The World Economic Forum reported that AI machines will replace 85 million jobs by the year 2025. At the same time, 97 million new jobs will be created by 2025 as a result of AI. Will your workforce be replaced by robots, and how will AI affect your company’s future?
The idea of robots taking over the world is no longer a sci-fi fantasy – it’s rapidly becoming a reality. AI technology is being implemented across all industries. This technology is becoming smarter, more accessible, and it could soon be putting many humans out of jobs.
What kind of roles will AI be replacing in the near future, and how will robots reshape your business? We’ll explore this all in our article below.
Table of Contents
- What is AI?
- AI and Robots
- Why Will AI Replace Some Jobs?
- Why Can’t AI Replace All Jobs
- Preparing for AI in the Workplace
- 10 Jobs That Robots Will Replace in the Future
- Why Replacing Some Jobs is a Good Thing
- 10 Jobs That AI Can’t Replace
- How to Future-Proof Your Company
What is AI?
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is when machines are simulated with human intellect. Basically, this means machines are programmed to think like a human. Things like problem-solving, learning, and speech recognition are all characteristics of AI-enabled machines.
AI is a rapidly developing reality, taking technology to a whole new level. AI-enabled machines are being designed to perform all kinds of specialized tasks more accurately and more efficiently than any human could.
There are four different types of AI. These are:
- Reactive Machines: This is the most basic type of AI machine that is designed to perform simple tasks. Reactive machines do not have the ability to make decisions based on past experiences.
- Limited Memory: Limited memory machines store data from experiences, and use this data to make enhanced decisions.
- Theory of Mind: Theory of mind AI machines are still under development. These machines will be designed to interpret human thoughts, and connect with humans. Theory of Mind machines will be created to develop thoughts and even emotions.
- Self-Aware AI: Self-Aware AI is not a reality yet, but it might be in the future. The idea is to have machines that are smarter than humans through their own independent intelligence.
AI and Robots
A robot is a type of machine created to do specific tasks automatically. Robots are designed to do these tasks better than a human possibly could. Robots aren’t necessarily the human-like talking figures that we know from Star Wars, although you do get some robots designed to look and act like humans.
AI-enabled robots are machines that use the principle of reinforcement learning. This means they are able to make their own optimal decisions based on learning from past experiences.
AI robots can perform repetitive tasks, and find ways to improve them far better than humans can. They learn by themselves and choose their own actions based on complex calculations. A good example of this would be a robot used in manufacturing, that can enhance the productivity of repetitive tasks.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is when robots are able to integrate with human interactions and perform certain processes the same way that a human would. These robots can understand business processes, they can interpret human communications, and communicate on their own.
Tesla recently announced a new humanoid robot called the Tesla Bot. This robot, with its advanced AI technology, is built to navigate a world meant for humans. The robot could perform all kinds of daily tasks, from doing your groceries to navigating dangerous work environments. This is just one example of how AI-enabled robots are being introduced to the world.
Elon Musk summed it up pretty well when he said:
“Essentially, in the future, physical work will be a choice. If you want to do it, you can, but you won’t need to do it”.
Why Will AI Replace Some Jobs?
Before you think that this all sounds far too futuristic, AI-enabled robots are working all around us. AI technology is being implemented by many different organizations to perform all kinds of tasks. And we’re not just talking about assembly lines here. AI job disruption is taking place in various industries, like sales and customer support.
So, why is AI starting to replace certain jobs?
Robots are More Accurate Than Humans
Humans all make mistakes, but robots don’t. Computers are designed to perform the exact processes that they’re programmed to do and execute them perfectly every time.
This is why jobs that involve things like typing, copying, pasting, or transcribing can be performed better by AI-enabled robots. Think of a job that requires repetitive processes – a robot will be able to do these processes perfectly every time.
Robots Don’t Need to Take Breaks
As long as a robot has power, it can operate at the exact same level of efficiency, non-stop. Humans perform differently in their jobs all the time. Things like hunger, a lack of sleep, or boredom can affect productivity. Not with robots though, they can do the same thing day in and day out without slowing down.
Robots Can Be Exposed to Danger
Many industries can be extremely dangerous for workers. Things like mining, construction, and factory work all involve putting workers at risk. There are many different circumstances that could affect workers in these conditions that robots would be able to withstand.
Robots can be utilized in dangerous work environments to reduce risk and increase efficiency. Human workers can be kept out of danger, while robots can withstand things like toxic fumes or intense heat.
Robots Offer Long-Term Cost Savings
Investing in advanced AI technology is certainly not cheap, but it can be much cheaper over the long run. Once you’ve got your machine in place, it just needs occasional maintenance and power. You don’t have to pay wages to robots, invest in training, or offer them benefits. This can result in businesses saving a lot of money over the long run.
