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AI in business: Trends and predictions to look out for

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Mopic)

AI is already being implemented in businesses around the world, and while worries persist over whether robots will be taking over the workplace, some are predicting that it will actually improve and even create jobs in the future.

The truth lies somewhere in the middle. While AI in business will serve to make our jobs easier, some jobs will be replaced by machines while others will be adjusted to account for new technologies.

A recent initiative from NPR shows what the approximate chances are that your job will one day be automated. As part of the initiative, researchers looked at a wide range of jobs and scored them based on nine possible traits, including the social intelligence required to perform the job, being personally required to help others, and whether a job requires negotiation

While the results are more rough estimates than scientific findings, it still serves as a decent indicator of what’s to come in the workforce.

Jobs most likely to be replaced by AI

Telemarketers – 99 per cent probability

Telemarketing roles don’t require the same high level of social or emotional intelligence as sales roles to be successful. Additionally, conversion rates for direct telephonic sales are typically less than 10 per cent, making this an obvious role to be automated. With the number of automated calls and the extent of this technology, it is already becoming rare to receive spam calls from real people these days.

Credit Analysts – 98 per cent probability

Software exists to research and examines credit risks, assess credit history and approve or disapprove credit extensions. These are the basic duties of a credit analyst, which means that this role could be completely automated in the future.

Cashiers – 97 per cent probability

Retailers are slowly minimising the use of cashiers and boosting the shopping experience with cool features like self-checkout lanes and personal scanners, while Internet-savvy buyers are also more likely to shop online. This means cashier jobs also face a high probability of automation.

Bookkeeping Clerks – 97 per cent probability

Jobs in this role are expected to see a decline as most bookkeeping becomes automated, thanks to sophisticated software like QuickBooks and FreshBooks, which is more affordable than paying a bookkeeper’s salary.

Common accounting and financing roles like payroll managers are being replaced by tools like WagePoint, while roles that require a lot of manual data entry will be replaced by bots and automated solutions. According to a study from McKinsey & Company, general accounting operations, cash disbursement and revenue management are tasks that will likely be completely automated.

Paralegals – 95 per cent probability

In the past, paralegal teams would be required to sort through legal documents and dig through archives and legal code to assist the attorneys. Today, this can all be accessed quickly and easily at the push of a button, while software exists to analyse millions of documents and extract concepts and ideas faster than any human.

Accountants – 94 per cent probability

While many people still use an accountant to do their taxes, programs like TurboTax and FreshBooks allows us to do it ourselves, diminishing the need for accountants. That’s not to say a good accountant isn’t worth your money, but more people and businesses are automating accounting software in a bid to save money.

From devices in our homes to mobile apps, AI has already made its way into our daily lives. The workplace is no exception and AI has already helped businesses make better use of data and streamline processes.

Artificial Intelligence on Big Data – Businesses are starting to use data to make decisions with the help of algorithms and real-time methods. AI assists with this by breaking down excessive data to help businesses make use of it. AI also uses machine learning and deep learning to improve predictive analytics, allowing businesses to offer customers exactly what they are looking for.

Voice Assistants – Some of the most common AI technologies used in our daily lives are Alexa, Siri. Similarly, digital assistants using voice commands will soon make their way into the office. Businesses will benefit from this as it will improve employees’ understanding of applications and data and how to best use it.

Mobile Apps – As data becomes a driving force in businesses, so will the mobile app development space transform to complement this growth. Mobile users are looking for a more customised experience, which companies want to give them in order to stay competitive. The role of the mobile app developer will, therefore, need to change as it will tie in closely with AI so that it can process data and learn from users.

Automation via Robotics – Robotics Process Automation makes use of AI to complete repetitive tasks at huge volumes, which can range from a simple business transaction to complicated processing and presenting of data. This system will save companies time and money as Robotic Process Automation is able to complete a task quicker and more accurately than an employee. In this way, businesses will save money.

Could chat bots replace jobs?

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg fuelled a lot of hype around chat bots replacing human jobs after it was announced Messenger would be hosting more of them in the coming years. The aim is to help businesses build bots on the chat app so they can hold automated chats with people, which will eventually lead to more sales, bookings and brand awareness.

Bots are essentially cheaper and quicker to make than apps, with many industry experts saying that bots will take over from apps in the near future. Many of these bots are able to carry out tasks traditionally done by humans, including the following jobs:

  • Customer service agents
  • Fast-food servers
  • Personal assistants
  • Social media managers

AI creating new jobs

While AI will definitely take over a few human jobs, it will also create new jobs. The role of computer scientist will be in high demand, while new roles will be created to run the AI, including engineers, accountants, and retail analysts. People will also be needed to prepare the data for the AI to process and to train employees on how to use this new technology.

The presence of AI will grow in the workplace, and while creating new jobs, organisations need to realise that the real challenge will be finding candidates to take over these new roles.

John Williams, Head of Marketing, Instant Offices
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Mopic