AI and Jobs: A Robot Taking My Job

AI and Jobs: A Robot Taking My Job
Fecha de publicación: 
21 April 2023
Imagen principal: 

Since 1970, the world did not live a stapling episode like today: high inflation simultaneously with low economic growth. On top of it all, the prospects of labor markets are not cheering, employment will grow worldwide only 1% this year.

This is indicated by the latest report by the International Labor Organization (ILO), presented last January.

It’s expected that the growth of the world job offer will continue to slow down so unemployment could increase slightly reaching 208 million people this year.

To these concerns is added that existing for the quality of jobs since also decent work, as the ILO itself calls it, is increasingly scarce.


The lack of decent works is not equally serious in all regions of the planet.

And in the midst of this work scenario, appears a piece of what we not long ago thought only future: artificial intelligence.

Robot, are you my friend?

It’s not necessary to abound in change potentialities of what the artificial intelligence (AI) could report for life on the planet. Actually, neither its benefits nor its dangers are now totally predictable.

However, from this present we live in today it’s possible to ask how these benefits and risks are accommodated in the balance of the labor market, especially because some estimated figures, in a not very long term are just around the corner. For example, a report by the American bank Goldman Sachs, of March 26th, speaks of the impact that automation of about 300 million full-time jobs worldwide could have.

This report announces that at least two thirds of the current jobs are exposed to some degree of automation while up to a quarter of the jobs could be replaced by AI if such technological advances spread according to expectations.


The above is equivalent to the fact that about 300 million full-time jobs would be automated worldwide, according to the aforementioned text.

It’s clear that AI technology can accelerate productivity growth and increase global GDP, but what is now not seen in such a clear way is how to attain parity, balance, and fairness in the distribution of such benefits , especially if the inequalities that now mark life in this world are objectively analyzed and that became painfully evident during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s true that the most current technologies can humanize work, facilitate the conditions under which it’s done, shorten working hours and efforts, but ... where would they go, for example, the millions that now sweat in factories, often gaining minimum wages but that are essential for their livelihood and that of their families, and that tomorrow could they be replaced by mechanized arms or other alternatives?


If they could go home quietly without being deprived from their income, if these novelties could bring improvements in the quality of life of all, in a greater and better use of free time, it would be wonderful.

There are many who say that in parallel with the disappearance of jobs, new ones will appear and related to the new technological situation, while also insisting that AI and robotics, above all, will impact specific tasks within the contents of work generating others more adjusted to renewed demands.

Which Will Remain and Which Won’t

There are not many coincidences in the predictions of what would be the occupational profiles to be replaced by AI and its associated novelties, although, as a trend, many point to positions related to sales and other interactions with the public, financial and business operations , administration and office tasks, among others where journalism is not left out.

In contrast to the above, those who benefit the most are those related to information technology, experts in robotics, on the Internet of Things and in M2M (communication between machines), as well as data and commercial analysts specialized in the digital world.


These are not conclusive considerations. In fact, ILO itself underlines in its recent report that «technological change, especially regarding new digital devices and tools such as artificial intelligence, has not yet fulfilled the optimistic predictions on its potential to accelerate the growth of the productivity and lighten the most ungrateful tasks of work, but these are innovations necessary to correct the shortage of workers derived from demographic evolution ».

It adds «digital innovations have not yet had indirect effects on the productivity of the economy as much to boost employment and growth. Rather, concentrated productivity increases have biased the distribution of high-qualification employment opportunities towards a few technological sectors, exacerbating the inequality and slowing of productivity (added). What’s missing are greater advances in applications that benefit the whole society, for example, in mobility management or networks for transition to sustainable energy».

AI Responds to Cubasí

After having some trouble, this reporter managed to "dialogue" with AI to ask, first hand, how it considered that it could be its impact on the labor market.

This was the answer:

«As AI language model, my programming does not allow me to make specific predictions on a subject as complex as the relationship between AI and employment. However, it’s known that AI can automate certain works and processes that are currently carried out by humans, which could lead to a reduction of jobs in certain industries and work areas. On the other hand, AI can also create new jobs by allowing the creation of new technologies and services. In general, the relationship between AI and employment is expected to evolve in a complex and varied way in the coming years.

«IA can automate many works and processes that are currently carried out by humans. The jobs with greater risk of being replaced by AI are those that imply repetitive and predictable tasks, since AI can perform these tasks more quickly and efficiently without getting tired or making mistakes. Some examples of works that could be automated by AI are:

- Telemarketing operators

- Factory and assembly lines workers

- ATMs in stores and supermarkets

- Customer service employees

- Cleaning and maintenance workers

- Insurance agents

- Workers in manufacturing and production

- Drivers and carriers »

The "interviewee" clarified that "however, it’s important to keep in mind that some works can be complemented and improved by AI instead of being completely replaced. For example, doctors and lawyers can use AI to help them in decision making and data analysis.

«IA is also expected to create new jobs in areas such as programming, data analysis and AI management. In addition, the AI can help improve and optimize business processes, which can result in a greater growth of the company and, therefore, in the creation of more jobs.

«In summary, although the AI can replace some jobs, it can also improve many others and create new jobs. It’s important that we adapt to technological changes and work together to guarantee a sustainable and prosperous future for all ».

I confess that it was a bit weird to talk with a handful of algorithms to both AI and humans, "we adapt", "let's work together." That parity, said, it’s impressive.

However, I asked how I could know if the answers regarding the labor market could not be biased by human interests.


I bet that if it had a face, I would be frowning while answering:

«I, as OpenAI virtual assistant, have a set of algorithms and artificial intelligence models that allow me to process and provide objective and precise information to the questions asked. My programming is based on data and algorithms, and I do not have the ability to have personal interests or make decisions based on them.

«In addition, OpenAI is committed to create safe and reliable artificial intelligence for all, which includes independence and transparency in the information it provides. If you have any concerns about the veracity of my information, you can make an additional verification using other sources of information or consulting experts in the field ».

The only thing missing was to end up the talk by saying categorically "That’s my final word" and slam a metal fist on the table.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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