Artificial intelligence (AI) has taken over dozens, if not hundreds, of repetitive jobs that often take humans more time to accomplish. AI-powered machines can assist organizations in making critical business decisions. AI robots helping out in production lines in the manufacturing industry are becoming common. Thousands of households are using robot vacuum cleaners, reducing the number of human cleaners needed. It seems as though AI is poised to replace several jobs. But is there anything AI can’t do? Are there jobs that AI can’t replace?
What AI Can’t Do
The goal of AI is to mimic human behavior so machines can perform tasks like humans can. AI can quickly and efficiently detect patterns and anomalies and identify and classify objects based on previous inputs, among other things. But there are components in specific tasks that AI can’t do. Here are some of them:
While AI-powered systems can quickly make sense of terabytes of data, they can’t make complicated and strategic decisions based on the information. For instance, AI may not recommend investing in a startup company after analyzing rows of financial data. However, an angel investor may find the investment strategic for several complicated reasons, including market trends, unquantifiable business plans, and relationships.
AI-powered programs and machines can accurately identify patterns and data associations. For example, advertising AI knows your favorite shows and around what day and time you usually watch them. Even Google Docs can determine what documents you usually open first thing in the morning. However, AI can’t grasp the causes and effects of such patterns. Why do you watch a particular TV show every Saturday afternoon? What prompts you to open a particular document every workday morning? For humans, understanding causation is an innate ability. We know the common reasons behind a specific action—a person opens a document every morning because it contains information related to their work or has their to-do list. On the other hand, AI cannot accurately understand and relay causes and effects despite all the data fed to them.
Sure, AI systems can be taught to draw and write sentences, but these are often based on human inputs. This AI-generated living portrait, for example, is based on Mona Lisa and inspired by the Harry Potter series. While AI-created art can be interesting and visually appealing, the technology often needs the innate creativity of human artists. A perfect example is the portrait below created through a generative adversarial network (GAN), which was sold for US$432,500. The AI had to be fed 15,000 portraits before it generated the said artwork.
AI can accurately diagnose cancer, but how can it deliver the news to patients and their families with empathy? Kindergarten and grade school pupils might also have a hard time learning holistically when taught by empathy-deprived robots. It would be very challenging to teach empathy to AI machines, as they would need to sense another person’s feelings.
Use common sense
Common sense is defined as the basic understanding of common, everyday matters shared by most people. When walking on any street, it’s only common sense to run away from an approaching car. Or when someone says, “I’m going to the hairdresser,” it’s common sense to assume that the person is going to have his/her hair done. For humans, this is a no-brainer, but it may not be that simple for AI machines. Sure, they can evade an approaching car, but only because they have sensors and not common sense. They may even step away from a crying child blocking their way when common sense (and a sense of empathy) would tell humans to comfort the child.
These are five things that AI can’t currently do. For now, it isn’t easy to imagine a creative and emphatic robot that can understand cause and effect, has common sense, and make strategic decisions.
What Are Some Jobs That AI Can’t Replace?
Listed below are seven types of people whose jobs AI can’t replace.
Writers create content based on emotions, creativity, and past experiences, characteristics that an AI-powered writing solution doesn’t manifest. Writing projects are also primarily based on client requirements, so writers must customize their work. Whether it is copywriting, creative writing, or technical writing, word synergy and personalization are critical aspects of the writing process. If you want to learn more about AI and the future of writers, you can check out this Techslang article.
Imagine yourself sitting in a courtroom with a bunch of robots. Would you be comfortable if an AI lawyer was defending you? Lawyers need to think critically and display empathy. It often takes years for lawyers to acquire a complex set of interactive and communication skills with people from all walks of life.
Graphic designers need to apply both creative and technical skills to do their work. They need to understand what the client wants, which ultimately points to how their work can attract customers. AI robots may draw, but they can’t conceptualize designs that can speak to other people. However, designers can still use AI systems as assistants to create designs faster as the technology allows them to focus on creativity and idea generation.
AI can pretty much write code and do a programmer’s job, but software developers have much more scope. Software development is too complex. It will probably take years for AI to learn how to create code that will result in a functional product.
The world’s first AI therapist is SARAH. SARAH helps couples, families, and individuals suffering from multiple mental health issues through counseling and providing comfort. But even if there are now a lot of applications that help ease and manage a person’s mental health, most psychiatrists believe that AI won’t make their jobs obsolete. Human doctors are far better than AI systems since they can empathize and perform other essential tasks that machines can’t do. Watch SARAH in the video below to see if you’d be comfortable with her in charge of your therapy.
There have been talks about robot CEOs in the future, but it isn’t easy to imagine. Chief executives are leaders who can strategize, inspire, and motivate. They make complex business decisions and handle different types of people in various situations. AI-powered robots may be able to gather and analyze the data CEOs need to make decisions, but they may never be able to make the decisions on their own.
AI will lead to more advanced business strategies, but it doesn’t mean they can replace marketing managers. A marketing manager is a leader, spokesperson, and negotiator, among others. AI may remove some repetitive marketing tasks, but the core functions of a marketing manager have a meager chance of being automated.
While AI may seem to be a threat to the human workforce, there are jobs that AI can’t replace. Some jobs will simply not be the same if we remove the human touch. Instead of taking over these jobs, AI can make performing them easier and more efficient.