Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and founder of SpaceX and Tesla, made an outrageous claim, but one believes strongly. Artificial intelligence (AI) will take everyone’s job eventually. “It’s hard to say exactly what that moment is, but there will come a point where no job is needed,” he said at a conference.
Which Jobs Are at Risk?
Whether Musk is wrong is one thing. Whether it is partially wrong is another matter. AI may have already begun to capture low-hanging fruit, which has been described as the job of middle management. This theory is based on the needs for humans who handle jobs like accounting and written analysis of observable situations from both the human eye and on a computer screen.
It is important to distinguish between automation and sophisticated AI. Automation has already begun to take away jobs in the retail sector. Between fast food and stores, threatened jobs already stretch into the millions. For these workers, it is only a matter of time. (These 20 jobs are most likely to be replaced or changed by AI and automation.)
Musk has a ringside seat in manufacturing because of the size and complexity of Tesla’s manufacturing facilities. He probably already knows which people he can replace now. Robots are already part of the most complex assembly lines.
When Will This Happen?
Musk’s comments were not about today or the very long-term future, it seems from his comments. Most jobs will be AI-aided until they are eventually replaced. Part of the reason actors are on strike is portions of movie-making already lend themselves to AI-based activity.
The largest sectors in the United States based on employment beyond retail are the medical field, real estate and education. If there is a next shoe to drop from the AI-based employment threat, it may come from these. AI will take all jobs eventually.
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