AI And RPA Will Absolutely, Positively Threaten Your Job

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If that headline fails to get your attention, there’s nothing about artificial intelligence (AI) or robotic process automation (RPA) that will shock or scare you. Will AI and RPA take your job and kill your career? It depends on what you do for a living, how old you are, where you live and your educational credentials. If you perform routine tasks or even what appear to be complex deductive inferential tasks we associate with “knowledge” industries, yes, your job and career are at significant risk: AI and RPA will absolutely, positively threaten your job, your career and your very professional existence. It would be naïve and irresponsible for me to say otherwise – just as it was naïve and irresponsible to tell horse breeders and coach manufacturers that automobiles were no threat at all, or minicomputer manufacturers that desktop computers would not threaten their markets – because, you know, “there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” Let’s also not believe for a moment that automation and low-level AI – combined with lower global labor costs – have been quiet over the past couple of decades. Automation (broadly defined) has already redefined or destroyed millions of jobs and whole industries. While new jobs and industries have definitely been created during this time, the transitional pain was huge and will likely increase throughout the rest of the 21stcentury – and forever, as technology continues its relentless march to some version of productivity singularity.    

Risk Quotients 

Four questions:  How old are you?  What do you do?  Where do you live?  How much – and what kind of – education do you have? The answers to these questions define your risk profile. McKinsey & Co. predicts that AI (broadly defined) will eliminate 77,000,000 jobs over the next 20 years:  “our scenarios suggest that by 2030, 75 million to 375 million workers (3 to 14 percent of the global workforce) will need to switch occupational categories.” Bloomberg has developed a tool to help you determine if you’re likely to be automated. According to Bloomberg’s research (based in part on research conducted at the University of Oxford), “nearly half of all U.S. jobs may be at risk in the coming decades, with lower-paid occupations among the most vulnerable.” Compensation and benefits managers, auditors, accountants, credit analysts, loan officers, sales representatives, truck drivers, administrative services managers and even dental hygienists are at high risk and “most likely to be automated.” Some good news? The same research suggests that physicians, surgeons, lawyers, financial managers, pharmacists, teachers and computer and information systems managers are among the professions least likely to be automated. Note that the timing for all this varies. Some analysts believe significant professional displacement will occur by 2030, while others believe it will take longer.  (It won't take longer.)

Risk Management

What you do, where you live, your age and your level and nature of education will define your risk quotient and your risk management strategy. Ironically, AI and RPA can help you automate your risk quotient and your risk management strategy through a series of simple if/then statements:


If you’re an accountant, live in New York, are 60 years old, hold a bachelor’s degree, then you can coast to retirement without much automation risk …

If you’re a loan officer, live in Los Angeles, are 30 years old, hold a bachelor’s degree, then your risk quotient is high:  you will likely be impacted by automation during your career, perhaps severely …

 If you’re an elementary school teacher, live in Washington, DC, are 25 years old and hold a bachelor’s degree, then your risk quotient is extremely low (but, according to the data, so is your salary) …

Article from: forbes


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