Everyone is Talking About AI — But Can AI Really Replace Jobs?

Jakub Ferencik
5 min readNov 25, 2023

We get a few things wrong when we talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its ability to replace jobs. It may be true that automation caused by AI advancements is increasing across various sectors, but the technological advancements we have seen in recent years are nowhere near able to replace many low-wage positions.

That said, automation is definitely changing the fabric of society, as we know it. Some have even suggested that the upcoming expedite in automation will usher in a “fourth revolution,” expanding on the Three Agricultural Revolutions.

Most importantly, the fact that we have not made these developments in AI now does not mean that they will never happen.

Dr. Bertalan Mesko, a Hungarian medical futurist, warned that “technology will keep developing no matter what we do.” The technological revolution will impact societal structures as we know them.

But how swift will this transition really be? In other words, Are the doomsday arguments warranted?

Yes, and no.

Let me explain.

“The future of work is vulnerable at best, chaotic at worst.” — Wendi S. Lazar and Nantiya Ruan

Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash

First, we should say that we have been wrong about the advancements made in AI in the past — and especially in the 21st century.

There were those among us who thought that self-driving vehicles were far away.

In 2004, for example, Professor Frank Levy from MIT and Professor Richard Murnane from Harvard published an article postulating which professions were most plausible to suffer from automation and concluded that it would be difficult to picture engineers developing algorithms for self-driving trucks.

As of February 6, 2018, a self-driving truck traveled 650 miles from the East Coast to the West Coast in the U.S.

Some of the largest companies in the world are investing billions of dollars into self-driving vehicles with astounding progress.

When it comes to self-driving vehicles, automation might creep in to replace bus drivers, truck drivers, taxis, uber drivers, and so…

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Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air,” “Beyond Reason,” & "Surprised by Uncertainty" on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | RA for EUROPEUM Prague | 700+ articles with 1+ mil. views