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10 jobs at risk of being taken over by ai
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10 Jobs at Risk of Being Taken Over by Artificial Intelligence

6 minute read | February 14, 2020

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Back in the 1970s, it was rare to find a gas station where you had to get out of your car to pump fuel. After pulling up, a gas station service attendant would not only fill your tank, but also clean the windshield, check the oil levels, and fill your tires with air. After a few minutes and a handsome tip to the service attendant, you’d be good to go. Now, full-service gas stations are nearly unheard of for young people (unless you happen to live in New Jersey or a few parts of Oregon) and only a nostalgic memory for the older generations. Most people don’t think twice about the technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that came to replace full-service gas stations in the decades since.

As technology continues to boom with no signs of slowing down, AI poses a threat to more industries than just gas stations – but it also comes with a host of new opportunities for engineers looking to break into the industry. In this post, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten jobs that are most likely to see an increase in AI workers…which means all the more opportunities for engineers specializing in Machine Learning.

10 Jobs at Risk of Being Taken Over by Artificial Intelligence:

  1. Construction
  2. Food Service
  3. Retail
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Editing and Proofreading
  6. Telemarketing
  7. Bookkeeping Clerks
  8. Payroll and Benefits Managers
  9. IT and Hardware Support
  10. Truck Drivers


Given the current growth in American GDP, it should come as no surprise that construction jobs are expanding as the investment in infrastructure increases. For construction workers, this means a rise in workload, demand, and income as they take on new projects. But instead of hiring more workers, construction managers are turning to robots to complete work that requires predictable physical labor and repetitive tasks.

AI impact on construction industry

When choosing between a worker who requires safety measures and a paycheck versus a stronger robot who’ll essentially work for free and without any safety concerns, the answer becomes clear for a construction company concerned about maximizing their profit.

Food Service

Last time you walked into a McDonald’s you may have been greeted by one of their self-service kiosks instead of a human:if you haven’t, expect it to happen soon. These machines are becoming increasingly popular as McDonald’s adds them to 1,000 stores each quarter. Instead of long lines and wrong orders, the kiosks promise a more pleasurable dining experience for customers and lower operating costs for store owners. The success of these AI kiosks is already being adopted by other restaurant chains and will continue to replace cashiers and drive-through workers.

AI powers fast food kiosk


The rise of Jeff Bezos and the Amazon empire already poses a threat to retail giants such as Target and Walmart. With retail stores looking to cut costs, AI checkout stations, shelf stockers, and inventory checks offer a cheaper alternative to hiring employees. This leaves more space for big box stores to invest in superior customer service and emphasize other areas that online retailers can’t compete with.

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With the presidential election coming up later this year, it’s common to hear politicians make promises of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from overseas markets – but given the state of jobs may not be brought back at all. If anything, they’ll simply transform with the help of AI replacement. Currently, China has the biggest market for manufacturing jobs, but even they are not immune to the technological revolution: the manufacturing giant, Foxconn, recently replaced 60,000 employees with robotic alternatives.

AI in manufacturing

Editing and Proofreading

Would you be concerned if we told you that this entire article was edited by a robot? It wasn’t, but AI could likely replace editors in a few years. Companies have already started using AI to generate business reports so it’s feasible that AI begins to edit documents faster and more accurately than humans are capable of. We’ve already seen an entire generation rely on spellcheck to revise their essays and apps like Grammarly are advancing writing software even further. Natural Language Processing system is also evolving, which combines data science and machine learning to generate the best possible results.


Aside from our parents, it seems the only people who call anymore are robots to report that you could receive a lower interest rate on a credit card or an automated message telling you that the CIA and FBI have filed a joint-warrant for my arrest. Robo-calls are becoming increasingly common which makes people even less likely to purchase from telemarketers. The entire telemarketing industry could likely be erased in the next decade, as AI helps it to transform into something informative and potentially – helpful.

Bookkeeping Clerks

Unless you specialize in accounting or finance, bookkeeping may seem like a foreign concept to you. Software like Microsoft Office and Quickbooks that can record transactions automatically are much cheaper than any fee for this task to be done manually. Plus, they don’t pose the risk of human error. HIgh-level accounting and finance positions are still in great demand, but manual bookkeeping already seems to be a thing of the past.

Payroll and Benefits Managers

Economists say we are due for a recession soon. As companies look to reduce their operating costs, the need for payroll managers will vanish. Automated systems make it easier to provide paychecks and benefits to any pool of employees big or small. The idea of having a human in charge of this seems redundant and unnecessary, especially if the economy takes a downturn.

IT and Hardware Support

Surprisingly, one of the industries most likely to be replaced by technology is the field of Information Technology (IT). According to Huard Smith, the vice president at Forrester Research, “coding is going to get automated.” He advises that AI is a better field than coding for a future-proof career. As we continue to research and advance the field of Machine Learning- teaching computers how to learn and code independently, the need for human IT and hardware support will be replaced by AI that can repair itself or be repaired by other robots.

Truck Drivers

AI replacing truck drivers

According to Frontline, two main factors currently stand as a hurdle to employing truck drivers in a way that’s both scalable and efficient long-term. The primary goal is to move towards a reduction in road accidents – a pain point that AI and automated driving could seriously help solve. Secondly, “the ability to eliminate human drivers is also an appealing prospect for companies eager to cut costs and maximize efficiency — including by moving freight 24/7: ‘Right now, human drivers are limited to 11 hours by federal law, and a driverless truck obviously wouldn’t have that limitation.”

Preparing for Automation

The technological revolution aided by developers, data scientists, machine learning engineers, and deep learning researchers is here and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Humanity is becoming increasingly reliant on technology and the workforce isn’t immune to this trend. Thankfully, humans are blessed with the skill of adaptation. Rather than jobs being outright replaced by robots, we will find ways to advance and adapt to working alongside technology. We saw gas jockeys replaced by self-service stations and now we’re seeing gas stations as a whole be replaced by electric cars which require both human and machine workers to function properly. We shouldn’t think of technology as a threat to our jobs, but rather an opportunity for workers to advance into more specialized and creative roles in the AI workforce.

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About Juan-David Rodriguez

Originally from Colombia, Juan-David is passionate about marketing, Machine Learning, and emerging financial technologies. With a background in industrial engineering, marketing and finance, Juan-David has spent the past 8 years drawing insights from data to strategize and drive growth to technology-driven organizations.