In addition, as artificial intelligence and machine learning become more sophisticated, higher-level jobs will also be affected, but not eliminated. This process has already begun.
In law, for example, e-discovery
algorithms have been used for years to find documents relevant to cases, saving millions of dollars. The software is accurate, too — it finds 95 percent of relevant documents, compared to just 51 percent for humans.
So you might think that paralegals, who used to do this work, would go the way of the dinosaur. On the contrary, the occupation has grown faster than the labor force as a whole, increasing by over 50,000 since the late 1990s. Firms that save money on document search can use it to expand, and there’s still plenty of work for paralegals to do.
IT is another example. With so many functions moving to the cloud and fewer servers to manage, it can be easy to immediately question the need for an onsite IT team. Yet in 2015, IT employment rose in every occupation and industry except oil and gas, with an overall increase of 3.1 percent, or 152,000 jobs4.
IT workers may not be splicing wires and measuring disk space anymore, but they are managing cybersecurity, streaming services, and internet of things (IoT) applications. They still have to support office machines and make sure systems integrate smoothly. And, somebody has to manage all those relationships with cloud vendors and make sure their programs are tied to existing systems without conflict. As small business owners know, this can often be their responsibility — whether they are comfortable or educated in the subject matter or not.