7 Skills That Will Become Obsolete Due to AI (and 5 Must-Have Skills to Work with AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is highly capable of various tasks, especially with the continuous updates to GPT-4 and Google Bard. These AI tools can write content, analyze data, code programs, and more. Plus, they will continue to evolve as time goes on.
There’s no doubt that these AI advancements will change the landscape of work. Some companies may even lay off parts of their workforce in favor of AI, as it can automate processes that once took days to accomplish.
However, AI isn’t perfect. There are still roles that will need human intervention for years to come. As a hiring manager, knowing which positions are replaceable and which aren’t helps narrow your recruitment processes.
Before answering the question, “What jobs will AI replace?” It helps to get an overview of AI usage among companies today and tomorrow.
AI Statistics and Predictions
The anxiety around AI taking over jobs isn’t new, with some experts predicting it all the way back in 2013. As AI technology continues to boom, replacing certain menial, redundant tasks may be inevitable. Look at the numbers to understand the state and future of AI and jobs.
1. 75% of companies plan to adopt artificial intelligence in the next five years. (World Economic Forum)
People and companies worldwide are adopting AI at a record-breaking pace. For example, ChatGPT reached 1 million users in just five days. AI adoption is on the roadmap for many companies, and employees need to be aware of that.
Because companies are serious about adopting AI, people with AI skills are in great demand. It’s an opportunity for job seekers to upskill and prepare to enter companies that will almost certainly use AI in some way.
2. An estimated 300 million full-time jobs could become automated. (Goldman Sachs)
Despite this compelling statistic, Goldman Sachs asserts that new emerging roles often offset the number of jobs AI replaces. What jobs will AI create? Experts predict that such positions will rely on humans to expertly use AI when accomplishing tasks such as prompt engineering.
3. AI was responsible for 3,900, or roughly 5% of all jobs lost in May 2023. (Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, Inc.)
Depending on the role, another question might be, “When will AI replace my job?” The report by Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, Inc. underscores how thousands of people are already receiving notices that AI will replace them.
This statistic could also mean that your competitors are restructuring their business models and operations to accommodate AI. It’s a green light indicating you might need to rethink your company’s operations so you can remain competitive in the evolving business landscape.
4. 63% of companies lack workers who are skilled with AI. (SAS)
Companies are adopting AI faster than they have the workforce to handle it. The skills gap is a problem for employers like yourself but can also be a shining opportunity for job candidates. Employees who hone their AI skills can better compete in the evolving job market.
As a hiring manager, performing skill assessments can help you close the company’s skills gap and hire only knowledgeable professionals.
5. AI models can automate 60% to 70% of total work hours. (McKinsey & Company)
With AI, companies can take back more than half their hours spent on repetitive and menial tasks and focus on core business functions. This means you can use AI software to bolster your workforce and fill in any skills gap that can be automated. These statistics highlight how AI is already disrupting numerous industries, with several jobs slowly becoming obsolete.
Which jobs will AI replace?
Current AI models are impressively creating work that often looks and sounds like it was made by a human, causing many professionals to worry about job security. Given these developments, it’s worthwhile to ask, “Which jobs will AI replace?” Here are a few roles you may begin automating.
1. Customer Service Representatives
A HubSpot survey on customer service professionals found that almost four in five respondents (79%) deem AI an integral part of their strategies⎯and it’s easy to see why. AI customer service representatives (CSRs) are available anytime and can swiftly resolve customer concerns.
Customer queries and concerns often repeat. Triggered by a common keyword in the queries, an AI CSR can quickly reply to these messages with a templated answer. This way, your human CSRs won’t have to spend time on repetitive customer issues.
In 2022, experts forecasted the virtual assistant industry to grow into a $4.12 billion market. AI can take on a receptionist’s regular responsibilities, such as welcoming visitors, scheduling meetings, and rerouting calls.
3. Accountants and Bookkeepers
A KPMG survey found that 59% of companies had already integrated the latest AI tech in their tax or finance departments. Besides that, nearly all respondents said they were interested in integrating the technology, meaning the percentage could drastically increase in the coming years.
Multiple companies already offer tax and finance automating software, lightening the load of traditional accountants and bookkeepers. These tools are especially helpful during tax season when the accounting department usually gets busy.
Modern writing apps feature automated proofreading functionalities such as spellcheck and word suggestions. Various writing tools and applications are also sprouting every day, helping everyone write better, from Grammarly to Magical.
As these products continue to improve, especially with built-in AI assistance, the full-time proofreader role may slowly disappear.
5. Graphic Designers
There’s plenty of debate online about whether AI can replace graphic designers. Regardless, the graphic design industry isn’t completely immune to AI tools like Canva’s Magic Studio. Using AI graphic design tools can tremendously shorten your design team’s process, making it even more productive.
Per Bain & Company, 64% of go-to-market executives believe there will be considerable automation in consumer sales in the coming years.
