Advances in AI and automation has been making the mainstream news as of late. It’s not just Filipinos or Mexicans taking white people’s jobs, our robot overlords are taking over the playing field too. Of course, that’s just a joke. I mean, the former is a joke but the latter is true. AI and automation will soon actually displace many people in the workforce.
Think of it like when the first automobile was invented. Many horse-drawn carriage drivers lost their jobs because people slowly started to prefer automobiles. Same happened with the invention of the printing press. Many scribes, those who copied books manually for a living lost their jobs.
To take a modern approach, just take a look at the factories we have now. Big machines everywhere producing and wrapping and boxing products at every turn. From bread to bottles of soda to computers and automobiles.
Let’s take a realistic view of the jobs that will go away soon due to AI and automation.
Read Also: Is Your Job Replaceable By Machines?
1. Factory Workers
One of the biggest victims of automation will be people working on the assembly line making small parts fit with bigger parts in order to build a music player, a game console, a smartphone, you name it. In fact, a revolution has already started in China. Specifically in Dongguan City in Guangdong province.
A technology company opened a factory cut down their number of employees from 650 to just 60 and production rose by 162.5% with 5% defect rate down from 25%. According to the company, they plan on lowering their number of human employees to just 20 in the near future. These employees are just there to monitor the systems.
The first artificially intelligent lawyer has just been hired and it can do by itself what hundreds of associates or paralegals can in a day in just a minute.
His name is ROSS, and I’m not sure if it’s a reference to Suit’s Mike Ross, but ROSS does a better job I’m sure. ROSS can dig up even the most obscure references from decades ago and will provide his relevant opinion on the case at hand – without bias.
In the near future, bigger law firms will utilize AI to do their research and other legal work for them, which will then drastically cut the number of human employees needed to work on a case, and cut down time, too, thus effectively slashing attorney fees for the clients.
In the past, when people wanted to joke around with accountants they used to say, “Of course, accountants just count numbers so it’s only very possible that their job can be easily taken over by a computer”. But today more than ever this statement is becoming very true.
In fact, the “Big Four” companies namely; EY, PwC, KPMG, and Deloitte, that provide services like tax audits, accounting, and other meticulous professional services, agree that the need for accountancy graduates will be halved by 2020.
Just recently, SMACC, a financial management company, secured a $3.5 million funding for their AI accounting system. So, what do you think about the future of accountants?
4. Service Crew
McDonald’s has begun fully automating their fast food chains. Building a fast food chain fully operated by robots (with two or three humans for maintenance) is actually cheaper than training and hiring human employees for the service industry, and many food service industry executives agree.
In fact, a McDonald’s franchise in Phoenix is fully run by robots. Well, not fully because it is also staffed by humans whose job is to make sure the robots are all operational.
If McDonald’s little experimentation continues successfully, what would stopping other big fast food chains and service-related businesses to follow through
5. Video Editors
This one is still in its infancy, but take a moment and watch this video first:
Now, tell me, if you didn’t know that an AI tool was fed with the entire video and it came up with this trailer, would you believe it was done by an AI? Possibly not. Sure, many professional video editors would argue that it’s far from perfect, but that’s how it starts, doesn’t it?
If AI tools can edit videos like this today, how do you think it would look a year or two from now?
6. Song Writers and Composers
Here’s another video for you to watch:
First, let’s clear one thing: No, the AI did not sing the song. It has, however, composed and wrote its lyrics, then a human composer arranged everything. But hey, you got to admit that the song is actually something worth listening to.
If an AI tool can come up with some simple words for a song today, imagine how many heads it can roll in the music industry if more advancements and improvements are done to it.
Well, robots merely follow a given set of instructions, and you can’t teach them how to be creative, right guys?
AIs, basic and advanced, have begun writing and editing on their own. A case in point is Google’s AI which is a dramatic fiction writer. As is with all Google-related AIs, it uses Google’s neural networks to produce something magnificent. Here’s the paper published by Google about this matter.
Here is an example poem written by this AI:
This was the only way. It was the only way. It was her turn to blink. It was hard to tell. It was time to move on. He had to do it again. They all looked at each other. They all turned to look back. They both turned to face him. They both turned and walked away.
Though it sounds like an angsty teen wrote it, and that’s because the AI was fed with 12,000 romance novels, among other things. It literally learned from the material it was given, just like humans!
Also, have you heard about EMMA, the AI-enabled plagiarism detector that can easily identify authorship if a specific number of documents are uploaded to it.
8. Translators and Language Teachers
Of course, it’s Google again with their AI and propensity for making everyone understand each other, no matter what the language. We all saw this coming with Google Translate a decade ago, but their system of translation is getting better with their neural network.
Instead of comparing words and phrases and translating them like in the dictionary, this new method they developed over several years they are taking a step away from direct translations and have entered the contextual translation.
For example, there are specific words that are hard to translate into another language. What Google does is it breaks the sentence down and treats them as separate, then uses context to provide a proper translation.
Of course couple this with Waverly Labs’ real-time translation device (among the many) and you’ll find yourself talking to everyone on the planet in no time.
Sum and substance
There’s nothing to fear in the near future, of course, but it won’t hurt if you steer clear from these professions and trades.
In fact, the world is in need of more tradesmen and craftsmen now more than ever because almost everyone is going to college and is oversaturating the professional fields ‐ all the while forgetting other trades like farming, electronic repairing, plumbing, crafting, and other jobs that do not require college degrees.