It’s time to go beyond the hype and explore the possible scenarios of how AI and robotics might impact us – and what can be done now to ensure a positive outcome for humanity, says Rohit Talwar, co-author of ‘Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity’.

Here Talwar looks at six jobs that are likely to be transformed or eliminated completely by the use AI and robotics by 2030.

  1. Policing – robots could perform tasks like crowd control and police drones could track and intercept criminals escaping from crime scenes. Autonomous police cars could undertake ultra-high-speed chases and then use either robots or drones to detain the occupants without risking human officers’ lives.
  1. Journalists – AI tools are already being used to gather, sort, analyse, interpret, and write the resulting reports and articles for online news sites and investment banks. This will extend to drone based robo-journos sent in to capture and report on the most dangerous situations around the world and to cover a far wider range of situations at far lower cost than dispatching humans to every ‘news scene’.
  1. Investment analysts, fund managers and traders – investment bots will have the capacity to analyse ever larger volumes of current and historic trading data, news, company updates, and market sector information in a fraction of a second to make investment decisions.
  1. Sales representatives – AI could become the personal shopper of the future – learning our desires and requirements and over time making purchases with less and less need to check in with us. Retail algorithms may offer recommendations drawing on vast databases of consumer preferences and our own shopping history and social media profiles. Shopping could become a task that no longer requires humans to allocate their precious time to do it. For those that still want a say in the process, it would be intertwined with other activities and may only take seconds to complete. For example, films and TV shows would offer the ability to click on an item being worn by an actor to order it. Self-driving devices and drones would then be able to deliver the purchase anytime and anywhere.
  1. Travel Agents – from holidays to business travel, AI could increasingly take on the end-to-end booking process. The applications would collate individual, family, and group / event travel preferences, search for options, design highly personalised itineraries, make reservations, and complete the payment on our behalf. Travel Agents may need to become application specialists; signposting the best apps for their clients. Other immersive technologies including augmented and virtual reality could provide opportunities for agents to provide a taster experience, allowing travellers to feel the bed linen, smell the bathroom fragrances, and taste the food from a hotel on the other side of the world as part of their client service.
  1. Customer service representatives – Chatbots are already making sales calls, helping customers make choices and solving callers’ problems across a wide range of industries. No mood swings, standardized quality, 24/7 availability and extensive and constantly updated and up to date knowledge are just a few of the benefits that AI promises to bring to customer service. However, there might still be delicate and complex issues that would be handled better with a human touch.

In addition, there are numerous ways we might anticipate jobs could evolve in the future. Opportunities might arise in areas such as personal trainers, care of the elderly, the performing arts, helping older workers learn about the new and disruptive technologies and possibly teachers / classroom facilitators if greater emphasis is placed on developing life skills in smaller-sized, face-to-face classes.

The industries of the future will also generate a significant volume of mainly graduate or master’s degree-level opportunities in everything from alternative energy and synthetic materials to human augmentation and driverless vehicles. As the world becomes increasingly tech-enabled, people might crave live experiences – which could drive a growth in opportunities in bars, restaurants, entertainment experiences, and live performers of all kinds.

Ultimately, today’s business leaders acknowledge that the robots are coming; it is just that we don’t know where they may have their biggest impacts or whether they will take, make or reboot the future of work.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington, Maria Romero, and April Koury are from Fast Future which publishes books from future thinkers around the world exploring how developments such as AI, robotics and disruptive thinking could impact individuals, society and business and create new trillion-dollar sectors. Two new books from Fast Future are: ‘Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity’, published on 27th Nov, and ‘Future Transformations’, available in Dec. See: