Nine Jobs That Artificial Intelligence Should Never Take Over (And Why)
The capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) expand year by year. Still, there are always going to be tasks that require qualities that are difficult—if not impossible— for technology to replicate, such as creativity, empathy and emotional awareness.
There are many tasks that would be extremely difficult to automate, and there are professions that will always require human skills. For insights from experts who understand technology’s limitations as well as its possibilities, we asked members of Forbes Technology Council to share the jobs they believe can’t—or shouldn’t—be fully automated, and why.
1. Artisan Crafting
As AI is used to automate more activities humans do not enjoy doing, along with tasks they just want to be done, I believe we’ll see a rise in artisan jobs, where people will value the human element of the job. We’re already seeing analogous examples of this in the restaurant industry, furniture making and fashion, where people will pay more for handmade versus machine-made. - Bret Piatt, Jungle Disk
2. Airline Piloting
Under normal circumstances, a plane without a human pilot might be fine, but when things go wrong, human intuition is irreplaceable. AI is designed to follow protocols, but as you might recall with the Miracle on the Hudson incident, it was Sully’s decision to skip protocol and turn on the plane’s auxiliary power immediately that allowed him to land the plane safely. - Marc Alacqua, Signafire
Cybersecurity is an industry that deals with a thinking human attacker attempting to bypass automated, static defenses. A motivated human will always defeat technology. Because of this, we will never see complete automation of the industry, because cybersecurity requires a human defender armed with technology. This implies using automated defensive measures to arm the defender with intelligence. - Mike Morris, root9B
4. Legal Professions
Jobs that require common sense should not be substituted with AI. We can see it clearly in jobs relating to law: In policing, algorithms and solid rules cannot be easily adapted to adhere to specific contexts and situations. For lawyers, research and strategy are bolstered by AI, but the presentation skills are not, and neither is the jury. Here, a human plus AI is greater than the sum of the parts. - Artem Petrov, Reinvently
Sales jobs will never be totally automated. The highest value aspects—relationship building, empathy and problem-solving with human understanding—are human and can never be replaced. AI can take care of time-consuming admin, make data analysis easy and deliver personalized insights to salespeople so they can focus on educating customers, maximizing relationships and closing deals. - Vinay Ramani, Pipedrive
6. Healthcare Diagnosis And Treatment
While we can and should automate noncritical healthcare-related chores like appointment reminders, prescription refills, patient surveys, checking vitals (using wearables), the interconnection of medical records, etc., actual care—diagnosis, treatment and surgeries—should never be automated. Different illnesses may have very similar symptoms, and a fully automated system may prove fatal. - Abishek Surana Rajendra, Course Hero
7. People Management
While robots will continue to get smarter and smarter, they’re far from sentient, and even then, the uncanny valley phenomenon ensures that we’ll need one to feel truly, entirely human, or it will just creep us out. With that in mind, the personal and emotional components of what makes an effective people manager will need to be done by humans. That’s not changing anytime soon. - David Isaac Murray, Doctor.com
8. Customer Service
Technology should make you efficient so that you can spend more time building relationships with your customers. When your customer needs help or has a question, getting personalized attention from a human builds trust and credibility. Also, every interaction with your client is an opportunity to learn from your market. Your clients will tell you where your opportunities are to expand and grow. - Peter Strack, Alliance Reservations Network
9. Job Interviewing
You should never use machines to interview someone for a job, as a vendor or as a business partner. Automation is for things that can be measured, codified and repeated reliably (usually based on hard data). But people still have to work with each other, and until that changes—and it never will, at many levels—you’ll always need the nuance and insight that comes from a personal assessment. - Tom Buiocchi, ServiceChannel
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