Likewise, you can use AI to automate repetitive and tedious tasks instead of hiring more full-time sales associates. For instance, instead of a sales executive tiringly tracking customer journeys, you can use an AI-powered tool to automatically send a customized email after a specific action.
7. Market Research Analysts
Jobs involving data analysis can easily be up for automation through machine learning. These tools sift through thousands of data points to help you discover patterns, draw insights, and inform your strategies.
What jobs are safe from AI, for now?
While AI can certainly boost productivity, it doesn’t mean it’s always accurate in what it does. Current models of AI are known to make things up or “hallucinate.” The stakes for accepting the inaccuracies can be staggering. For instance, errors in Google’s AI chatbot caused the tech giant to lose $100 billion.
It’s important to note that there are nuances in AI usage that humans need to be aware of. No technology is 100% factual and accurate at all times. Thus, AI still requires human intervention. It’s why jobs in AI are becoming even more popular. It also means there are many other roles that cannot be automated with AI.
Current AI models lack the empathy an effective teacher needs to guide students through a confusing problem or give constructive feedback on assignments. Every student requires a different teaching style, but today’s AI models have yet to match a human’s ability to relate to another.
2. Healthcare Workers
According to a breast cancer study, doctors could make more inaccurate decisions when AI guided them. The consequences of errors in the medical field are significant, so AI technologies still have a long way to go before they can accurately assess and diagnose patients. Healthcare workers also provide a level of empathy and positive patient experience that current AI tools cannot replicate.
3. Social Workers
Social workers regularly engage with people to establish the trust necessary to help or understand their situations, without judgment. It’s difficult for AI to relate to humans and vice versa. This means social workers won’t have to worry about automation replacement.
Lawyers and paralegals sift through legal documents, deeply study case information, and recall relevant laws or other cases. While these information-heavy processes are suitable for automation, the human component of the profession is something that AI has yet to fully replicate. That includes thinking critically, convincing juries, and building client relationships.
5. Writers and Editors
Nowadays, one can quickly generate tons of written content using AI writing tools. However, AI-produced writing often lacks the emotional depth only human authors can provide.
Editors may also find part of their work open to automation, including checking for grammatical errors. However, humans are still necessary for creating cohesive and impactful content that connects with readers.
Leading a team is incredibly complex. Your managers and executives are responsible not only for delegating and overseeing daily operations but also for strategizing how the company will realize its larger goals. Plus, interpersonal skills are needed to motivate and inspire your staff, which are deeply nuanced and impossible to replicate with AI.
7. Repair Technician
It may still take a significant amount of time before AI can replace plumbers or car mechanics. These roles require physical coordination and soft skills to understand clients and discuss their problems. While AI can certainly suggest solutions or manage streams of incoming client concerns, it still won’t be able to match the physical labor only a human provides.
5 Must-Have Skills in the Age of AI
AI is finding its way into your workflows in one form or another. That’s why it’s essential to continuously upskill your workforce so you can harness AI, regardless of position. Here are a few skills to look out for in job applicants if you need them to effectively work with AI.
1. Critical thinking and problem-solving
AI only does what it’s told, meaning the human behind it needs to understand the best way to use it. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are necessary to know the ideal strategies when integrating AI into business models. Critical thinking also lets your team discern whether AI’s suggestions are accurate.
As a hiring manager, assessing your employees’ capabilities ensures they have the qualities you need. A skills assessment test during the hiring process can distinguish those who genuinely know their job from those who don’t.
2. People and project management
Remember, AI-powered software is a tool for workers to become more productive. Ideally, your potential employees can lead AI-powered teams to complete projects and continue providing value to customers and the business.
3. Intelligent user interface design
User interface design is about designing AI tools that are easy for people to use. Since AI is a highly complex technology, you might limit its potential if your employees don’t understand how to use it. It’s best to consider candidates who can design intelligent user interfaces.
4. Advanced programming
Your ideal candidates will need to understand coding languages such as Python, Java, and C++ to effectively influence AI models. These languages can program AI to achieve desired outcomes, whether it’s to reduce your company’s workflow or analyze data in your company’s databases.
5. Machine learning engineering
Engineers need to “teach” AI to become more effective. Machine learning engineering involves understanding how AI models work and then programming and optimizing them to make more accurate decisions.
Keeping a Human Touch to Your Workforce
Artificial intelligence makes tasks easier and quicker to accomplish. Employees can keep up with an AI-enabled workplace by sharpening their skill sets and developing new ones that AI can’t fully deliver.
Meanwhile, managers like yourself can get a sense of your team’s capabilities, competency, and readiness for an AI-powered future. You can continuously train your staff to prevent them from becoming stagnant.
How do you know if your employees’ skills have plateaued? Let EmployTest introduce you to the power of having professional skills tests available at your fingertips 24/7/365. Get started by requesting a free sample test today!