Workers vs machines. Will AI put you out of a job?

As artificial intelligence develops it's likely swaths of jobs could go and traditionally solid sectors could be disrupted. Car makers are investing heavily in driverless car technology – this seems likely to bode badly for taxi, delivery and lorry drivers. Natural language processing may see call centres being replaced with digital assistants.

Should workers be worried though? Historically revolutions destroy and also create opportunities. Which careers are likely to survive and even benefit from the arrival of AI?

Posted by Martin Cooper on 30th Nov 2016
Login to join the conversation

Comments (4)

Richard John Hillier

16 January 2017

I think it very likely there will be job losses coming out of AI / cognitive computing. The big tech companies involved would be well advised to pay attention to the social impacts of what they are doing before the heavier hand of governments starts to intervene. Many (IBM, Facebook, Google, MS) have formed an AI "partnership" that could be the place for giving AI a "social conscience".

Another, related topic, with AI is legal responsibility - for actions taken / not taken on the basis of something learnt or determined through AI. I see the EU has a debate on declaring that a robot could be a "person" (in a legal sense) - perhaps a start.

John Albert Mitchell

12 December 2016

Two-thirds of existing students will be doing jobs in 10 years time that do not currently exist. Conversely, many existing career will be replaced by AI. Professions, such as accounting, law, GPs and IT will be replaced by general AI devices such a IBM's Watson. Construction will become automated and driverless vehicles will remove the need to take a driving test. Lorry, bus and taxi drivers will be out of a job within the coming decade. Making IT good for society will be an interesting challenge.

Paul Fletcher

01 December 2016

Disruption to existing business models is far from a new thing. Professor Clay Christensen from Harvard has been writing about it for many years. I think that talking about machines versus people is part of the story, and I can see the point about drivers. However, I think the more positive angle is in the application of machines / AI with people. An example would be a skilled clinician working with the insight from a super computer like IBM Watson to provide the best diagnosis and treatment for an illness. The work of the person is enhanced by the technology, not consumed by it.

Brian Andrew Runciman

30 November 2016

Recent research said that publicans were one of the jobs safest from automation... start pulling pints! See publicans newspaper: http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Running-your-pub/Technology/Publicans-amongst-least-likely-to-have-jobs-taken-by-robots-claims-research