Will AI take your job?

By | June 30, 2024

It was interesting to see that the idea I had proposed in my blog on moral imperatives of AI about reskilling workers displaced by AI showed up in the policy discussions of India’s finance minister. In my most recent keynote for PMI Chapter of Gujarat, India, the same question came up again – will my job be replaced by AI?

Forget about technological shifts, even changes in political policies and regulations render many people jobless. Not too long ago the mandated shutdowns due to Covid led to many businesses going bankrupt resulting in job losses. Will AI lead to job losses? Yes, of course! Will it create more jobs? Of course, it will.

In my earlier blogs, I discussed some real-world scenarios that are likely to happen. As technology improves and the industry gets a taste of the Generative AI blood, we will see slower hiring and layoffs in almost all roles. The last ones standing would be those who have embraced the technology and pivoted or adopted it to their competitive advantage. While in earlier technological transitions, the IT services sector grew by leaps and bounds. This time around, the story will look very different. My prediction is that IT services sector will be hit hardest when corporates adopt AI. Let us take specific roles that are typically outsourced by large corporates (spoiler alert – free product ideas).

Project & Program Management: An LLM trained on PMBOK and further fine-tuned to your project lifecycle & tools will give you a ready-made army of junior PMs that will be able to run many small projects. As it builds its experience, just like a human PM, it can become more sophisticated in predicting risks, identifying mitigation plans, and managing all coordination tasks without batting an eyelid (pun intended). This will not only drastically cut down your needs for PMs but will also uplevel skills of the PMs you already have.

Product Management: An LLM trained on your products can not only create drafts of PRDs (Product Requirements Document) and MRDs (Marketing Requirements Document) but can also identify opportunities to cross-pollinate features across the product line to address any gaps and create new use-cases of your products that can enhance its value.

Software Development: An LLM that is trained as a co-pilot for developers and is fine-tuned on your code base! This AI agent would not only be able to accelerate software development but can also review your existing codebase and propose bug-fixes, identify defects, write documentation, test cases and many other tasks that would require a team of software developers today.

The same story can be repeated for HR, Sales & Marketing, customer support, quality auditing, legal and any other line-of-business domain that you can think of. The disruption to jobs is real and, unfortunately, the impact will be on the jobs that are considered highly skilled.

This raises other interesting questions. What would be the impact of AI on our educational institutions? Do I really need to spend two years and thousands of dollars on a master’s degree when I can have an AI agent as my co-pilot that has been trained on all available human knowledge?

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