Special Projects / Topics

AI slowly takes over the workforce

With artificial intelligence becoming more prevalent than ever, the amount of money being injected into the technology suggests society is only at the beginning of this artificial journey. One of the biggest casualties in this digital era is the human worker, as the flood of AI technology kicks people out of the workforce. 

One of the first “low-skilled” workers to be replaced by AI is the fast food worker. This process is already in its infant stages with the implementation of self-service kiosks like the ones shown here at a McDonalds in New Mexico. (Photo by Carpio Griego/Kokopelli)

The first step of phasing out the average worker is already in progress, which is noticeable by simply looking at the checkout sections of almost any grocery store. Produce market cashiers and fast-food workers seem to be the first class of working humans that have been phased out, but AI won’t stop there.  

According to a June 2021 Forbes article, salaries for people without a college education or high school diploma are already 15% lower than they were 40 years ago. Forbes also reported that over $94 billion in funding has been injected into AI, and it’s projected to add a full one percent to the country’s gross domestic product as soon as 2030. As a result, the main incentive for corporations to continue to phase out the lower-class jobs is cutting costs and raising profits.  

Customers use self-checkout stands at the Lowe’s grocery store in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Retail cashiers and other “low-skilled” workers will be among the first fatalities of automation and AI replacement, as self-checkout stations continue to take up more space in checkout areas. (Photo by Carpio Griego/Kokopelli)

There is a high possibility that the next class to be phased out would be those with a college degree, and not too far behind them, even doctors and surgeons could be replaced with AI. This forecast is alluded to in a study by the Pew Research Center, showing that one in five people in the American workforce have jobs at high risk of AI exposure.  

Job displacement will become more prevalent across all fields, and Forbes claims that AI will soon be capable of writing its own software code. This possibility means AI could be one step closer to self-awareness, which could slowly but steadily lead to even more job displacement.  

As 2023 comes to an end, CNBC reports that 238 job postings per million are looking for people with AI technology skills. This shows more than a 1,000% increase compared to five years ago when the number of jobs looking for these skills was only 20 per million.

The progression of AI is undeniable, and AI technology could be the cause of job displacement across the globe.  

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *