Half of current jobs will be taken over by AI within 15 years, China‘s leading AI expert has warned.
Kai-Fu Lee, the author of bestselling book AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, told Dailymail.com the world of employments was facing a crisis ‘akin to that faced by farmers during the industrial revolution.’
‘People aren’t really fully aware of the effect AI will have on their jobs,’ he said.
Kai-Fu Lee, the author of AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, told Dailymail.com the world of employments was facing a crisis ‘akin to that faced by farmers during the industrial revolution.’
THE TEN MOST ENDANGERED JOBS FROM AI
- Telemarketer / telesales
- Customer support
- Warehouse workers
- Clerks and operational staff
- Telephone operators
- Fast food workers
- Dish washers
- Assembly line inspector
Lee, who is a VC in China and once headed up Google in the region, has over 30 years of experience in AI.
He believe it is imperative to ‘warn people there is displacement coming, and to tell them how they can start retraining.’
Luckily, he said all is not lost for humanity.
‘AI is powerful and adaptable, but it can’t do everything that humans do.’
Lee believe AI cannot create, conceptualize, or do complex strategic planning, or undertake complex work that requires precise hand-eye coordination.
He also says it is poor at dealing with unknown and unstructured spaces.
Crucially, he says AI cannot interact with humans ‘exactly like humans’, with empathy, human-human connection, and compassion.
Psychiatrists, social workers and marriage counselors are unlikely to lose their jobs, along with nurses, AI researchers and scientists, he believes.
However, some jobs will disappear- and quickly.
Most at risk are telemarketers and telesales people, Lee said, pointing to Google’s controversial AI bot system that can fool humans as an example of the future.
‘You’ve probably already received robo-calls, but future calls will be more natural,’ he says.
‘AI can use customer profiles, past purchases, and emotional recognition to find ways to appeal to them – even using a soothing female voice or a persuasive male voice.’
Lee also said customer support, warehouse workers and telephone operators are at risk.
The key to jobs in the future will be empathy, he said.
JOBS AN AI CAN AND CAN’T DO
THE JOBS AI WILL TAKE OVER FIRST
- Sales and Marketing Research
- Insurance adjuster
- Security guards
- Truck drivers
- Consumer loan underwriter
- Financial and sports journalists
- Bookkeepers & Financial Analysts
- Fruit pickers
- Investment professionals
JOBS AN AI WON’T BE ABLE TO DO
- Medical caregivers
- AI researchers and engineers
- Fiction writers
- Criminal defense attorney
- Computer Scientists & Engineers
- Managers (actually leaders)
‘AI is powerful and adaptable, but it can’t do everything that humans do’ Kai-Fu Lee told Dailymail.com
‘Human to human interaction is safe, providing comfort and satisfaction is safe.
He also warned education will also have to change dramatically to encourage a new way of thinking, making people ‘more individualistic, and more empathetic’.
‘We also need to focus on what children want to do and show particular passion and talent for something, we need to encourage them to go for it.
‘Super talent in children will be found earlier.
‘Parents need to know whatever they thought was right, is probably wrong.
‘You need to let your kids go after what they love, and encourage them.
‘Make sure they spend a lot of time understanding why it is important to help people, and why communication skills are important – don’t play on the phone all the time.’
He also warned many millennials will need to re-balance their life to focus on social skills – but is confident they will be able to adapt.
THE JOBS SURPRISINGLY SAFE FROM AI
Fitness trainer – Will customize programs for each of us, provide companionship, and create a forcing function for us not to procrastinate.
Elderly caretaker – While AI can help with monitoring, security, and perhaps movement of the elderly, only human assistants can help with bathing, dressing, and most importantly conversation and keeping company. These are not doable by AI.
Housecleaner – Cleaner, gardener, and other jobs that work in unstructured spaces with changing conditions are difficult for robots, although smarter appliances like the Roomba will take away some workload
Nurse – Nurses, child care workers, mental health support specialists, and drug rehabilitation therapists are among the most difficult for machines to replicate, because of the high degree of human interaction, communications, and trust-building.
Concierge – While standard services are handled by the Internet (travel websites), and AI (autonomous fast-food and coffee), there will be a larger premium offered to substantially better services with a human touch, personalization, and long-term relationship and trust. Leisure and entertainment will be good growth areas in the era of AI.
Athlete – Athletics and sports will not be affected at all just because machines will become better at the games.
Nanny – Many of the physical tasks of the nanny (vacuuming, washing dishes) will ultimately be automated, as the nanny job gradually shifts to more ‘love and personalization’
Tour Guide – A good tour guide is a good story teller, which means he or she combines personal experiences, theatrical styles, and encyclopedic knowledge into an inimitable experience.
Recruiter – Human resources in general, recruiting in particular, and headhunters specifically, are very much about the human touch.
Data processing and labeling – AI will be trained on an unbelievable amount of ever-increasing data, which at least initially need to be manually selected, processed, labeled, and categorized.