Make way for robots! Why your job is about to disappear

Well, actually, it depends on what you do…

As intriguing as it is to quantify the number of jobs that have the potential to be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI), it may be too optimistic to assume that this productivity increase can be applied with a generalized sweep across all existing jobs.

Modern technological applications, including digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics, are supported by AI. This affects the entire job market — including jobs ranging from low to high income, basic to specialized skills, and zero to high education requirements — making it difficult to pinpoint the effects to a specific subset of jobs.

So, your job requires high-level skills…

…and includes repetitive tasks. Expect your role to be redefined, because AI will likely take over the well-defined processes you currently perform.

For example, lawyers can expect the research portion of their job to be reassigned, because AI has the ability to efficiently gather large amounts of data and analyze it with a lower rate of error. Since AI contributes to a dramatic increase in productivity, it is only logical for companies to implement it.

Sure, this leaves lawyers skeptical. Will they still have a job in 20 years?

Yes, AI can assume repetitive tasks and learn structured processes. However, at this stage in technological advancement, only humans can develop advanced cognitive skills and exhibit flexibility and creativity in decision-making.

Ultimately, this increased productivity will redefine the roles of many high-level skilled jobs, including lawyers. However, where the optimism of role evolution falls to the wayside is when individuals in these occupations ask, “does this new definition of my job still fulfill me?”

The implementation of AI will lead to more than just internal conflict about the acceptance of role adjustments.

So, your job requires low-level skills…

…and includes solely repetitive tasks. You have likely dodged the potential for your job to be redefined, but brace yourself because you can expect AI to fully take over.

This opposition to the rosy view that AI will free people from doing repetitive work in favour of activities of higher value holds merit, and is supported by industry professionals. In an exclusive interview with us, Harj Purhar, Vice President of Enterprise Development and Application Support at Canaccord Genuity, stated:


Low-level skilled jobs are those that consist of repetitive and structured tasks. Cashier? Check. Taxi driver? Check. Paralegal? Check. These are among the jobs most likely to become obsolete due to automation.

For example, online customer representatives who answer customers’ questions online are threatened by the use of AI in the form of chatbots. The value these workers add is only in the answers they provide, and if a computer can learn to do this, then these workers may be out of luck.

So… how do you plan for the future?

Vancouver-based IT Auditor Jean-Denis Brochu says:


Brochu makes an important point by suggesting that it is questionable whether or not society will benefit from AI implementation in the present and foreseeable future. Which industries will capitalize on AI? Will corporations reap the benefits — and if they do, will the rewards trickle down to the employees?

As optimistic as a future with AI seems — workforce beware. Your emergency robot-apocalypse pack may come in handy.

Leave us a comment below on your thoughts on AI!

SFU Beedie School of Business
SFU Beedie School of Business
We’re a group of students who are passionate about information technology and its application in the business environment. Team members: Eric Wong, Gabby Sakowicz, Simrin Purhar, Trevor Chernoff, and Joe Vukasovic.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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