How machine learning is shaping industries and jobs around the world – Part II

Man standing on a factory

In a previous article, we introduced how machine learning, a subset of Artificial intelligence, is changing industries across the world. From the healthcare industry, education, transportation, to Agriculture, the adoption of this technology is helping to solve complex problems, predict scenarios, and take faster decisions.

In this article we continue to explore the changes this technology is bringing, focusing on the side of the employees.

The conversations and fear of technology taking jobs from humans are present since the occurrence of previous technological revolutions. It is no longer a surprise the fact that as we face technological advancement some people lose their jobs.

One of the biggest concerns of people who read about the recent technological improvements is whether their job will be automated or not.

The basic rule is that, if your job relies on manual labor and repetitiveness, such as farmers, industry workers, taxi drivers, and receptionists, the chances of you being replaced are higher. But if you rely on cognitive inputs to perform your tasks and if your job demands “social skills”, such as writers, designers, event planners, or social workers, the chances of replacement by technology are low.

To help you find out if your profession has a higher or lower chance of automation, visit the websites “will robot take my job” and “replaced by robot”.

One of the things less mentioned in discussions about the job market and robots is the creation of new job posts. Data analysis, game designers, and social media specialists are examples of fields that are becoming popular these days that were unimaginable 30 years ago and are in great demand in the market. Because the availability of skilled professionals in these emergent professions is low, their salaries are very high.

What follows is a look at how the nature of jobs in some industries is being changed. This list features the sectors that will see major changes. Visit the websites above or read the world economic report to gather more information about an industry not mentioned in the list below.

Marketing and sales

Jobs that will be killed

Receptionists – Receptionists in many businesses will be replaced by robots that will show the visitor the information they might need. Automatic machines will be able to detect the idiom of the visitor, the height, the needs, and other relevant information and properly address the answers.

Sales manager – Replying to customer messages, plan campaigns, and create content, are just some of the tasks machines will be able to do well enough to replace workers in this field.

Transportation and logistics

Jobs that will be killed

Couriers – The delivery of goods is likely to be done by robots soon. Amazon is an example of companies testing the delivery of the products bought from its stores using drones.

Warehouse workers – Organizing shelves, carrying boxes, labeling them, handling orders, and other manual jobs performed in warehouses have great chances of being fully automated in the future.

Taxi, bus, and freight drivers – With many companies, such as Google (Waymo), Tesla, and uber developing self-driving cars, the need of a person controlling the steering wheel is going to be removed. Once fully functional, this technology will likely be applied to public transportation buses and taxis.

To respond to this threat taxi drivers in some cities are fighting to pass laws to stop or slow down the development of autonomous vehicles, as seen in London and India, but it’s something impossible to stop for too long.

Less likely to be killed or be added

Pilots – Airplanes come with a built-in robot called the “autopilot” which can fly the plane to any destination. Pilots are necessary these days to do take-off and landing operations. Besides that, pilots are there mostly to make passengers feel comfortable (it’s hard to imagine you’re in a plane controlled by a robot), safe, and handle emergencies if they occur. Although the number of deaths related to airplane accidents is low compared to car crashes, the idea of having autonomous cars sounds better than autonomous airplanes.


Jobs that will be killed

Accountants and financial analysts – Computers can analyze numbers and determine their meanings faster than humans. Most tax preparation these days is done by computers, the same as financial predictions and simulations.

Just like receptionists, bank tellers and loan officers are highly susceptible to replacement by robots.

Less likely to be killed or be added

Quants – This new group of professionals is made up of people who combine computer science with math to build algorithms that predict market changes and capitalize on available trading opportunities.

Army and public safety

Jobs that will be killed

Soldiers – The efficiency of drones in military operations is something that was already put to test and worked. The next step in military operations is the replacement of soldiers by robots, which will allow a reduction in the number of human losses at battlefields.

Less likely to be killed or be added

First-line supervisors and detectives – Piling up evidence of a crime and following along all reasons, medical and legal processes behind it, is something machines will hardly accomplish.


Jobs that will be killed

Doctors – We can already see machines doing surgical operations in hospitals and clinics around the world. The riskier tasks are still being performed by surgeons specialized in the field, but as they get smarter, robots are likely to replace doctors in many fields.

Medics are also vulnerable to replacement because AI algorithms are becoming good diagnosing diseases and collecting useful data to recommend specific treatments.

Less likely to be killed or be added

Social workers, therapists, and physiatrists – Robots will hardly understand the human mind and emotions precisely, develop compassion or empathy, that’s why it’s unlikely they could replace these professions.


Jobs that will be killed

Construction workers – The power to lift heavy things or lay bricks is something that is already being provided by robots. In Australia, a robotic company called "Fastbrick robotics" created a machine able to lay 1000 bricks per hour.

Less likely to be killed or be added

Architect – Drawing buildings is a creative task that demands some breakthrough ideas that robots won’t provide.

Industries and factories

Jobs that will be killed

Factory workers – factory workers have already been replaced by machines in many industries. It is sure that this replacement likely continues along the next years.

Less likely to be killed or be added

Mechanics – if jobs will be done by machines in the future, someone will be needed to keep them running neatly, the reason why first-line supervisors of mechanics will hardly be replaced.


Jobs that will be killed

Farmers – robots will be able to harvest, grow, and monitor crops better than humans.

What do you need to do no be left apart?

In this new revolution, to embrace the opportunities the job market is offering you’ve got to develop skills that companies are valuing more.

The first step is knowing about building software and machines. If you can’t build, at least understand the process of building it or be good using it. Don’t be that guy who’s constantly bothering the other colleague with basic questions such as how to “copy a file” or “send an email”. Ok, these two examples no longer fit, but you got the message. Learn about the tools the market is using or might use and make yourself good at it.

Being good at handling and working in partnership with robots will be a major skill in the future.

The second step is developing a fast-brain. Learn how to read the information the machine is showing, quickly describe the meaning, and make a decision or send the message to those who need to make a decision fast.

The third skill you need to master is keeping secrets. Learn about how privacy rules work according to the industry and country you want to work. Rules such as GDPR were created to protect the user’s information to do not be used without his consent. Either learn how to do not break the rule or learn how to go after those who break the rule. In other words, be a lawyer specialized in this field, or be good at another field while also understanding law.

These are the basic skills you need to master to get a job in a new job market. The best thing is that you don’t need to have a background or graduate in computer science. You don’t need to be a programmer or one of those mad scientists to do not be left apart, but having a comprehension of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will provide you good leverage.

Future doesn’t rely on technology only

Just as the previous technological revolution allowed major advancements in human lifestyle and increased free time to pursue creative endeavors, as robots take the most basic jobs, humans will gravitate towards creative careers – dance, sing, paint, write and talk.

Prepare yourself to become a singer, a choreographer, a designer – in any field, a “professional talker/ counselor” or anything that involves the understanding of other human emotions.

Final notes

We must accept the fact that we’ll live with robots. There are tasks they are way better doing that we humans can’t, such as scrapping the internet to provide search results, predicting the results of a football match in real-time, or sewing perfectly aligned cloth.

It’s safe to say that humans will not be unemployed, but what they’ll be doing as a job in 2030, 2050, or 2100 is unknown. It is dependent on the evolution of technology that already exists or in the creation of new ones we’ve never heard of.


Join the conversation about this topic on Facebook and Instagram.

Related articles

Learn more about AI with our email newsletters

Sign up to our mailing list today to receive the latest articles and insights on AI and other disruptive techs in your inbox