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In a move that caused advertising writers around the world (or at least in Facebook groups) to utter a collective gasp, Chase Bank recently announced it was using artificial intelligence to write its marketing copy.
For the past three years, Chase has been testing an artificial intelligence (AI) tool created by a New York-based tech company, Persado. The AI tool uses machine learning to analyze thousands of ads to essentially teach itself the mechanics of successful copywriting.
As part of the test, Chase pitted short ads written by Persado’s tool versus those written by human copywriters. The goal was to write advertisements that would bring in new prospects to its mortgage and credit card divisions. The competition would be decided by which set of ads garnered the most clicks from people reading them.
And the winner is…
Persado’s tool beat the human copywriters, in some cases by as much as a two-to-one margin. Chase was so pleased with the AI tool’s results, it gave Persado a five-year contract to help write ads across its other marketing platforms.
The financial giant will use AI to help form new ideas for direct mail campaigns, social media ads, and display ads. They’ll also use it for internal communications and customer service. The company did not mention laying off copywriters in favor of AI, but instead seemed to imply that AI would be working side-by-side with humans.
Where does your job stand in this “machine versus human” competition?
There seems to be little doubt we’ll be seeing more AI encroachment in the workplace and into jobs people traditionally thought could only be performed by humans. Workers shouldn’t be surprised to see more competitions similar to Chase’s, where their abilities are stacked against those of a technological tool.
As we’ve already seen, some machines will replace human workers outright. Some technology, however, will work side-by-side with humans, enhancing our abilities to do a good job. An example of this is the use of robots to help doctors perform delicate surgeries, such as the surgical robotics Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute uses to assist with prostate surgery.
Researchers at Oxford University wanted to find out which jobs were at risk for being replaced by computerization, such as mobile robotics or machine learning. Using the U.S. labor market as their basis, the researchers created a methodology to determine the likelihood of computerization for 702 jobs.
These are the 20 jobs the researchers say are most at risk of being computerized:
- Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers
- Hand Sewers
- Mathematical Technicians
- Insurance Underwriters
- Watch Repairers
- Cargo and Freight Agents
- Tax Preparers
- Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators
- New Accounts Clerks
- Library Technicians
- Data Entry Keyers
- Timing Device Assemblers and Adjusters
- Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks
- Brokerage Clerks
- Order Clerks
- Loan Officers
- Insurance Appraisers, Auto Damage
- Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials
And here are the 20 jobs the researchers say are least at risk of being computerized:
- Recreational Therapists
- First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers and Repairers
- Emergency Management Directors
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
- Occupational Therapists
- Orthotists and Prosthetists
- Healthcare Social Workers
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- First-Line Supervisors of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers
- Dietitians and Nutritionists
- Lodging Managers
- Sales Engineers
- Physicians and Surgeons
- Instructional Coordinators
- First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
- Dentists, General
- Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education
What’s the best way to protect yourself from losing your job to automation?
Based on the above lists, it’s clear to see that certain job categories are more susceptible to being taken over by technology and should probably be avoided if you’re just starting out your career. Jobs that require workers to perform routine and predictable tasks are ones that can be more easily replaced by computerization. We’ve already seen this for decades in manufacturing plants where robots have replaced the manual labor once performed by assembly-line workers.
What the researchers in the Oxford study have discovered, however, is a shift toward more advanced computerization entering job categories where higher-level cognitive skills are required. With advanced algorithms, machines can go beyond just replacing manual labor and can now replace jobs that require these higher-level skills as long as the main tasks are fairly repetitive. This is why jobs like data entry and telemarketing are at the top of the list for replacement by automation.
What the researchers call “high-income cognitive jobs” are the ones that will be harder to be replaced by computerization. These are the jobs that offer better opportunities for those looking to enter the job market or those people who are willing to retrain themselves for a new career.
If you look at the list of jobs least likely to be replaced by automation, you’ll see many of them are healthcare related and/or require direct contact with other humans. These jobs frequently require higher levels of education and they also require social intelligence, the ability to be empathetic toward fellow human beings. It will be harder to replace these occupations with automation, although workers in these fields will use automation tools to enhance their own performance.
What do you think about the rapid advancements of AI in the workplace? Are you worried it will cost you your job? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to encourage any lifestyle changes without careful consideration and consultation with a qualified professional. This article is for reference purposes only, is generic in nature, is not intended as individual advice and is not financial or legal advice.