AI is coming after highly skilled jobs, and it’s meeting resistance


Sascha Eder is the cofounder and COO of NewtonX, an AI-powered knowledge marketplace

When automated technologies first emerged, there was a gap between the laborers they replaced and the decision-makers who implemented them. But as AI has matured, it has begun to climb the corporate ranks.

Now disruptive startups are offering AI services that can replace entire professions with lower prices and more precise results.

Those with the most power to adopt automation are also those with the most to lose by adopting it. Despite a machine’s ability to administer anesthesia with greater precision than a human, no anesthesiologist would ever encourage the use of this machine, especially considering that many doctors have extremely burdensome student loans.

This is indicative of a larger problem with automation. Processes that save time on menial tasks will be successful; those that position themselves as robo versions of professionals with the power to make decisions will likely not.

In the end, whether a company succeeds at infiltrating highly skilled jobs with automation will depend upon messaging. DoNotPay was successful only because it went straight to consumers. If it had used the same messaging with firms, it would likely not have been implemented. If more companies choose to follow this direct-to-consumer route, there will need to be policy changes to protect targeted professions. After all, a world without doctors, lawyers, or recruiters would be lacking far more than just these professions — we would see a ripple effect in graduate programs, professorships, and general employment rates. As AI becomes increasingly sophisticated, we will either need to curb its applications via policy or we will have to completely overhaul our income and employment infrastructures.

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