According to Huard Smith, vice president and principal consultant of Forrester, AI is going to obliterate a number of jobs in the very near future. Forrester predicts that, by 2030, nearly 75% of cubicle-based jobs, like data entry, will be automated – that equates to the loss of more than 20 million jobs.
Location-based workers are also likely to feel the effects of artificial intelligence, with around 38% of jobs disappearing to automation by 2030 – nearly 30 million human positions gone.
Already, some jobs roles are seeing losses powered by AI – one small grocery store has already employed a robot to track inventory by scanning shelf products, replacing five members of staff and leaving just one to keep the shelves stocked.
The next iteration might just be able to stock the shelves too, taking the final human position and leaving the store in the hands of just one robot.
And for those who think that learning how to code will give them the edge, think again. Even coding will eventually be automated leading to the loss of software developer jobs. If you put your kids in coding school, leave them there – for now – but don’t encourage them to stay there; instead encourage them to go into AI because that is where the jobs will be, not in coding.
On the whole, most company executives tend to downplay what impact AI is going to have on jobs, continuing to insist that new ones will be created. But Forrester is predicting that, while AI will create the equivalent of 13% of jobs, it will wipe out almost 30% of US jobs.
Rather than accepting the death of human jobs as we know them, we should, in fact, be more urgent about the effect that AI is going to have. Managers need to be more open with their employees about how machine learning will impact on their jobs and they need to invest more into corporate training, helping employees adapt to the fast-changing world we are headed for.
The next 10 years or so are going to be tough and it won’t end in 2030; the general consensus is, we need to buckle up and take the fast train to the future we cannot avoid.