Will A.I. disrupt the Gig Economy?
Imagine a future where machines can do almost everything better than humans.
We are not too far away from this future.
Already, machines are replacing human labour and driving wages down. The next big revolution will be artificial intelligence (A.I.), which is already disrupting the gig economy.
The gig economy is the new frontier for work in this digital age. However, A.I., despite its benefits, will disrupt all industries including the gig economy — leaving few jobs for humans to fill.
How? Let’s take a look at some of the jobs that can be replaced by A.I:
Self-driving cars may be here quicker than expected and could eliminate ride-hailding drivers in a few years’ time. These cars will not only eliminate human driver but they will have no need for human security guards either (I talk about this later).
It is not just ride-hailing drivers that will be affected by A.I. Artificial Intelligence will soon be able to process a job applicant’s CV and match them to suitable jobs better than humans. For instance, IBM’s Watson is now being used by companies to speed up the recruitment process.
Call centre workers
Artificial intelligence has already started replacing human call centre workers. A.I is even able to understand the emotional state of a customer on the other end of the phone and respond accordingly. It is also able to fill in forms and answer questions more accurately than humans.
The introduction of robo-advisers will also affect financial advisers, who are an integral part of traditional banking. A robo-adviser is a service that offers automated investing advice or investment management using software rather than a human financial adviser.
Robot security guards
Security robots will not only be used for security, but they will soon be able to carry out menial tasks as well like cleaning up litter or mowing lawns in parks and gardens.
The advantage of using robots over humans here is that they don’t require salaries, healthcare or benefits — all it needs is electricity to run it! Robots are also not susceptible to injuries like humans so there will be no need for insurance cover either.
Google Translate already boasts an impressive translation tool and can translate more than 500 million words in multiple languages across 97 languages with a high degree of accuracy when compared with human translations. In fact, Google Translate has often been found better than human translators in some cases! Soon, A.I.-powered systems will allow us to communicate with people from all over the world without having to learn their language first! No more language barriers!
AI is already starting to be used in newsrooms to write stories and even identify images. In fact, there have been reports of robots writing news articles for the South China Morning Post. Experts predict that robot journalists will soon be replacing human journalists in the future.
However, not all jobs will be replaced by A.I. In fact, it is likely that a few jobs will require human intervention in the future.
While many believe that A.I.-powered machines may one day replace their medical degrees, doctors and medical professionals have been quick to point out that they are not so easy to replace.
It is true that medical research tools can be run by A.I., but they still need trained professionals to run them and interpret the results for them. Medical professionals have also highlighted the fact that A.I.-powered machines are nowhere near as good as at diagnosing a disease as humans are yet.
Despite what Hollywood might want us to believe, lawyers will always be required in the future too — even though some basic aspects of their job can be automated.
Although most legal cases can now be resolved online without having a lawyer present, there are still many instances where human intervention is needed.
For instance, when it comes to international law or complicated legal cases where there is no precedent on which to base an argument on — anything of this nature requires a human lawyer.
Human resource managers will continue to play a key role in our workplaces in the future because businesses will still need them manage their relationships with employees and protect their interests.
For instance, if your employer decides to make you redundant in the future, it will be your HR manager who helps you with your exit plan rather than an artificial intelligence system.
The role of social workers may change slightly over time, but they will always help those who need help — even if it’s through an artificial intelligence system. Social workers work hard every day helping people who have fallen through society’s cracks.
So while artificial intelligence systems may help social workers gather data for analysis faster and more accurately, they will still require human interaction for much of their job — particularly for clients who do not have access to a computer or internet at home.
What about the Education Industry?
A.I. is already starting to replace human teachers in many areas. For example, A.I.-powered learning systems are already being used in the classroom to help students learn faster and more efficiently than ever before — particularly for students with special needs or learning disabilities.
Artificial intelligence systems can also give students extra lessons on a particular topic that they struggle with, and it can even test them on this topic too.
A.I.-based education software will be able to help students learn at home too, especially for students who have fallen behind in their studies or cannot attend school regularly because of work or other commitments.
Not only do these systems offer lessons that are tailored to the student’s needs, but they can also track their progress and alert teachers if they begin to fall behind in certain areas of study — even if the student is not using it.
However, while A.I. will be able to replace human teachers in many areas, it is unlikely to replace human teachers completely. For example, it is unlikely that A.I. will ever be able to give students personal attention or help them with emotional issues like parents and friends can do — at least not for a long time.
Artificial intelligence will continue to transform the education industry in the future. It is already starting to become commonplace in many schools and A.I.-based systems will continue to improve and become more advanced in the years to come.
This means that human teachers will need to be more innovative than ever before if they are going to stay ahead of the curve!
So, when will all of this happen?
The truth is — it already has! Google’s DeepMind AlphaGo was able to beat the Go world champion Lee Sedol in 2016. In 2017, Google made its artificial intelligence engine available to other businesses through a cloud-based platform. And Tesla and Uber have already started testing self-driving cars and trucks in the real world.
I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.
I am also a frequent writer on Medium, covering topics relating to Education, Startups, Founder Advice and Fundraising. You can follow my posts at http://alexanderlhk.medium.com/