Artificial Intelligence and Automation Threaten These Jobs

Business Articles

In artificial intelligence, programmers get machines to learn from human thought processes. In robotics or automation, machines replicate the physical tasks done by humans.

Machines have been perfected to perform jobs more quickly and with fewer errors than humans. There’s no need for a paid vacation, sick leave, pensions or health benefits when men and women aren’t doing the work. These two technologies put millions of jobs in jeopardy.

Work that is repetitive and in industries that are not under burdensome regulation are more likely to be automated than those that are not. Another factor that favors automation is a job scenario that doesn’t very much. While blue-collar jobs are disappearing, so are white-collar jobs that may require more creativity, analytical thinking, and a college degree.

Bank Tellers and Loan Officers

ATMs and mobile apps cut into the need for people to help handle deposits, withdrawals, and balance inquiries. Also losing ground may be the employees who process loans.

Early in the loan application process, all relevant information gets entered into a computer that’s ready to analyze it to determine the applicant’s ability to repay. Some applications even get taken online. The programmed computer makes a recommendation on whether to grant or deny the loan. Currently, however, a human usually makes the final decision.

Drivers of Trucks and Non-Commercial Vehicles

Even though technological challenges remain for the large-scale success of self-driving cars, most people who drive taxis or vehicles for services such as Uber and Lyft can expect a dwindling job market.

Tech companies are also working on self-driving semi-trucks. Since the trucking industry is heavily regulated, however, seeing large numbers of autonomous trucks on the road will probably be slow in coming.

Financial Planners and Wealth Managers

In some instances, robot-advisors are picking investments for clients. Portfolio managers enter a person’s age, goals, and tolerance for risk into the computer, which returns suggestions for trades.

In 2017, BlackRock, a giant American global wealth management corporation, laid off some of its portfolio managers when it decided to rely more heavily on computers. BlackRock’s returns were not as good as those of other wealth management firms that had been using AI, and whose costs were lower. Investors are always looking to save money in fees.

Food-Prep Workers and Servers

In some restaurants and fast-food establishments, machines now make burgers, salads, and pizzas, and they can make the beverages in coffee shops. Drones can take meals to tables and eliminate the need for the large wait staff.

In-house Delivery Personnel

Various U.S. hotels, offices and hospitals use robots. A robot can take medications from a hospital pharmacy to nurses on the floor. A robot of a different design carries luggage, linens, and food to hotel guests in their rooms.

Janitors and Cleaners

Commercial robots scrub hospital and office floors. This measure saves on labor, which accounts for about 50 percent of the cost of janitorial services.


Artificial intelligence makes it possible for machines to understand and write a human language. Computers often generate the breaking news and other articles people read online. Sports and other stories that use a lot of statistics could also be written using AI.

Investigative journalism is also in the crosshairs of this proficient technology.

Movers and Warehouse Employees

In many businesses, machines already stack good-filled pallets and bins as a human watches the automation process. Amazon currently has more than 100,000 robots in its warehouses across the globe. They can also take inventory and notify managers when items are out of stock.


The work of a human paralegal can be tedious. With the rise of robots/computers that can go through millions of documents and pick out the requested information, phone numbers, email addresses and other information based on keywords, these employees are likely to face employment challenges.


Though trained to read X-rays, MRIs and CAT scans, radiologists are being aided by–and sometimes eliminated by–computer programs that can analyze the large numbers of digital scans they receive to evaluate.

Radiologists don’t see patients face-to-face, but physicians in many other specialties do. No matter what their area of expertise, however, physicians use AI to make diagnoses and recommend treatments. Robots are already performing surgery. Despite these advances, there will be a need for physicians far into the foreseeable future.

The Human Diagnosis Project, a worldwide medical initiative still in its pilot stages with underserved patients in the U.S., is an electronic consulting project that aims to use doctors’ knowledge and machine learning to deliver affordable care to all people.

Led by the “global medical community,” this project envisions itself not as replacing doctors (in large numbers) but letting doctors and AI assist each other.

Retail Employees

Many large retailers are replacing some cashier aisles with self-service checkout. There also is a growing number of machines that fill orders for customers.

Software Developers

AI is a threat to software developers because computers are being taught to write code. Although the jobs of most coders are safe for now, those who plan to be working in the field longer than a decade might want to consider learning additional skills.

DeepCoder, a joint project of Microsoft Research and the University of Cambridge, is getting machines to write code. Currently, the devices are writing simple code, but the minds behind this initiative want them eventually to write code for people based on the problems for which they need solutions.

Across the globe, other companies are doing the work to make this possible. By dramatically cutting the cost of software development and purchase, such an achievement will be invaluable not only to individuals who can’t code but also to companies’ bottom line.

Telemarketers and Customer Service Reps

There is a lot of software available for telemarketing. Workers living in India and other countries perform customer service, but machines are now replacing many humans in this job. Chatbots, which are computer programs that hold conversations with humans, are widely by businesses for online chats.

Other jobs in jeopardy include accountants, bookkeepers and tax preparers who do simple returns. To be ready for all the twists and turns built into the job market by AI and automation, workers must stay current on trends in their sector. With that knowledge, they can get training to be prepared for shifts in the shifting landscape of the marketplace.

Artificial Intelligence and Automation Threaten These Jobs