Why Can’t AI Replace All Jobs?
As a business owner, the prospect of AI-enabled robots may seem pretty awesome. However, AI still has its limitations which you need humans to fill. Here are some reasons why technology can’t replace all jobs.
Robots Aren’t Creative
You can use robots to perform incredibly efficient, time-consuming tasks. However, they can’t think creatively and come up with unique solutions as humans can. Humans can problem solve and come up with creative ideas that robots can’t replicate.
Robots Aren’t Highly Strategic
At the moment, AI technology can’t perform the same level of complicated strategic thinking that humans can. This might change over time, but human intuition allows us to make decisions and navigate certain complex scenarios that robots don’t have the capabilities to do.
Some decisions require more than just data, they involve things like understanding human emotions and solving problems from a human perspective.
Robots Don’t Offer a Human Connection
Robots excel at technical, practical tasks. However, they lack human emotion that is so important in some jobs.
For example, a robot may be able to perform all of the functions of a teacher, but it can’t offer the important human connection that great teachers are able to provide.
Robots Can’t Program Themselves
If we’re going to be implementing AI, then someone has to create the AI program in the first place. You need humans to develop smarter robots, improve technology, and find new applications for robots.
Preparing for AI in the Workplace
Including AI in the workplace is a reality that all business owners should consider. We’re not saying you need to start firing all of your staff for more efficient robotic replacements. Yes, many jobs will need to make way for robots that are simply more advanced than humans. However, you will still need a human team to complement this robot workforce and advance your operations even further.
There are ways that AI might be able to enhance your business. Business owners should start by gaining a deep understanding of their operations. Knowing the productivity levels and challenges involved in each sector of their business helps to identify opportunities for AI.
AI can be implemented to take care of these time-consuming jobs, leaving more time for human employees to achieve greater things. When combining AI technology with human expertise, businesses can get more from each process. Humans aren’t held back by time-consuming tasks, and they can maximize their potential.
Preparing your workplace for AI shouldn’t just look at how technology can enhance operations. It should also look at how humans can work alongside machines to achieve better results. Traditional staff models may change focus. For example, you might lose some of your salespeople, but you will take on more developers.
As we mentioned earlier, more new jobs will be created than lost as a result of AI. It’s time businesses starting shifting their focus towards the new opportunities that this technology brings.
10 Jobs That Robots Will Replace in the Future
The reality is that robots will take certain jobs in the future. Here are ten jobs that are highly likely to be replaced by robots and AI in the next couple of years.
Conversion rates for telemarketers are generally below 10%. This is because telemarketing doesn’t involve the same level of social or emotional intelligence that other sales roles do. Because of this, automated robotic telemarketing calls make a lot of sense.
Robo-calls are nothing new, and they will only become more popular over time. With career growth expecting to decline in this field, there is a highly likely chance of robots and automation taking over telemarketing jobs.
Computer Support Specialists
Computer support is a growing field, but there is still a high chance that human support specialists will be replaced by robots. Bots and automation can easily answer support queries, and many companies use them for this. As long as there is enough technical content available, robotic computer support specialists could offer a more effective solution.
Self-checkout is becoming an increasingly popular feature for retail businesses all around the world. As technology advances, and consumers become more comfortable using technology, the role of salespeople could gradually lose its importance.
Advertising is steadily moving away from physical spaces and towards online platforms. This makes it a lot easier to buy ad space through self-serve marketplaces and APIs. We see this in social media advertising, and it will probably only grow. This means the industry will require less and less input from salespeople.
Bookkeeping is an industry that’s rapidly being automated. With platforms like FreshBooks offering easy software solutions to bookkeeping, human roles in this industry are expected to decline.
Bookkeeping is a process that can be automated relatively easily while providing complete accuracy. This makes it faster, easier, and cheaper to manage bookkeeping – which is why there is a high likelihood that AI will eventually take over this industry.
Everyone uses proofreading software these days. Tools like Grammarly are becoming increasingly more advanced, allowing writers to easily check their work without needing human assistance. With these solutions becoming a normal feature for writing any kind of document, human proofreaders are steadily being replaced by technology.
This may seem crazy, but robot doctors are becoming a reality. Robot surgeons are being used to perform all kinds of highly complicated operations. Robot surgery offers a greater level of accuracy and efficiency than humans can offer. Robots also don’t have any chance of human error. Plus, they’re more sterile.
Whether you’d be happy with a robot operating on you or not, robotic doctors are steadily advancing and being used.
Market Research Analysts
Automated AI market researchers can operate far more quickly than humans can. Market research plays an important role in all kinds of industries and developments. Certain bots can be used to perform in-depth market research functions at the click of a button. Bots can also provide more comprehensive data than humans typically can.
