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10 Jobs That Robots Will Steal

- 20 May 2019 by
Robots are taking over our jobs!


How many times have we heard that? It may be difficult at first to think that some jobs are actually going extinct (especially if you grew up with technology), but it happens. There used to be encyclopedia salesmen going from door to door, but now we have Wikipedia. People used to go through operators to make a call, but now we have the internet.

How long until robots can replace programmers so that robots can create other robots without needing us? A long time, it seems. But given the current trend, it’s not impossible either.

"Haven't you heard? The industrial revolution is over, we won." says a robot to a fresh graduate in a comic.

As Industry 4.0 change the way we work and live, technology has and will transform the way jobs are performed. Some will be different, some will be better, there will even be new jobs created thanks to technology. But one thing is sure - some jobs will be obsolete.

So, is your job among those risked being replaced by robots?

1. Data entry

As its name suggests, data entry revolves around entering data into systems via typing stuff. This umbrella term includes jobs like typists, transcription, captioning, and clerks. Since the main skill required is typing speed, data entry usually involves typing handwritten or spoken content, transcribing videos, and such.

Data entry keyers have 99% risk of being replaced by robots, from https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/43-9021-data-entry-keyers

Check out willrobotstakemyjob.com

With 99% risk of being automated, data entry jobs are real close to the robot’s reach, and it’s not hard to imagine. Speech recognition software can already convert our voice into typed words, even perform tasks as we speak. The same goes for processing handwriting - just go to Google Translate and see for yourself.

The fact is, manual data keeping (pen and paper) is getting less and less popular. Even your HR department might be paperless now. By skipping the handwriting and going straight digital, data entry jobs won’t have any data to enter anymore.

2. Telemarketers

Selling from the telephone is already unpopular among businesses and customers alike. How often have you bought something from a telemarketer? Companies are also thinking the same thing. Since telemarketing is such a terrible way to sell, it’s getting more likely to be automated.

Telemarketers often have a script that they follow - what to say when you reach positively, how to answer certain questions. It doesn’t really require empathy or social skills to follow a script, and that makes telemarketing all the easier to automate. Chatbots can do all that.

3. Accountants

To be fair, robots will steal only half of this job - the boring half. Accounting involves many things, including menial calculations and repetitive tasks which are already being done by robots. Bookkeeping, taxation, and auditing are already handed over to robotic process automation (RPA).

Robot calculator

Accounting clerk circa 2030, colorized

The other half of accounting is advisory practices that require human intelligence and can’t be replaced by the AI - at least not yet. So rather than making them obsolete, accountants must up their game and focus on consulting roles as AI transform how accounting will be done.

4. Paralegals

Lawyers are very busy people, so they hire paralegals to assist them. Paralegals support lawyers by conducting legal research, document review, and writing up contracts. All of these research and administration tasks can be done easily by the AI.

While machine learning could gather and process legal information more efficiently than humans, it can’t replace the expertise of lawyers in navigating through the legal system - argumentation, empathy, etc. Like accountants, paralegals should be okay if they work up to become lawyers.

5. Bank tellers

When was the last time you talked with a bank teller? A teller’s duties include taking deposits and withdrawals, recording transactions, and answering the customer’s queries. For everyday banking needs, nobody really goes to the bank anymore just to withdraw, deposit, transfer, or check their accounts.

Report on jobs that will be automated by robots and AI in banking by Autonomous Research in American Banker

From American Banker, 2018

Pretty soon AI will completely replace bank tellers. We already have ATMs, online banking, and mobile banking slowly taking over and automatic these repetitive tasks. It’s possible for banks to have something similar to self-serve checkouts in the near future.

6. Cashiers

Speaking of self-serve checkouts, their very existence is proof that robots are taking over the cashiers’ jobs. A cashier’s primary tasks are to scan barcodes, count and pay out cash change, and bag items. Technology and trend are already taking away these tasks from human hands, so it’s possible that we don’t even need AI to replace cashiers.

Electronic and mobile payment methods are everywhere. You can go to a store without your wallet and just buy stuff with an app. It’s all cashless, and soon going to be bagless given the rising eco-friendly trend.

Amazon and Microsoft are already developing cashierless stores as you read this article. Customers can already pay for items by themselves, so the end of the cashiers is already beginning. At least shelf-stocking jobs are still safe, right?

Amazon warehouse robots

These Amazon robots are out to get your warehousing jobs

7. Secretaries

Secretaries, assistants, or administrators have jobs that consist of managing schedules, organizing documents, sending emails, making calls, and reminding people of that meeting you have tomorrow after lunch. Virtual assistants today can already do most of those things, like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and much more.

AI can manage agenda and send out memos faster and better than humans. Scheduling appointments and setting priorities are tasks that can be simplified to programming rules. It won’t be long until AI can power virtual assistants enough to answer phone calls.

8. Drivers and chauffeurs

Self-driving cars are already here. BMW, Uber, Google, and many other companies have developed semi-automated cars in the past and are perfecting it today. Tesla is expecting the first robotaxis to roll out in 2020 - that’s next year.

While it’s true that driverless cars have many challenges, we’re steadily going there. As research and development in AI continues, it won’t be long until fully autonomous cars will be the new norm.

9. Fashion models

As hard as it may to believe, CGI models are actually real and they’re quite big. If you’re following fashion influencers on Instagram, check again, because some of them may not even be human.


An AI fashion influencer called Miquela (@liliquela) has 1.3 million followers on Instagram, and what’s better is that she secured a deal with Prada for Milan Fashion Week in 2018. These artificial supermodels even have their own agency.

Shudu, the first digital supermodel whose Instagram is https://www.instagram.com/shudu.gram/

Meet Shudu, the first ever digital supermodel

It may be limited to CGI for now, but given the rate at which AI and robotics research are accelerating, it’s possible for human-looking robots to be on the catwalk in the future.

10. Referees

Like the policeman of the field, a referee makes sure that sporting matches are fair and conforming to the established rules. Remember the illegal goal that knocked England out of the 1986 World Cup? A ref’s job was to make sure that didn’t happen, but it did anyway.

Diego Maradona doing the Hand of God goal that made Argentina won against England 2-1 in the 1986 World Cup quarter finals.

Maradona’s Hand of God

FIFA is already using motion sensors to help refs confirm goals in football matches. Detecting fouls and rule violations are simple enough activities to be programmed. The AI, with better observation and objectivity than humans, will undoubtedly do better in ensuring fouls get detected and rules are enforced fairly.

Is nowhere safe from the job-stealing robots?

AI may perform better than humans in many aspects except for being human. As much as it renders jobs obsolete, AI will also transform and create more new jobs than it replace. If you’re on the list and looking for inspiration, check out the next part for jobs that are safe in the AI-driven future.