It's no secret that people have been losing their jobs to robots, well, since we invented robots. From a business perspective, it just makes sense to hire someone that requires next to no pay, zero time off, and no benefits. From customer service to auto manufacturing, bots are replacing people across the board. By one estimate, 6% of jobs in America will be replaced by AI within the next 5 years.

Any job in the service or manual labor industry can already be replaced. But, what may surprise you is the amount of white-collar, creative, and highly specialized professions that could be replaced by AI within the next 10 years. To give you some insight into what I mean, I've listed 5 such professions that will probably be replaced in the next decade.

Hopefully yours isn't on the list.

Airline Pilots

It's not something that the general public gives much notice to, but commercial airline pilots already spend remarkably little time actually flying their planes. Currently, pilots are in control during takeoff and landing - the rest of the flight is handled by the plane's autopilot.

The largest obstacle facing completely pilotless flights is emergency situations. However, that issue is being tackled by the University College London as we speak. They're developing an AI unit that can respond to drastic changes in flying conditions automatically. Their autopilot is only in its beta-stage at the time of writing, but could spark an evolution in the airline industry within the next decade.

Journalists

This will probably come as a bigger surprise to writers than the average reader - journalists could be replaced While most creative professions seem safe from AI replacement at the moment, bots are inching their way closer to replacing journalists everyday. In fact, you may have already read articles written by AI without even realizing.

The Associated Press frequently publishes political, business, and sports articles that were written by AI - and they're not the only ones. Companies like Automated Insights and Narrative Science have developed machine-learning algorithms that scrape a host of sources for news and use it to generate fresh content. Although for obvious reasons, most of their clients wish to remain anonymous.

Lawyers

The legal industry has been downright sluggish when it comes to adopting new tech. However, the legal tech revolution is coming whether established lawyers and firms like it or not.

We're already seeing it happen at the lower levels. Platforms like Beagle and jEugene offer legal contract review that's faster than physically possible for humans and costs a fraction of traditional lawyer fees. However, the real change will occur when a bot can represent people in court - which many legal professionals say we're still decades from.

Unfortunately for those professionals, a full-service lawbot isn't as far off as they think. One young Canadian company already has such a bot in the works, based on IBM's Watson API, and his name is ROSS.

Movie Stars

Iit's safe to say that if you asked 1000 people to list a few professions they think will be replaced by AI in the next couple decades, no one would say movie stars. However, that possibility is gaining merit everyday.

2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story featured two appearances by actors who weren't really there, a young Princess Leia was rendered using CGI, as was Grand Moff Tarkin. The original actor who played the latter is no longer with us.

A growing number of stars are having their bodies scanned so they can be replaced by CGI in the event of an accident during shooting and so they can continue to provide for their families after death. It raises the question, if movie stars can continue acting forever, will we reach a point where there's no need for new actors?

Surgeons

Doctors have been developing robotically-assisted surgical tools for over 30 years. It has cut down on human errors, reduced the time required for surgery, and allowed surgeons to operate in places never before possible. Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust has already hired surgical robots to work alongside doctors, it seems only logical that the next step will be to remove humans(and the possibility of human-error) from the process altogether.

As the list shows, it doesn't matter what color your collar is - AI might be gunning for your job.

Published on: Jul 17, 2017