With the constant progress of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) trends, the question is no longer, “Will robots change the future of work?” but, “When will they?”. Although it may sound like the plot of a sci-fi movie, it’s the reality and it’s happening now. Every day, the risk of automation in many industries continues to grow higher. According to a recent Oxford report, 47 percent of jobs (globally) are at risk of being replaced by automation. This is a significant number if we take into consideration all the industries involved.
However, this isn’t the only way that AI is going to affect the future of work. The way we communicate at our jobs, the way we build products, and the way we transport things are some of the things that will be influenced by AI. Data science, which is the mother of AI and machine learning, is now becoming one of the most in-demand tech skills for a reason—it’s a crucial ability for the future economy. Let’s take a look at some ways AI is transforming the job landscape.
What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI refers to the technology whereby machines are programmed to simulate human actions. It was initially built to minimize human effort in repetitive and replicable tasks. This way, the workflow will be more efficient and error-free.
This technology is run by machine learning programming. We don’t have to imagine the future of work, it’s happening right now with everyday tools. Some of the examples of AI-driven tools are chatbots or smart speakers. The trend has become so sophisticated that it can perform human tasks perfectly in a matter of minutes.
Will Machines and Humans Work Side by Side?
This is something that many people are currently wondering. Although it may sound frightening, several jobs will be fully taken over robots and automation. However, this isn’t the primary function of why AI was created—it was built to make the process more efficient for humans, not to replace them. That’s why the idea of humans and robots working together doesn’t sound out of reach. One likely scenario that we can observe, however, is the migration of workers from other industries to the tech field.
Manual Labor Automation
Most jobs that are at high risk of automation are ones that involve repetitive tasks, such as manufacturing or logistics. Experts also believe that transportation could be next. These days, automated cars are becoming more and more popular due to the comfort and sense of security they provide. As self-driving vehicles gain more traction, this will result in a major drawback for the transportation industry. Other fields that are at risk include customer service. Chatbots, for instance, are widely used now across the globe. It makes sense as a business decision because machines aren’t human, therefore they do not need to rest or take breaks and this ensures 24/7 availability on the job.
Jobs That Will Thrive
Not all jobs will be lost to automation. There are two crucial things that keep our society on a good path—empathy and innovation. Both can only be found in humans. Therefore, it is safe to say that the jobs that will thrive amid continuous tech revolution are those that require empathy and innovation. They include roles in the medical, education, and tech fields. It is important to remember that machines need human assistance. Who else will program them?
That’s why there’ll likely be a drastic increase in tech positions available in the future of work. This is also supported by the number of machine learning bootcamps and degrees available over the years.
AI’s main function is to make human jobs more efficient. Instead of worrying about repetitive tasks, our time can be better spent on other tasks that involve analysis and innovation. As previously mentioned, machines do not need rest so they are able to work all day without limitations. This improves the productivity levels of any company and allows them to meet deadlines and achieve goals.
The remote working model has been widely adopted, especially in recent days. More companies are hiring remote workers, which is a positive thing for the majority of employees who prefer this working model. The reason for this is that most of the jobs that need physical efforts will be done by machines and we can still coordinate other tasks from anywhere we want. This, on the other hand, will transform the dynamic of the future workspace into a decentralized one, meaning there will not necessarily be a need to have a physical office.
The Tech Industry Will Generate More Jobs
Automation will surely replace jobs in many industries, but it’ll also generate jobs. According to a recent report conducted by Gartner, AI augmentation could generate $2.9 trillion in business value by next year, so just imagine how many jobs it can generate in the next decade.
This isn’t the only area that will see expansion. Some other professions that are expected to be in-demand include roles in cybersecurity and software development. Research Vice President at Gartner, Svetlana Sicular said: “As AI technology evolves, the combined human and AI capabilities that augmented intelligence allows will deliver the greatest benefits to organizations”.
Companies Will Change the Way They Communicate with Customers
With the evolution of AI, there will be more communication paths between businesses and customers. From chatbots to automated voice emails to smart speakers, there will be even more avenues or tools for companies to communicate with their customers. This can already be seen today. A lot of companies are syncing their mobile apps with virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa to increase their visibility and make themselves more accessible to customers.
What Can We Do to Stay Ahead?
If we want to stay on top of things, we need to make sure we have the skills and knowledge to work in the tech industry or any other field that involves innovation or empathy. Some of the best tech jobs of the future will involve machine learning, data science, or programming abilities. You can start investing in your future by learning some of these skills that will be in-demand in the next couple of years.
There are many schools like Galvanize or Hack Reactor that offer short and long-term bootcamps with all the knowledge you need to master tech skills like data analysis or programming