much more affordable price than it would cost to hire someone on a permanent basis.
As with many of the jobs that automation will replace, the higher the education level required for your role, the less likely it is that your occupation will be replaced. Finance professionals will continue to be needed long into the future, just in smaller teams.
Like bookkeeping, there is already software available to help you with your proofreading. Who doesn’t love the spell check tool in Microsoft Word after all? Companies like Grammarly have tried to take this to the next level by making more advanced suggestions to sentence structure. However, it’s unlikely that J. K. Rowling will be relying on Grammarly to do the proofreading for her next novel.
While the technology isn’t there to take over proofreading just yet, it’s getting closer all the time. In the not-too-distant future there’s a good chance that reliable tools will be out there to read over your latest blog or check your emails for you.
Legal fees can be frustrating and extortionate for businesses – particularly SMEs. While many legal tasks will always require a human touch, there is a very real possibility that machines will soon be able to review contracts much quicker and cheaper than a human could.
Once this software becomes available, it’s inevitable that businesses will be willing to pay for the much smaller fee it would command.
What jobs are less at risk of being replaced by AI?
Creative roles such as graphic designers or copywriters will be safer in the future than analytical positions. There is no technology currently available that has the ability to come up with new ideas that aren’t based on previous learnings. For that reason, any roles that require this type of skill set should be safe for the future of work.
Web and app developers aren’t at risk in the immediate future. The need for bespoke code to fit specific business requirements will always be essential, and there is no sign that bots will be able to perform these tasks just yet.
What does this mean for the future of work?
Diversify your skillset where possible. Education will offer an even bigger advantage for workers of the future, so make sure you take these opportunities if available. Whilst SMEs look to cut costs through automation, many will also turn to freelancers – rather than permanent employees – as a cheaper, more flexible option. Adapt your offering to meet the changing requirements of businesses.