Here is a list of some rather surprising jobs that are threatened by technological unemployment to give an idea of the magnitude of the problem. Disturbingly many good middle and upper middle class jobs on the list:
- Investment manager. The world’s first AI run hedge fund, Numerai, is already operating in San Francisco. If Numerai is successful AIs will soon be in charge of a wide variety of investments including mutual funds, banks, trusts and pension funds.
- Professional Poker Player. The AI Libratus was able to soundly beat four top professional players at Texas Hold Em in February. The machine learning technology used in Libratus could easily be adapted to many jobs including analysts.
- Research analyst. Libratus won because it was able to analyze 120,000 hands of poker. If it can do that Libratus should also be able to analyze hundreds of thousands or millions of financial transactions and spot patterns. That’s what a market analyst does.
- Auditors and accountants. One of their primary jobs is to analyze accounts for discrepancies. Libratus and a JPMorgan Chase solution called Contract Intelligence or COIN can do that faster and with fewer errors.
- A major function of a lawyer is to examine contracts for problems. JPMorgan Chase’s Contract Intelligence can read a contract in a few seconds and it has a lower error rate than a human attorney.
- Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR) professionals. Last year Walmart replaced 7,000 AP clerks in its stores with invoicing software and cash counting machines.
- Insurance Agents. The last time I needed auto insurance, I went to GEICO’s website and took out a policy in less than a minute. I have not set foot inside an insurance agency in years and I am sure I’m far from alone.
- Loan Officers. Goldman Sachs’ Marcus website can approve or deny an application for a debt consolidation loan in less than a minute with no human involvement.
- Disturbingly the one worker in the kitchen most likely to be replaced by a robot is the highest paid one the chef. A British company called Moley has developed a robotic chef that it claims will cook “any dish from anywhere in the world.”Moley’s “chef” consists of a pair of robotic hands controlled by algorithms that can mimic the actions of Master Chef Winner Tim Anderson.
- Pizza Makers. A startup called Zume Pizza is using robots to make pizzas in California.
If technological progress keeps going as it has millions of good middle class jobs will soon vanish. Smart people had better get ready because the Great Unemployment will soon be upon us.