Many of today’s jobs are frankly boring. Often, they consist of simple and repetitive actions that require employees to grind through the daily routine unenthusiastically. Future jobs will allow more space for creativity. And fortunately, automation creates jobs that promise to be more meaningful already.
Recent advancements in robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) have become cost-effective solutions to poor workforce motivation and productivity for many businesses. The worldwide market revenue size of RPA products is constantly growing. In 2021, it is estimated to be around $5.4 billion and is expected to double in the next two years.
The good news is that due to AI and RPA, by 2030 people will do better, more exciting jobs. And what about the downsides? Well, many current occupations will not be needed anymore.
Currently, individuals employed in major industries account for 71 percent of task hours in total. In 2022, this number is likely to drop to 58 percent, and by 2025, the World Economic Forum expects around 80 million jobs to be replaced by intelligent machines and bots. Some professions are already vanishing, and others are on the brink of extinction. Let’s take a closer look at the occupations that are at risk right now.
Long-haul drivers and couriers
Self-driving cars will bring the comfort of a personal vehicle to those who can’t drive. They will arguably make roads safer, too. On the other hand, mass production of these cars will be the end of drivers and couriers.
This is already happening. The State Transport Department of Germany has recently allowed Daimler 18-wheel self-driving trucks to drive on German autobahns. And there are many similar projects out there. Google, Aurora, and Tesla are among the giants looking to occupy the niche.
Delivery services are becoming automated as well. The pioneer of delivery without human intervention – Amazon’s Prime Air – is currently going through hard times in the United Kingdom. But the precedent has been set, and other solutions emerge even as you read this. Zipline, Elroy, Robomart, Starship, and other similar projects will automate the courier job out of existence for good.
Data input related jobs
Among the jobs already replaced by robots (partially, at least) are call center operators and proofreaders. It looks like editors, secretaries, or typists could be next.
As of 2021, we already have Google Verse for writing poems and GPT-2 for generating readable content. Perhaps, text synthesis platforms are not yet sophisticated enough to replace content writers, journalists, and poets. But, AI-powered software is already suited for editorial and data input jobs better than human employees are. Why bother with manual data input when a bot can do it faster and with a minimal chance of error?
Automatic checkout counters in stores are just the tip of the iceberg. Cashiers, consultants, supervisors, and other retail occupations could fall victim to full-scale automation by the end of the decade.
We live in a world with Amazon Go—a network of stores powered by computer vision, machine learning, and automation solutions. It lets you walk in, take whatever you need, and leave, with the purchase price being automatically deducted from your account. So far, Amazon Go operates only in the United States and the United Kingdom, but if the technology proves itself, we are likely to see it in other countries, too.
Along with the shopping experience, technology also facilitates the automation of:
- Purchase orders, receipts, and invoice processing
- Security monitoring and threat response
- Inventory and supply chain management
- Returns processing
- Customer support and behavior analysis
With such improvements, retail careers will not make it into the list of jobs for the future.
The role of office manager was essential until 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic and frequent lockdowns forced employees out of their offices. By 2025, the number of remotely working Americans will reach 36.2 million people. But even if things return to the pre-pandemic normal, office managers might not be needed anymore.
Why? There are subscription-based services such as Hoppier, allowing you to automate the purchase and delivery of provisions and supplies to your office. There is also software for:
- Employee scheduling (e.g., PTOs and shift changes)
- Payroll preparation
- Reimbursement and compensation
- Visitor and facility management
- Transport and accommodation booking
- Other office manager functions
Add a bot able to run this software, and the risk of replacement becomes obvious.
Admin assistants and clerks
Providing administrative support often includes repetitive tasks that bots can perform as effectively as humans:
- Working with reports and statistics
- Handling requests
- Scheduling and managing business appointments
- Emailing, and more
As of 2021, administrative automation solutions can do wonders in this regard. For example, based only on an incoming email, such software can trigger and execute complex processes: create invoices, redirect service desk requests, communicate with customers, and release payments. So, by 2030, the need for administrators and clerks might disappear.
Automation creates jobs more than it replaces them
Despite the rates at which some occupations are being automated, the pessimistic future imagined by Luddites is unlikely to happen. There are many things AI can’t do or learn, and it can’t work with something it has never experienced. So, professions involving imagination, complex planning, and creativity remain among the jobs that robots can’t replace.
Along with displaced occupations, WEF expects automation to create 58 million jobs, most likely related to data analysis, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing. By 2030, we might have some completely new occupations along with more usual professions. What are the jobs of the future that are likely to emerge due to AI and RPA? Let’s take a closer look.
Robot operators and technicians
Robots may work instead of people, but who is going to supervise them? If we talk about actual physical machines, there will always be a need for people who:
- Repair and maintain robots
- Monitor their performance
- Test robotic systems and do troubleshooting
- Jump into scenarios too complex for an AI to keep operations running smoothly
As for the RPA bots and AI-based software, software engineers will stay among the future jobs most in demand.
Old new big data analysts
Currently, the demand for big data specialists is rising, but by 2030, we might want to redefine our understanding of what “big” actually means.
Be ready to enter cyber-cities: multimillion dollar metropolises infused with IoT technologies, sensors, and automated facilities. Data collected by city systems will enable complex profiling and predictive analytics for vast urban spaces. It is a given that there will need to be a person able to make sense out of the immense data flowing from every inch of a city infused with smart technologies. So, can you be that new big data adept?
Edge computing specialists
With the ever-increasing volumes of data collected from multiple sources, careers for specialists able to set up and maintain adequate processing and storage infrastructure will be among the hottest future jobs. Since not all current-day technologies will become obsolete and disappear by 2030, edge computing specialists will also need to ensure smooth interconnection of new systems with legacy ones.
With many traditional occupations being automated already, by 2030, people will have to communicate with a larger number of AI-powered programs. So, the job of an AI trainer will be to make them more human-like. To do that, an AI trainer will need to:
- Create personalities for artificial intelligence programs involved in interaction with humans
- Train AI to mimic and understand the subtleties of human communication
- Detect and treat abnormalities in artificial intelligence behaviors
Overall, this job will be all about adding empathy and compassion to daily interactions between machines and humans.
Although not connected to high technologies directly, this occupation may become one of the most in-demand future jobs. No matter how human-like a program can be, it will not substitute live communication with another human being. Today, having a walk with a friend and talking to them is something you don’t question being possible. In 10 years, you might want to hire someone to talk to, especially if you are an older person dealing with loneliness in a rapidly advancing world full of robots.
The fear of automation killing jobs is a bit exaggerated. As of today, less than five percent of all professions can be automated entirely. But, as technologies advance, we are likely to see the future where bots and machines will replace human employees very soon. Here at TEAM International, we know how to get well prepared for the new world. So, if you feel like intelligent automation or data analytics is what your company needs right now, make sure to contact us for a free consultation.