Manufacturing is probably the largest area where AI and robots can be used to replace humans. Advanced manufacturing technology can work far more efficiently than humans can, and with less risk. Most manufacturing processes have already been mechanized, and this will only continue to develop over time.
With advancements like Prime Air and autonomous food delivery robots being developed, the courier field is steadily being taken over by robots. Robotic couriers could offer a far greater level of delivery speed and efficiency than humans can.
However, with eCommerce rapidly developing, the courier industry is expected to grow significantly. This means robots probably won’t be taking over too quickly.
Above: self-driving pizza deliveries are already a thing. Source.
Why Replacing Some Jobs is a Good Thing
It might be a scary sight, seeing how many of your current employees could be potentially replaced by machines. Replacing some jobs with AI is a good thing though. It offers your business more room to develop, and it can help you overcome many operational challenges.
Here are some of the main reasons why replacing certain jobs is a good idea:
- Using robots to do menial tasks opens up more room for creative work from humans
- Your human workforce will be safer and exposed to less risk
- There’s no need to waste human energy on time-consuming repeatable tasks
- Your business can achieve more accurate results with AI technology
- Many tasks will become more efficient, making it easier to scale your business
- New business opportunities can open up that were once restricted by a lack of human abilities
10 Jobs That AI Can’t Replace
Although AI technology is rapidly advancing, there are still certain roles that will continue to require humans. Here are ten jobs that robots won’t be replacing any time soon.
Marketing managers require creativity, decision-making skills, and a human understanding. Their role involves interpreting data, monitoring trends, and coming up with relevant marketing content. Right now, there are too many human elements involved in marketing positions like this that prevent robots from taking over.
Sales managers can’t be automated because they need to constantly adapt in their roles. Sales managers need to establish human connections, think on their feet, and do plenty of networking. There is a high level of emotional intelligence involved in this field, which AI machines aren’t able to offer.
Human Resource Managers
You can’t take the ‘human’ out of human resources. As companies grow, they need the right human support for managing employees. This requires a human connection, and having a genuine understanding of employees. It just wouldn’t make sense to have a robot in charge of a human resource department.
Although AI can do certain writing tasks, like suggesting titles, creating original written copy is best left to humans. Writing involves creativity and an understanding of the human mind – something that AI isn’t able to offer us just yet.
There are technical tasks involved in graphic design that could be assisted by machines, but creative, artistic design still needs to be left to humans. Graphic design projects need to be original, which makes automation difficult. Design projects also need to be based on human interest.
AI can help with tasks like processing evidence or legal data. However, robots don’t have the emotional intelligence to create arguments and find opportunities in the law to pitch their case. Lawyers require too much human intellect that AI can’t offer.
Robots can carry out tasks like processing data and running experiments. Being a scientist involves so much more than this though. AI isn’t able to offer the curiosity, creative thought, and problem-solving abilities that scientists require.
Imagine a company run by robots. This wouldn’t be possible, because chief executives require leadership and management skills that AI can’t produce. This field is all about making strategic decisions, motivating teams, and solving problems in all kinds of areas of operations. Automating this isn’t possible.
Creating responsive software involves a unique process. Software developers find creative solutions to unique scenarios. Software development needs to be customized for each project, and different projects all have their own demands. AI won’t be able to replicate this kind of flexibility.
AI can certainly be used to assist project managers with time-consuming tasks and better decision-making. However, it’s highly unlikely that robots will be able to perform the entire role of a project manager. Project managers need to lead tasks from beginning to end. This can involve all kinds of unique challenges popping up along the way that requires strong communication and the ability to adapt.
How to Future-Proof Your Company
Your company will be able to use AI to optimize many different processes, but there will always be human traits and characteristics that any business needs.
AI can automate small tasks, and make light work of many complicated, time-consuming processes that would be a headache for humans to do. However, you’ll still need to provide a human connection where it’s needed. Many customers prefer to deal with humans over automated bots. You’ll also need humans to handle roles that require emotional intelligence, creativity, strategic thinking, or teamwork.
If you’re worried that robots might take over your business operations one day, then look for ways to implement creativity and human thought into other areas of your business. Now would be a good time to invest in workforce learning and reskilling, in order to open up new possibilities for your workforce.
Remember, AI shouldn’t be used to prevent humans from doing their jobs – it should be used to create new opportunities and grow your business at a greater pace.
Going back to the title of this post – you probably will be replacing some employees with robots in the future. However, the potential that AI offers should open up even more opportunities for business growth. AI isn’t entirely about removing humans from the workplace. Instead, it’s about ridding humans of menial tasks so that they can offer more to your company.
AI is one of the most exciting developments for business owners, and it could open up a whole new future of productivity and efficiency for your organization.
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