Jobs at risk
In an interview with 60 Minutes, artificial intelligence expert and venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee predicted that 40 percent of the world’s jobs will be replaced by robots in the next 15 to 25 years. As AI progresses, warns an Oxford study, it is inevitable that large sectors of the workforce will face mass unemployment, mainly in jobs that involve manual or repetitious labour.
Peter C. Earle, a research fellow at the Institute for Economic Research, says what we’re seeing now is different from previous industrial revolutions. “My grandfather was trained as a blacksmith and farrier before World War I. When automobiles and trucks replaced horses, the company he worked for sent him and his fellow blacksmiths to mechanics’ school,” he explains. That transition made sense, as the blacksmiths were already adept at working with tools and basic machines, but today, the employees that AI and automation are replacing will not so easily be able to shift their skill sets. “Many of the new jobs are extremely technical,” Earle says, “and don’t lend themselves to quick training for an orderly shift in employment.”
This can obviously pose a big problem for many people – possibly even you. But if you know what to expect, you can start making plans now to develop new skills within your current field or even change careers altogether. Here are the jobs that industry and employment experts believe will disappear within the next few decades.
“The job that is in imminent danger is warehousing people filling orders for online sites like Amazon. [Jeff] Bezos has said multiple times in interviews that he would love to keep the warehouses completely automatic. They are developing robots that could easily fill those positions, and they could work 24/7, unlike their human counterparts. Elon Musk is another one who has been very open about this. He knows that robots get complicated with simple tasks, so his warehouses will never be 100 percent human-free, but the type of job will be very different than it is today.” – Alberto Navarrete, General Manager of Frisco Maids
Are your skills in demand? Learn what the top emerging jobs are in the Asia-Pacific region.
Taxi drivers, Uber drivers, and other ride-share drivers
“Autonomous self-driving cars will use AI technology to drive and apps to identify who needs to be picked up and dropped off. Payment will be made with a simple credit-card swipe (as it often is today), and there will be no one holding onto a steering wheel who needs to be tipped.” – Laura Handrick, Careers and Workplace Analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com