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All the industries AI is taking over

If the latest unemployment rate wasn’t bad enough, now AI is taking over many industries in South Africa, too. According to Stats SA, in Q1 of 2024 alone, joblessness increased by 0.8% to 32.9% of the South African population. That’s another 300 000 people without an income, fighting for employment with the other 8.2 million.

Now, what if we told you AI is well on its way to taking over many industries in South Africa, making already scarce jobs even scarcer? This is the assertion of Business Tech, that reports artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to take over the following industries. Which, in turn, will leave fewer jobs for school and college leavers in the future …

AI IS TAKING OVER IN SOUTH AFRICA

A lack of jobs in the future won’t only be down to failings of government. Big tech companies would rather not employ you, too. Image: File

On the face of it, if you’re an employer, AI promises to revolutionise how you run a company. It can reduce overheads and save costs will also reducing complication and boosting productivity. However, the quick rise of AI has also triggered concerns about wider job losses in the work force.

Furthermore, tech experts say artificial intelligence is best utilised for repetitive tasks, the analysis of vast amounts of data and complex decision making. And, because it’s still in its infancy, many businesses do not yet trust standalone AI without a human conduit to act as an overseer.

NOT FULLY REPLACING HUMANS … YET

AI is taking over
Humans are fallible, and AI is taking over the following jobs because it just does it better. Image: File

According to research company, Tech.co, AI is already displacing labor in many industries, creating significant challenges for talent management. It is well known that the following global companies have ramped up their use of AI to streamline their operations:

  • Google: In various departments amidst layoffs.
  • Dukaan: Customer support staff replaced with chatbots.
  • Ikea: Phased out call center roles.
  • BlueFocus: Replaced content creators in favor of generative AI.
  • Salesforce: Reduced workforce in all spheres.
  • Duolingo: Use of AI for translation jobs.
  • IBM: Replace back-office tasks with AI.

THE JOBS AT RISK

Be careful what you study. You don’t want your career to be extinct by the time you graduate from college. Image: File

So, which jobs are most at risk from artificial intelligence? Well, due to the ever-increasing capability of AI, these jobs are most likely to be subsumed over time:

  • Accountants.
  • Administrators.
  • Bankers
  • Data Entry Specialists.
  • Software Engineers.
  • Computer Coders.
  • Customer Service Reps.
  • Paralegals.
  • Graphic Designers.
  • Traders.
  • Fact-Checkers and Proofreaders.

WHAT ABOUT NEW JOBS?

AI is not reliable enough to be left to its own devices, say experts. But how long till that changes? Image: File

Remarkably, despite predictions that AI will take over, Tech.co’s findings are that most businesses have integrated AI tools with no impact on the existing workforce. “Instead, rather than replacing jobs, AI usage is merely assisting employees to improve productivity,” says the report.

Arguably, this is because while some of the automation of the job is being replaced, it isn’t replacing the job entirely. Additionally, the report posits that, “AI is simply not reliable enough in these early stages to be fully trusted within business operations.”

AI IS TAKING OVER: FACT OR FICTION?

AI is taking over
Image: File

For example, half of all businesses are concerned about the risk of large language AI models like ChatGPT generating false information. Left to its own devices a machine-learning algorithm cannot be trusted to create 100% accurate work. “Even with recent updates to popular platforms like ChatGPT, the distrust of generative AI technology is very much warranted,” concluded Tech.co.

And one last bite to chew on when it comes to AI. South Africa currently has 7-million gainfully employed in the informal sector, not paying tax to SARS. What were to happen if, over time, jobs were taken away from citizens and replaced with AI? Would the country’s tax funding not dry up? Something to ponder for decision makers trying desperately to provide jobs and kickstart the economy.  

Are you worried AI is taking over and you’ll be out of a job some day? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates. Click the links below to read trending stories in the last 24 hours on our website …

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