• Fraser Harper

AI and Jobs of the Future – what is the problem?

What does the future hold for jobs? What are the ones seen to be emerging over the next 10 years? Two studies have attempted to answer this question, and the results of them are listed in the table below1,2. It is difficult (to say the least) to predict the future and to trace through a specific technology and estimate how it will change what we do at work each day, and how the accumulation of changes will create new jobs and potentially occupations3.

Table 1: 21 Jobs of the Future: A Guide to Getting – and Staying – Employed for the Next 10 Years1

Jobs by Tech-CentricityLow to Mid Tech Walker/Talker* Digital Tailor* Fitness Commitment Counsellor* Personal Memory Curator Virtual Store Sherpa Ethical Sourcing Manager* Highway Controller AI Business Development Manager* Man-Machine Teaming Manager* Bring Your Own IT Facilitator* Personal Data Broker Mid-to-High-Tech Genomic Portfolio Director* Financial Wellness Coach* Chief Trust Officer* Data Detective* Cyber City Analyst* AI-Assisted Healthcare Technician* Genetic Diversity Officer Augmented Reality Journey Builder Master of Edge Computing* Quantum Machine Learning Analyst*

Notes: Those jobs marked with an * are suggested by the study to exist within the next five years

Table 2: Representative Roles Created by AI2TrainersCustomer-language tone and meaning trainer Smart-machine interaction modeler Worldview trainerExplainersContext designer Transparency analyst AI usefulness strategistSustainersAutomation ethicist Automation economist Machine relations manager

Now these jobs might or might not exist within 5-10 years, but what is reassuring is that it is possible to view their content and see the links back to current ones. If we just take one of the jobs listed, that of the Data Detective4, we find the following seven items listed under ‘Skills and Qualifications’:

  1. Experience in law enforcement, ideally investigative work

  2. Legal background, either as a trained lawyer, barrister or paralegal

  3. Training or academic qualifications in data science and data science technologies

  4. Knowledge and expertise in civilian data science reporting tools

  5. Qualifications in maths and/or general science (e.g. physics)

  6. Qualifications in any branch of finance and management accounting

  7. A degree in maths, a physical science, philosophy, economics, law or accountancy

One picture which emerges from this list is that the Data Detective job is a hybrid one which brings together legal, data science (maths and statistics), and financial with an ability to synthesise and communicate. The challenge is how to create the education, training and experience development path to be exposed, acquire and master a wide range of skills and knowledge.

And so, AI does pose a potential problem but the real challenge is how do we create development paths which augment and further enhance the skills we already have.


  1. Cognizant’s Centre for the Future of Work (2017) 21 Jobs of the Future: A Guide to Getting – and Staying – Employed for the Next 10 years. Cognizant. 60 pages

  2. Wilson, H.J.; Daugherty, P.R. and Morini-Bianzino, N. (2017) “The jobs that artificial intelligence will create”, MIT Sloan Management Review, 58 (4), 14-16

  3. Davenport, T.H. (2017) The AI Advantage. How to put the artificial intelligence revolution to work. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. 231 pages. See Chapter Six, Jobs and skills in a world of smart machines, pages 129-148.

  4. 21 Jobs of the Future, op. cit., pages 8-9

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