The AI revolution is well and truly upon us. It has been a bountiful era of technological innovation, but recent breakthroughs in computational processing and machine learning algorithms are together pushing the envelope yet further.
Successful AI applications are already commercially available, with OpenAI’s ChatGPT models illustrating the epochal change that modern society could be about to experience.
With the revelatory presence of groundbreaking AI systems, though, has come a wave of detraction. The new age of AI has already been a flashpoint for workers in numerous industries, with the SAG-AFTRA strikes in the US seeking to minimise the use of AI in creative practice.
While there are industries in which AI is undoubtedly going to make major and even job-threatening changes, there are a great many others that remain highly viable. Indeed, AI could change the face of work for the better across employment fields. But which careers are best to pursue?
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There are some crafts that AI will never quite match up to, even in the farther future when integration between AI and robotics has continued to develop. On a base level, there is a sliding scale of cost to benefit, against which a number of vocations would measure poorly with regard to AI. Trade work would rank highly amongst them, with carpentry being a key entry.
There is something that a skilled human hand grasping a carpentry tool can achieve, which an AI-assisted robot would ultimately be unable to: nuance. Whether in fixing worn-and-torn property joinery, or handcrafting a unique item of furniture, there is a quiet artistry to woodwork that machine-learning algorithms are ill-equipped to meet. In this way, vocational trade work would remain a safe haven for the manual labourer.
Working in healthcare might not seem to be the most viable pathway in the UK at the moment, given the degree of strike action undertaken by paramedics, surgeons and junior doctors earlier in 2023. But the field of healthcare is one of a few that could see workloads lightened by the existence of AI, without impacting the number of jobs available. This is particularly true for overloaded primary care centres, where diagnostic AI can improve pathways to care. Healthcare will always be a field that requires human oversight, too.
Teaching the next generation of minds is always a noble profession, and one which will undoubtedly be touched by AI in ways both positive and negative. However, AI algorithms as they stand are poor substitutes for knowledgeable teachers, and for conventional methods of research. With students improperly using language models as information databases, human hands on the tiller will always be necessary. As such, teaching in any capacity will be a safe and viable career for those looking for longevity in the new age of AI.