Sometimes when we see Marty McFly (Micheal J. Fox) hopping on levitating hoverboards or jumping on flying cars in the year ‘2015’, in the movie Back to the Future, we might think that the director Robert Zemeckis was just a tiny bit too optimistic about how the Future would look back in 1985. 

But one thing is certain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here, and it is here to stay. 

It’s not too hard to put ourselves in the shoes of large factory owners and see how they could prefer to buy an expensive machine that can work 24/7 without ever asking for a raise. 

More and more automated machines and software are taking over any possible repetitive tasks that can be somewhat ordered in a process that a computer can understand.

We should not think of AI uniquely in regards to large assembling robots, however. Artificial Intelligence has already entered many professions, with the purpose of reducing the burden of repetitive and boring tasks that humans are generally not too good with and that computers excel in.

We are in the midst of a working revolution that even the brightest experts struggle to decipher how it could evolve in the next few decades. Many jobs will be replaced by machines and robots in the near Future, probably starting from the transportation industry with self-driving taxis, buses, and trucks. 

However, it’s important to note that not all jobs will be replaced by AI. Even in Sweden, a country known for innovative technology, certain vocations will always require a human touch. Executive search firms in Sweden, for example, rely significantly on personal connections, knowledge of the job market, and the ability to analyze a candidate’s fit within a company culture – all of which AI may not be able to fully recreate.

And that’s not all. These are some of the jobs that are near-impossible that AI will be able to replace them in the coming years.

1. Teachers:

Learning is such an important aspect of our lives that, on average, we spend between 15 and 20 years of our first years doing just that. It’s a tremendous social commitment, and it shapes so many different aspects of who we are. It is a key stage in our lives. Teachers have a crucial responsibility in transmitting to us central values and essential concepts between the lines of the subjects they specifically teach. 

Teachers often represent a reference point for many of us. Often, our academic decisions are partly based on how inspiring a particular teacher has been with us in the years prior. 

For all these reasons, it is almost impossible that we will have a fully digital teaching experience in the Future. 

2. Lawyers and Judges

These positions have a strong component of negotiation, strategy and case analysis. A lot is based on the personal experience and knowledge of each specialist. 

It requires a certain set of skills to be able to navigate complex legal systems and argue in defense of a client in court. There is a human factor involved when it comes down to consider all the various aspects of a trial and take a final decision that could turn into years in prison, in the case of a Judge. 

These are not types of professions that even the most law-savy Android will be able to cover, now or in the Future. Plus, when will you really feel comfortable having a robot representing you in court?

3. Directors, Managers and CEOs

Managing teams inside an organization is a matter of Leadership and this is not a stack of behaviors that can be written down in a code and processed in a linear way. 

A CEO is also the person responsible for sharing the company’s mission and value down to the team. It is very unlikely that investors will ever feel comfortable investing in a company managed by robots or algorithms

ms, unless, of course, we get to the point of having robot investors in the Future.

4. Politicians

One of the biggest differences in the qualities humans have versus machines or AI is that we are actually pretty good at coming up with creative solutions for unforeseen circumstances, and politicians need to master this skill. 

With better or worse results, we have seen this very recently due to the current pandemic situation and how the decisions certain leaders took have had a very profound impact on the outcome of the spread of the virus.

Would you really vote for a robot to represent a large majority of human beings and human needs? Probably not, so politicians, for better or for worse, are not likely to be going anywhere.

5. HR Managers

Human Resource Managers cover a variety of very important tasks inside an organization. Hiring new professionals is just part of their prerogatives. They also are a key position inside the organization for maintaining the staff motivated, detecting early-on signs of discontent, and manage them if possible. 

AI has been introduced strongly inside HR processes lately, through more and more assistance from software in the filtering of a large number of applicants to job vacancies. However, not always a candidate that looks ideal on paper turns out to be the best option in person. The amount of soft human skills required to be able to determine these factors is incredibly hard to program onto a machine. Headhunters, recruiters and HR Responsables can sleep safely. AI won’t take their place.

6. Singers

If you missed it, then yes, there are already music orchestras run by robots ( ) so perhaps we could not state the same for musicians, but we can surely do it for singers. 

Fans adore the connection they have with their favorite singers, the emotions and intonation their favorite artist puts in the interpretation of the song. AI has no emotion so it is very likely that it would turn out to be a horribly monotonous performance. 

