A large number of Americans would jump at the opportunity to do something else for a living. Going through the motions of performing the same tasks every single day of the work week for what feels like an eternity can get pretty boring. These days, we rely on frequent stimulation and tend to lose focus without it.
As businesses and industries count on our manpower to sustain profits and keep growing, human beings are indispensable to the economy. So where would the global conglomerates and multi-national brands be without the power of the common workforce? It is not as if there is an alternative, right?
Wrong. Robot workers are inevitable. If you think that your job is safe as your occupation is not considered manual labor, then you may want to read up on something called Artificial Intelligence (AI)[wiki]. The fact is that AI will almost certainly replace a wide number of roles which are currently filled by humans in the next couple of decades. Jobs such as personal assistants to cab drivers appear likely to be allocated to innovative AI software and pioneering mechanics.
So, before you quit your job and jump into a new profession for the rest of your days, consider these 7 jobs which may be a better bet in the long run.
OK, so there was that Los Angeles Times article written by AI. For some out there, this passage proves that AI can one day take over the world of journalism:
While this is impressive in any language, it is essentially a clump stats and figures compiled into reports. The act of editorializing information is not something which AI will likely be able to pull off convincingly.
More importantly, a network of information which the human race relies on to formulate opinions and to live by, generated and controlled by AI, is the stuff of nightmares. Objectivity is meant to be the foundation of news. Investigative journalism, challenging the status quo, and pushing for justice against those who have the money to buy their way out of trouble – and to provide the info which holds them in good light – would be a thing of the past.
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2. Artists & Photographers
Is it a far stretch to argue that AI could not produce incredibly intricate and detailed artwork? No, it is not. Even the most basic mechanical invention could produce “artwork” deemed interesting enough to be adorned on a wall of a modern art gallery anywhere in the world.
Attach a can of paint to a broom handle, tie it with rope to an old tumble drier, place a canvas on the floor and turn the drier on: you have a piece to compete with many pieces of “art” which currently sell for thousands in hip galleries in the major cities on the globe.
When it comes to fine art and soulful human expression, things become a little more difficult. Can you imagine AI capturing the delicate beauty of photography? It would be highly unlikely for AI to find a way to create anything like the chaotic, bluesy guitar playing of a Jimi Hendrix, or the heartbreaking yet earth-shattering vocals of Chris Cornell. Although Japan is doing its best to make human musicians a thing of the past, humans will always have a place in art.
Once again, we come back to human emotions: empathy and compassion. There are myriad circumstances involved in complex legal matters, and to think of a robotic judge passing down a long custodial sentence in a highly publicized and polarizing civil-rights case could end up in a situation which makes the Watts Riots look like a Sunday morning softball game.
A judge is appointed to their position as a highly educated practitioner of law, and an esteemed member of society. The Judge-O-Bot 5000 is not something which any human would surely fancy their chances of coming up against, innocent or guilty.
To justify the use of AI in a courtroom would invariably lead to questions about the ability of AI software to perform duties which have historically been assigned to the most honorable among us. Being judged by a computer program for an unexplainable, impulsive, (and above all) human action or reaction is unimaginable.
4. Doctors, Psychiatrists, & Dentists
Make no mistake AI has a very important future in medicine and surgery. In an explicitly logical sense, a computer algorithm working alongside body scanners, for example, may be able to identify certain illnesses and ailments which the human brain could crucially miss.
Although this is the case, if you can envisage the robot from Rocky 4 rolling in with a stethoscope around its neck, informing you that you need a double-leg amputation and don’t feel a little weirded out, you may be on your own. Humans are highly unlikely to be pushed out of healthcare altogether.
In fact, roles like doctors and psychiatrists seem pretty safe from the threats of an all-out, AI takeover. This is due to the lack of empathy and understanding of complex human emotions which are vital parts of the role.
In the case of psychologists, it seems unlikely that there would be much demand for a computer program breaking down our complex emotional issues. It would be incredibly strange to act out on advice from an AI psychologist on relationship problems, or the deep-seated resentment of parents and siblings, given that it is essentially a computer program with no concept of human feelings.
5. Priests & Religious Leaders
Spiritual leaders being replaced by Artificial Intelligence? While pretty much every comedian active today would be able to write an hour-long special about this subject alone, there is more chance of Elvis Presley popping up in a Drake video.
The idea is ridiculous enough on paper without fantasizing about all the things which could conceivably go wrong if this were to happen. Imagine the turning up for church every week to be greeted by a mechanical priest, pastor, or imam. Conveying the message that we are all made in the image of the lord would surely lead to some awkward and suspicious glances from the pews.
There is a chance that the robotic man of God could malfunction, tossing chalices and candles into the poor unsuspecting faces of parishioners before combusting into a ball of flames as churchgoers toss holy water…
It’s not going to happen.
There is scope to suggest that AI will have a massive impact on the classroom in the future. Leaning aids, teacher’s assistants, and other technology seems certain to help the kids of the future pick up their times tables and American history in a different way to millennials.
To suggest that there will be no place for teachers is another thing. Teachers, like judges, doctors, and priests, are important to society for more than their basic job description. There are a number of human qualities which make a great teacher, and, while it is conceivable for a number of AI teacher models to emerge in the coming years, parents are highly unlikely to feel comfortable allowing their offspring to be taught by a computer program. Instead of that, sites like Udemy.com are getting much more popularity for only one reason. Because a human teacher is the creator of each online courses.
That word comes to mind again, “compassion.” These human emotions and interpersonal skills are, for now, impossible to replicate with AI.
If you want to see the 100 Meters run in 0.7 seconds, robot athletes may be for you. How about a UFC fight between the best AI geared machines from the USA and Japan? Or the Superbowl contested between the Arizona Androids and the Chicago Cyborgs?
It would be boring, though, wouldn’t it? After a while, the novelty would wear off and you would be left with machinery.
The reason humans over the years fell in love with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Serena Williams was for the different qualities they brought to their respective sports. The pioneering movement, the grace, the determination, grit, unrelenting dedication, and ability to overcome almost impossible boundaries made them seem superhuman. Super-human.
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Conclusion: AI doesn’t have all skills like human
These skills and qualities are what make the greats stand out. Factor in their charisma and stellar personalities, while you’re at it. These things are not easily broken down programmable, as if they were, we would surely already know about it.
Oh yeah, and the trash talk would be unbearable.
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