The AI revolution promises enormous benefits to human beings, such as liberating us from drudgery, protecting us from diseases, and providing endless stimulation. However, potential downsides accompany AI’s rise, such as the risk of losing control over the intelligent systems we have created. It is crucial to remember that these machines lack a conscience, a heart, and a soul, and keeping them tethered to human values is essential to avoid severe consequences.
The Australian and US Open tennis championships in 2021 replaced their line judges with machines that use advanced technology to make accurate and reliable call-outs. Unlike humans, these machines can be programmed to speak in a human-like voice to avoid confusing the players. Although the disembodied voice may seem eerie, it saves time and reduces the need for delays caused by disputed calls.
Modern Job Market
The modern job market has undergone significant changes in the 21st century. Unlike in the past, large organizations now have fewer employees, and job security is not guaranteed due to the rise of smaller and shorter-lived companies. Even highly paid jobs do not provide stability in this age of startups, resulting in more fragmented careers with individuals taking on multiple occupations simultaneously.
The increase in innovative technology has played a significant role in this shift. The rapid pace of change makes it challenging to predict the trajectory of a person’s working life. While traditional professions like law and accounting are perceived as riskier due to concerns about automation, the number of enrollments in law schools continues to grow. A legal education will provide valuable training for various human-oriented tasks in a portfolio career, even with the presence of machines.
However, technology has also transformed the relationship between careers, jobs, and tasks in the short term. Machines excel at performing tasks, and work becomes more task-oriented as they improve. It is incorrect to say that machines are “taking people’s jobs” because once machines can perform the work, those roles are no longer considered jobs. Jobs are inherently human activities.
As AI continues to evolve, it is still being determined which types of jobs will be most affected. While robots may excel at repetitive and highly complex tasks and data analysis, they must still exhibit human-centric cognitive and mobility skills. Tasks are not necessarily jobs that require more than efficient task performances, particularly considering their relation to corporate needs. Often, jobs need people to humanize and provide the impetus for employment. Although machines can function with less concern for aesthetics, the behind-the-scenes work that supports public-facing jobs is no longer as steadily reliable, which could result in precarious futures for individuals working entry-level jobs.
AI’s continued evolution will likely change employment’s nature, scope, and character, making some professions less needed. This change might affect people holding jobs that used to require gathering data, processing facts, and searching for precedents, such as clerks, administrative assistants, and paralegals. In contrast, those working with people will still have ample opportunities.
Complex relationships between people and machines will shape the future of employment. These relationships are more likely to change our understanding of work than eliminate it. Some relationships between people and machines might be zero-sum, meaning that more work for devices could lead to less work for humans. However, most relationships, where people and machines work together, might be mutual.
The end of work: which jobs will survive the AI revolution? https://t.co/ufq84jkNVi
— Guardian Books (@GuardianBooks) August 19, 2023
How the Contemporary Workplace Evolved
Overall, these changes in the job market necessitate a shift in how we think about careers. Rather than traditional career paths, the contemporary workplace is more likely to involve a portfolio of different occupations. It is essential for individuals entering the workforce in this century to adapt to this new reality.
Reports published in the 2010s indicate that sports officiating jobs are among those most likely to be automated. This view is justified because the key to this job is to get the decision right. Hawk-Eye, the technology used for over 20 years to judge various sporting calls, is reliable and more accurate than the human eye. Despite this, many sporting events have retained human officials, such as Wimbledon, which prefers the aesthetics of having line judges on the court.
Additionally, sports like cricket have increased the number of officials to keep up with technological demands, including using referees to monitor players’ behavior. Football has also implemented the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system, which requires a team of screen-watchers and match officials to interpret replays effectively. The NBA Replay Center uses 25 full-time employees and a group of rotating officials to keep up to date with the latest technological advancements.
Organizations that value appearance as much as accuracy and efficiency continue to employ humans to make decisions during sports games. While innovative technology can do many things, it cannot provide the human-centered feel necessary for sports games to retain their unique character. Therefore, people must mediate between the machines and those affected by their decisions, leading to more work.
The Age of AI
For instance, doctors using technology to diagnose cancers must develop additional skills to communicate the machines’ findings effectively. Acquiring these skills will be easier than expecting the technology to acquire the skills possessed by the doctors. Additionally, there will be work for managers, lawyers, and ethicists who must oversee and evaluate the doctor-machine relationship. They will also need to address any problems that may arise.
In the age of AI, there will be plenty of work in hospitals. The order of importance in the world of work remains people, organizations, and machines. While there is a possibility that the ruling could change in the future, with organizations prioritizing devices over people or machines making critical decisions on behalf of organizations, history provides a partial guide to what may happen.
Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
The Guardian: The end of work: which jobs will survive the AI revolution? by David Runciman
World Economic Forum: AI: 3 ways artificial intelligence is changing the future of work; by Mark Rayner
Forbes: Artificial Intelligence And The End Of Work; Rob Toews
SBS News: The AI revolution is upon us. These are the jobs at risk and in demand; By Isabelle Lane