You can also find AI produced music and lyrics actually, but the performance of our beloved singers will not be possible to be replaced by a machine, emotions are human, end of the deal.

7. Psychologists and Psychiatrists

Although a lot of face recognition technology is currently being used to develop initial AI counseling care and support, given the growing demand, mental health is a very delicate topic. Human touch is essential when it comes down to supporting people to succeed in their lives in all of the aspects that it can entail.

In order to assist a human in their processes, you first need to have had a human experience, so no matter how sophisticated systems might become, let’s say 50 years from now, these jobs are extremely unlikely to be substituted by complex and cyber-friendly algorithms with prosthetic faces.

8. Priests and other spiritual figures

You might not be religious, nor a firm believer in anything really, but spirituality is considered to be a basic aspect of the human experience and it has been so for many centuries.

Priests, clergymen and other spiritual figures in general played important roles in our societies, giving support and often education also, to millions of generations before when schooling systems were not as developed and when networks of emotional support were less easy to access.

Spirituality is such a human and intimate relationship that it is almost an oxymoron to consider possible that in the Future, robots or AI could enter this aspect of our lives. Faith, empathy, compassion and emotion are not something that we will ever lay on the hands of non-human spiritual figures. Amen.

9. Surgeons

For sure, technology has seriously increased the accuracy with whom we are today able to diagnose and detect diseases in any medical report. Micro robotics also enhance the precision of the surgeons when it comes down to operation, enabling less invasive procedures. 

But being a surgeon requires the ability to connect with the patient on so many other different levels while taking a vast number of the factor under consideration at the same time.

Experience, knowledge, and skills acquired throughout the years are all factors that need to be condensed in a matter of minutes during an operation. A human presence will always be present in order to make critical decisions. So if your mom is still insisting for you to study medicine, this time around, you might want to listen to her.

10. Professional Athletes

Modern gladiator games are the current sports competitions of a different sort. 

The beauty of watching in awe these amazing performers improve upon their own results over and over again, pushing the line further of what a human being is capable of physically achieving, is what makes the whole thing worth watching!

Having robots compete with each other and watch them have a basketball game would defeat this purpose and the very entertaining essence of watching sports.

It’s true that robot fights have been for some short time popular and recently, obstacle drone flying competitions have become somewhat of a show in some countries. But the intrinsic charm that it is produced when you see an athlete improve upon a world record result and break down into tears of satisfaction and pride when they achieve it, it’s something very human at core and pretty impossible to beat for a machine humanoid droid.

11. Computer System Analysts

No matter how automated we become, there will always be the need of a human presence that can run maintenance work, update, improve, correct, and set-up complex software and hardware systems that often require coordination among more than one specialist in order to properly work.

Reviewing the system capabilities, controlling the workflow and schedule improvements and increase automation is only part of a Computer System Analyst, a profession that is a great demand in the last years. Very soon, we will witness the entrance in our lives of the internet of things, in which an incredibly large number of devices will be interconnected, exchange data (supposedly for our good), and interact actively with each other. So this specific professional category is only going to get more needed in the years to come. 

One of the main principles of AI, center of many debates, is that we should never let machines program each other, perhaps a possible fourth law of robotics (see Isaac Asimov three law of robotics)?

12. Artists and Writers

Being a hippy artist might not turn out to be that bad, after all. Jokes apart, Art, in general, is such a vast, creative, mysterious, and open meta-world that it is extremely hard to think that AI would ever be able to distill the quintessence of what makes a book, a play, a statue, or a drawing so magically beautiful to enjoy. 

It is very much going against many of the status-quo rules and parameters of conventional Art, which makes innovative Art so surprising and fresh. So how could we ever code a pattern to go against all rules? 

Writing especially is such an imaginative fine art, and being able to place a specific selection of words in the right order is definitely a challenging endeavor. So even if AI technically would have the capacity of absorbing the content of most books in the world, in probably any language and come up with a somewhat personal style of communication, the magic and thrill of creating Art with words is something that is pretty much going to rest in our domain of competition in the years to come. 

AI and technology should not be seen as enemies or competition, however. Similar to how your washing machine and dishwasher are there mainly for you to save time, AI is likely to allow us to focus on the parts of our jobs in which we can add the most value, be most creative, and mainly to free our time. 

What do you think of your professional activity? Is it likely to disappear in the next 20-30 years, or is it safe and sound? Did we leave any other profession out? What are your opinions regarding this sensitive topic?

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Thanks for reading, human!

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