Increasingly in the media there are analyses of how automation will affect our lives, which professions will continue to exist, and which will be replaced by robots or algorithms, if doing a given job does not require the physical form of a human, a machine moving or waving lifts. I watch the results of such analyses with increasing surprise, because the professions given there have been constantly the same for almost twenty years. However, now I have found an exception!
On the one hand, we feel the breath of pervasive automation and “artificial intelligence.” I purposely put this term in quotation marks, because, after all, most of the automatons around us don’t have themselves stinging AI algorithms. Because of this, we are becoming increasingly aware of the inevitable – more areas of life will be handled by automatons, not humans. On the other hand, our imagination remains unchanged. We think that automated cars, callers on a hotline or possibly game testers are something that awaits us. It does not occur to us that the wave of automation will rise even to the level of using creativity or empathy, and perhaps even further – replacing the priest, psychotherapist and … manager.
The phenomenon of the rising tide of automation is brilliantly written about by Max Tegmark in his book “Life 3.0: Man in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” a summary of which you can see here:
Let’s go back to the title DAVOS. On February 19, 2022, the Interia portal published an article on the impact of globalization and automation on the labor market in the future. I am particularly interested in the second part of the article, answering the question of whether automation means an increase in unemployment and which professions are most at risk.
According to the cited report “The Future of jobs – report 2020” of the Davos-based World Economic Forum, machines will take over 85 million jobs in the 26 countries studied by 2025. This seems like a negative development, but at the same time it is predicted that 97 million new jobs will be added to the market in completely different sectors, mainly related to IT and the application of AI in the economy.
A much worse forecast is for 2030, with the report predicting that more than a billion people will have to retrain due to the automation of their jobs. Light work will be taken over by bots (why bots and not robots…?), which are based on the concept of Robotic Process Automation. In turn, applications such as Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and non-humanoid robotics will be mastered by artificial intelligence, capable of analyzing data, making decisions and, in the case of physical robots, even taking independent actions.
According to the authors of an article in Interia, the competencies of workers of the future who will be able to cooperate with machines are: the ability to think critically and analyze, the ability to solve problems independently, the ability to manage independently, the ability to adapt and learn quickly, resistance to stress and flexibility. In my opinion, the acumen to cooperate with machines will not require these first qualities, because we already rely on the analysis and even decisions of algorithms freeing some of our attention from this area. On the other hand, the latter skills – fast learning and resistance to stress – will certainly be important in everyday life in the company of robots.
Finally, listed are the professions that will be displaced most quickly by machines (I understand them very broadly – from physical devices to intelligent algorithms in the cloud). These include clerks, accountants, payroll specialists, assembly and factory workers, construction workers. Further listed are sales representatives, training and development specialists (!) and HR specialists (!). And at the very end… general managers and operations directors.
And this is the exception! Eventually, AI specialists are beginning to see that it will be the managers’ turn. It turns out that sooner or later it will be possible to buy yourself a Steve Jobs….
Download the report: 23. WEF_Future_of_Jobs_2020