Self-employed people in low paid, routine jobs face the greatest risk of being overtaken by artificial intelligence. This finding comes from new research carried out by the School of Management at the University of Buffalo.
Self-Employed Jobs Threatened by AI
The study found popular, low skilled, regular jobs face the greatest risk of being replaced. For example, these include drivers, independent sales reps and construction and agricultural workers.
The researchers reviewed every study to date. They focused on self-employment. And they focused on AI. Then they compared the findings to their own research on teams. As a result, research comes from more than 20 published studies. And they stretch across a diverse range of work settings.
Researchers analyzed different sectors. They then concluded some jobs are at risk from AI. But not every occupation faces the threat of an artificial intelligence takeover.
Small Businesses Employing Teams May be at Risk
Small business owners should take interest in the researchers’ conclusions. So should the self-employed and those thinking about starting their own business. What businesses face greater risk of being superseded by AI? Consider occupations which require employees to work in teams. Think about those that require employees to make decisions and negotiate. Compare these to jobs that require little in terms of decision making and interaction.
The study also highlights the need for the self-employed and small businesses to gain access to AI resources. This keeps up with businesses with greater tech assets. And helps them remain competitive in an increasingly tech-driven climate.
The research also found that jobs that required technical expertise and knowledge, such as the maintenance of robotics and AI hardware distribution, could see a significant rise in demand.
Self-Employed Have Less Access to AI
Kate Bezrukova, associate professor at the Department of Organization and Human Resources at the University of Buffalo, commented:
“Those who are self-employed just don’t have the same access to AI resources that corporate employees do, which makes it difficult for them to keep up with these technical advancements.
Bezrukova refers to the growing demand for IT skills this way:
“It’s like when the computer revolution hit decades ago – there was great fear that computers would replace people. But work just shifted and IT positions grew because we needed more support for our computers and networking.”
Ways exist to help overcome the potential pitfalls of AI. Those pitfalls include overriding many low-skilled routine jobs. The authors of the study recommend creating public awareness programs. Design these to increase understanding of the opportunities and risks of AI.
The researchers also recommend updating the school curriculum. Integrate evolving tools and skills. And research integration of AI in the workplace. Particularly for the self-employed.