In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative force, reshaping industries and redefining the nature of work. As AI continues to advance, certain careers find themselves standing at a crossroads, facing the looming threat of automation and disruption.
1. Data Entry Clerks
Data entry jobs range from medical record assistants to tax auditors and are integral to any business. Entrusting the maintenance of business records, customer account information, and revenue data may prove hard, but it is only a matter of time until more people do. Some might be surprised human data entry jobs are still with us, with many already being replaced.
2. Courtroom Stenographers
This year, reports emerged of law courts’ increasing AI use. Managing partner at Cohen & Cohen, Wayne Cohen, explained in a CNBC interview how AI now plays a part in many courtroom proceedings, such as writing trial summaries and translations, helping with office administration, and creating jury exhibits for trial preparation.
3. Computer Programmers
Computer programmers have seen a massive growth in value over the past decade, though with the dawn of AI breakthroughs, their needs may plunge. Sadly, a profession that involves hours of practice to master is where AI may have its most significant impact, though one would hope new jobs will be created as a byproduct.
4. Telemarketing and Telesales
Software using large language models (LLMs) is improving its ability to mimic human voice patterns. It is getting to the point where repeated tasks involving scripts or sales soundbites will be easily replaced by software in the future.
5. Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers
Wall Street will always have its investment geniuses who live and breathe stocks, and the Stock Exchange bell will likely have a human hand ringing it forever. However, AI is already proving to be a valuable companion for investors, with ChatGPT being able to pick successful stocks for beginners.
The idea of esteemed dignitaries shadowed by their trusted interpreters may be over one day. Of course, software-based translation is already in active use, and translating literally between any language still proves to be its biggest hurdle. However, just imagine the optics of powerful grandees with a loyal translator bot by their side — maybe Star Wars‘ C-3PO isn’t such a fantasy after all?
7. Bank Clerks
Will physical Main Street banks even exist in the future? The answer is a resounding no, according to analysts. Local bank branches, the cornerstone of communities worldwide, will fade away. Forbes claims studies show 87% of banking customers no longer visit their local department anyway. The local office-space meltdown is in full effect.
8. Sewing Machine Operators
Like the car industry, the textile industry has already replaced much of its clothing manufacturing with machinery. There are health risks associated with working in this field, such as repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) and exposure to forms of dust. While bespoke tailors’ value will likely rise, industrial sewing machinists may fade into obscurity when AI seamstresses are a thing.
9. Order Clerks
The small business warehouse is a staple of small towns and cities across the map, though employing local workers to fulfill orders has seen a significant drop in recent years. The emergence of dropshipping and Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) hegemony means smaller vendors are having to cut costs and increase productivity.
Who doesn’t want to walk into a business and be greeted by a friendly receptionist? In the future, that receptionist is likely to be automated — at least most of their duties. One job receptionists have done for years is taking and transferring calls, liaising with customers, and answering caller inquiries. Most of these jobs are already automated, but humans answering customer calls might become obsolete.
The good news is that public libraries are still thriving in America, but how they are operated is changing. Librarians invariably love books, but in reality, most duties now revolve around learning new software, dealing with homeless visitors, and logging people onto the free Internet services.
The UK Arts Council wrote a paper summarizing how future librarians may work. “Those working in libraries will be less occupied in straightforward transactions and more involved in linking people and organizations.”
12. Filing Clerks
Anything involving the systematic processing of paper documents will disappear one day, with most modern businesses storing documents in soft copy. However, there may be scope for more traditional practices due to the risks presented by hacking. Over the last two decades, an almost 60% drop in filing jobs points to a mostly automated future for filing clerks.
13. Digital Electrical Engineers
Digital electricians’ days may be numbered if job loss trends in this field continue. Naturally, smart technology means that many electrical systems in place can be operated remotely, using fewer technicians. While this means new jobs in smart technology are booming, there will still be a good balance between circuit engineers.
14. Postal Workers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that postal sorting, processing, and operating jobs have fallen by 56% over two decades, making it one of the first jobs to become entirely automated. If the trend continues, we might see postal departments operated entirely by robots. Another question is whether this will extend to postal delivery workers; spoiler alert: it seems highly likely.
15. Machine Feeders and Offbearers
When the Industrial Revolution changed the human landscape forever, people went from rural lifestyles to working in machine-driven industrial spaces. When more modern mechanized methods came into play, manufacturing needed factory workers to stand by those machines, feeding materials into them as part of a wider process shared by other workers. These jobs will mainly be carried out by intelligent robots one day, though how this affects the job market remains to be seen.
16. Sheet Metal Workers
It’s no surprise that sheet metal workers already compete with their machine usurpers, considering the risk factors involved in metal workshops or foundries, such as extreme noise and physical threats. AI-based software for metal sheet work is already on its way, reports Industry Insider. Sheet metal production will save time and materials using AI-enhanced processes, leaving many metal workers unemployed.
17. Finance Officers
Finance officers are responsible for helping businesses control their spending and helping them run their departments more efficiently. The only downside to using humans in this equation is their need for sleep, rest, and food. However, it isn’t all bad news: CFOs everywhere can use AI to increase their value, achieving far more than a sole person. Ernst & Young report the many ways AI will help finance officers, including improved help with business fraud.
18. Market Research Interviewers
AI is disrupting market research in ways never seen before. Can anyone remember the last time a human cold-called them with market research? In the modern era, customer reviews and comments entered in apps and websites are used to predict trends. While it means individual sellers have an advantage in pushing their goods, jobs in this area will likely be remote, software-based support positions.
19. Paralegals and Legal Assistants
With the preponderance of AI legal reading documents already flooding the market, a paralegal’s job description looks set to change in the coming years. Legal assistants must complete voluminous amounts of legalese, and using software to reference key text areas is already changing the game. We may not see an AI Perry Mason any day soon, though who would bet against it one day?
Transcription has been a stalwart part of medical services for many years, with doctors needing electronic health records for their patients but with little time for the burdensome paperwork. Traditionally, transcribers turn medical professionals’ professional recorded words into documents. However, AI-enhanced voice-to-text software could provide a threat to medical wordsmiths everywhere.
21. Travel Agents
Somehow, the Main Street travel agent is still with us, providing peace of mind for community members who prefer a trusted hand guiding their travels. Unsurprisingly, younger people prefer not to use travel agents, instead opting for a more DIY approach to their travel.
Trip Advisor has reported great success with its generative AI Itinerary Planner function, which has helped the company achieve a 16% year-on-year growth. As the aging population leaves us in the coming decades, physical travel agents may leave, too.
22. Credit Clerks
A credit clerk runs credit checks, working in a field where examining a client or fiscal health is needed. It can be difficult for some people, causing stress and burnout, especially in cases of medical prior authorization. The professionals responsible for deciding whether health insurance covers the procedure a patient needs could be disrupted by AI or at least assisted in their difficult position.
23. Insurance Clerks
Like credit clerks, insurance clerks complete tasks easily repeated by AI software and in a much quicker fashion. An insurance clerk handles new insurance applications, mostly earning a commission. They must apply insurance risk methods in determining a client’s premium, which is easily replicated using software.
Teaching is a difficult job, requiring hours of physical performance. Some teachers can be responsible for potentially hundreds of students’ ongoing academic and pastoral care. While this career will always require the human touch, especially at younger ages, machine learning will augment learning in ways never seen before — it already is. Augmented reality is already making substantial waves in education. Furthermore, every teacher walking the earth would welcome help in maintaining student records and other tedious paper trails.