Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest growing industries – and it is moving so quickly that it’s difficult not to immediately start clamoring for job protection. Already driverless cars are roaming the streets and soon robots will be delivering your Amazon orders to your door. Rather than panicking, take a deep breath and look into the short, medium, and long-term impacts that AI will have in your area of expertise.
In the next thirty years, it is expected that millions of jobs will be replaced by machines, and many of these jobs will have to do with data collection and analysis. Short term, this will mean AI will do the menial, mundane tasks that (most) humans don’t like to do anyway such as information sorting and classification (librarian and record keeping jobs).
Medium to long-term we will most likely see machines take over the majority of research and analysis (market research, scientific research, advertising, lawyers). These professions require an individual to complete many years of education and to be constantly up to date of the most recent discoveries. Machines are far superior at this given their perfect memories and instant learning capability.
With the rise of biotech, the health care industry will also see a major shift. Doctors typically assess symptoms, diagnose, and recommend treatment. With AI and the up-and coming health data tracking trend, machines will be able to more efficiently provide all three to a patient using that individual’s specific biometrics, health history, environment, and the latest updated information on available medications and treatment options.
Long term, it is expected that machines will be able to consistently predict and respond accordingly to human emotion which will rule out an inordinate number of career paths. However, it is difficult to judge if and when a takeover of this magnitude could occur. If you are just entering the work force now, you probably already know you will not be in the same job for the rest of your life. Down the road, this will only become truer. As AI matures and moves into more areas, humans will need to be teachable, flexible, and willing to make major career changes.
There are some areas where AI will be slower to mussel into. Consider these three essentially human traits that will be more difficult for machines to imitate. The corresponding career areas are potentially more secure when it comes to longevity.
Ethics, values and judgement – these are all things that machines do not possess. They can be taught them, but they cannot decide upon them. Philosophers, social commentators, politicians and judges all deal with these inherently human aspects and will not soon be dismissed as irrelevant and replaceable by AI. Similarly, religion and all things spiritual are, as of yet, out of reach for machine learning since many dimensions are not necessarily based on logic or reason but on subjective experiences. Clergymen, religious leaders, and spiritual teachers will continue to be an integral part of human society.
Empathy and human touch are key cornerstones of the health care industry which will stay out of reach for machines for some time to come. If and when AI becomes capable of reproducing human empathy and kindness, it will be much longer before humans are comfortable and willing to be massaged or injected by a machine. Physiotherapy, psychotherapy, personal support workers (PSW), social workers and nurses will continue to be in demand. In fact, nursing professions will likely be more sought after than ever, since health care developments are enabling more elderly people to live longer.
Creativity and intuition have not yet been able to tap into the human psyche, though some may say these are just ‘random deviations’ which machines can also reproduce. Musicians, artists, actors, playwrights, and comedians work specifically to create pieces which move the human spirit. Until that time when emotions are fully decoded down to brain signals, the entertainment industry will be a safe haven for creative types.
Besides these three ‘human’ areas, AI will also open up more jobs that cater to machine learning itself. If you’re looking for a stable career, look into the world of artificial intelligence and become an engineer of the machines which will shape the future!