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  • Writer's pictureThe Parents' Guide to

Artificial Intelligence and the future job market

Ever since ChatGPT was launch in November 2022, AI has dominated the headlines and divided opinion on whether this latest industrial revolution is a cause for celebration or dread. Will it positively transform our lives by providing quicker and more widely available access to complex information or will it embody Terminator’s skynet and outsmart us all, overtaking humankind’s ability to manage it and decimating the job market in its wake?


Girl using AI at work to compete a task


What is AI?

Artificial intelligence (“AI”) is technology where machines can quickly complete routine tasks AND improve their scope and performance by recognizing patterns in the data they analyze. In other words, unlike “automation” or previous technology that was limited in what it could achieve by the human programming defining its parameters, AI can “learn” on the job; improving and expanding its functionality through its own experience rather than human intervention. The more it does, the smarter it gets.



Male and female student looking at screens on a wall

AI in the world today

You’ve probably already come across AI through ChatGPT, chatbots and Amazon recommendations to name a few simple examples. AI is already being used in cyber security to identify fraud and block threats; customer services to automate routine enquiries thereby freeing-up customer service operators to resolve more complex issues; and in logistics to streamline complex transportation routes.



Potential of AI

There’s valid excitement about the potential impact of AI in many areas of our lives. It will improve productivity enabling workers to avoid routine tasks and concentrate on more complicated issues. It will enable companies to provide services 24/7 without hefty employment costs. Extensive and far-reaching analytics will be completed in a fraction of the time it takes now enabling rapid advancements in our most challenging research areas.



Worries about AI

But with such fast, cost-effective ability, will AI displace vast numbers of jobs? Could the benefits of more time off be outweighed by reduced living standards if employees are paid less because they need to spend less time at work? If the data analyzed by AI is biased, won’t the results and AI’s “learning” be flawed – and how easy would it be to recognize this?



The realistic view

Like computers and word processing before it, AI is another advancement in technology that will bring significant improvements and no doubt some challenges too. It will progress by working alongside the workforce rather than replacing it. However, there’s bound to be an impact on the job market as the technology advances. This shouldn’t be interpreted as negative. AI will doubtless replace some roles, but it will open up new roles too. And tech-savvy teens could use this to their advantage.



Male teenager photoshopping images from his camera


AI and qualifications

According to the Department for Education[1], because AI has a more significant role in cognitive tasks, exposure is more likely to be greater for those with higher level qualifications.


AI and jobs

AI is certainly bringing many new roles for those with tech skills and for those with skills that AI can’t provide – such as emotional intelligence. Outside of that, according to the Department for Education, jobs most likely to be exposed to AI are analytics; clerical roles across finance, law and business management; information and communications (i.e. roles that involved collating and analysing lots of data) and jobs least exposed to AI will be those involving significant physical intervention such as nursing (patient care), professional traders (i.e. roofers, plumbers, electricians, construction), and gardeners.



Skills to hone

There’s a lot of nuances to human thinking that AI can’t emulate (yet!), so it could be worthwhile your teen focusing on developing these unique skills, such as:

  • Creativity

  • People management

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Critical thinking and problem solving



Final thoughts

AI is here to stay and we’re at the beginning of an exciting journey to unlock its powerful potential. Get your teen to keep an eye on where they spot AI already embedded in everyday life, then they can think about where it might lead in the future and whether they’d like a role within the cutting edge of its development.


 

Inspiring ways for your teen to stand out from others

If you’d like to know how your teen can build their character, develop skills, stand out from others and improve their chances of success at interviews, all while doing things they enjoy, read our suggestions in The Parents’ Guide to Standing out from the crowd.



[1] “The impact of AI on UK jobs and training” published in November 2023


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