The impact of AI on the job market

As AI becomes more advanced, and automation becomes more in use, so does the fear that AI will one day replace humans in the job market. But is this fear justified or completely unfounded?

Artificial intelligence is the ability of machines to perform tasks that typically requires human intelligence, including interpreting speech, playing games, giving directions and so on. They are programmed to do this by processing a huge amount of data and then using that data to look for patterns to model their own decisions. Examples of AI include ChatGPT, Google Maps, Snapchat filters, self-driving cars, and smart assistants like Alexa and Siri. 

Mundane and repetitive tasks like data entry and processing have already started to be replaced by AI through automation. However, highly advanced roles that require creativity and problem-solving still need to be performed by humans.

If we change our perspective and look at the ways that AI can assist us in our jobs instead of the anxiety that AI will steal our jobs, we will see that AI is beneficial to us. AI can streamline our jobs and make them much easier.

AI has the potential to replace many jobs in the future and has already started, but it also has the potential of making more job roles available. The World Economic Forum predicts that AI will replace 75 million jobs globally by 2025, but may also create 133 million new roles. This indicates that although AI may be threatening to our current roles, there is also the possibility that it will open up new opportunities for us in the future. 

The type of AI we have today are the narrow AI that have a fixed domain model provided by its programmers, and is only able to perform tasks limited to a specific application, but the type of AI that most people are anxious about is the general AI. The general AI have a fuller range of abilities than the narrow AI, and is able to self-learn and perform all tasks humans are able to perform. General AI are portrayed a lot of times in science fictions, but doesn’t exist yet. Whether this type of AI will exist in the future is still yet to be determined.

The impact of AI in various sectors 

Almost every industry makes use of AI in one way or the other, but whether the use of AI is significant enough to replace human workers depends on the industry. Mundane and repetitive tasks can easily be done by AI, so entry-level positions are the most at risk for being replaced by AI. AI is not skilled enough yet to replace experienced and skilled workers.

Here are seven sectors that have benefited tremendously from AI and how it has affected the job market in those sectors:

1. Health 

Can AI replace health professionals in the future? Honestly, they likely never will. 

Medicine is a skilled profession that requires experience, empathy, creativity and ethical judgment, which AI cannot emulate. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for AI in the medical industry.

AI could help both medical professionals and students in their tasks. AI in the medical field could lead to benefits like an increase in the accuracy of diagnosing patients, especially in the early stage, more informed health policy and assisting greatly in repetitive tasks.

2. Media

Various news and media publications have adopted the use of AI, including BuzzFeed and CNET, but AI still has a long way to go before it can replace human reporters, fact-checkers and other skilled workers.

Companies that use AI to generate articles and other AI-written content still need human reviewers to edit the AI content. 

3. Legal 

While AI has its place in the legal world, there is very little possibility that it could ever replace lawyers. AI could make legal processes more efficient, for example, by helping draft lengthy documents and drafts; and helping replicate standard legal documents like lease agreements and NDA.

4. HR functions

AI is of many benefits in the HR department by helping to make tasks much easier. AI can help HR departments by helping draft easily replicated documents and helping with the tedious hiring and training process of new recruits.

The benefits of AI in HR functions reduce the need of hiring a lot of people. This can lead to the displacement of some workers and result in the HR hiring fewer people. 

5. Computer programming 

AI has the ability to write codes and even check programming languages for errors. Due to this, it is predicted that AI may replace most coding jobs. This is quite far-fetched since AI produces computer codes by drawing from datasets of existing codes. 

The codes written by AI are not foolproof and require a human coder to check for errors. AI is also far from perfect at innovations and finding new solutions to problems, so it can’t provide codes appropriate for a particular website or application context.

6. Internships and entry-level roles 

AI has a long way to go before it can pose a threat to more skilled and experienced workers, but its effect on entry-level roles might be more immediate. Internships and entry-level roles require a lot of mundane and repetitive tasks that can easily be done with automation. With time and the progression of AI, these roles might be completely taken over. 

However, there is no need to fret, as there are countless of AI-related internships available right now, and they will continue to increase as AI becomes more advanced and its use grows. 

7. Customer service

AI is not yet advanced enough to perfectly emulate human service workers. AI may be programmed to imitate the cognitive functions of humans, however, they are severely handicapped when it comes to emotions, which these roles require. 

Regardless, some companies have been experimenting with AI to perform customer service jobs, but they are not near as good as humans. 

Conclusion

Despite the many conveniences that AI has brought into our lives, the gnawing fear that AI will one day replace us in the workforce still exists. Whether this fear is unfounded or not is yet to be proven. In many fronts, AI has replaced human workers, but in many other areas, AI has opened countless opportunities for workers and made their jobs easier. 

AI has already started to replace humans in basic and entry-level work, and it is predicted that in the future, AI will replace humans in technically advanced work too. If that happens, several job roles will no longer exist. Despite this, there is a great possibility that many more job roles will become available.

AI has taken the world by storm, and that storm keeps raging. AI is here to stay and will continue to improve. You either ride the storm or get swept away. AI will not replace humans in the workforce, but the workplace has no place for workers who can’t use AI. Since AI is here to stay, we must learn to make the best use of it and embrace the opportunities it creates for us. 

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Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa is a content writer with MakeMoney.ng. She writes predominantly on topics related to education, technology and business. She is an English language major.

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