Future of Labor: Watch Out Lawyers, the Robots are Coming

As automation took over factory and industrial jobs, conventional wisdom said that there were a whole host of jobs that could only be done by people. These jobs were usually in the service industry, but all required a degree of the most human of qualities: Judgement.

Call that another area where robots are primed to change the future of labor.

Fast Company reports that “from insurance to construction to Hollywood, the specter of automation looms for some surprising jobs.” The post continues: “Automation, which includes both mechanized robots (whether humanoid or drone-shaped) and artificially intelligent software programs, are predicted to eliminate 6% of the jobs in the U.S. in the next five years. And it’s not just low-wage employees that need to be worried. Highly skilled, knowledge-based employees in some sectors, including legal and accounting, could see their jobs decimated in the next decade. Deloitte estimates that 39% of jobs in the legal sector could be automated in the next 10 years. Separate research has concluded that accountants have a 95% chance of losing their jobs to automation in the future.”

Indeed, Legal Insider reports: “Over 100,000 jobs in the legal sector have a high chance of being automated in the next twenty years, according to extensive new analysis by Deloitte. The Deloitte Insight report, which predicts ‘profound reforms’ across the legal profession within the next 10 years, finds that 39% of jobs (114,000) in the legal sector stand to be automated in the longer term as the profession feels the impact of more ‘radical changes.’”

As the Deloitte study explains: “The transformation of the profession is likely to be profound due to the quickening pace of technological developments, shifts in workforce demographics and the need to offer clients more value for money. Indeed, by around 2020, we expect a tipping point for individual rms which will impact the competitive landscape and the role of talent in law rms. Businesses must prepare effectively now so they are not left behind by the end of the decade.”

And the trend goes beyond the legal profession. Economia reports “How artificial intelligence will impact accounting.” The post examines the role that artificial intelligence can play in the profession. Said Richard Anning, head of ICAEW’s IT Faculty: “Will AI reduce the need for accountants? I think the answer is probably yes. But you have to define what an accountant is. If you’re looking at some of the more repetitive bookkeeping or process-driven tasks, those are more likely to be subject to automation than the higher value tasks.”

According to Fast Company, “the jobs that could be hit the worst” include:

  • INSURANCE UNDERWRITERS AND CLAIMS REPRESENTATIVES
  • BANK TELLERS AND REPRESENTATIVES
  • FINANCIAL ANALYSTS
  • CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
  • INVENTORY MANAGERS AND STOCKISTS
  • FARMERS
  • TAXI DRIVERS
  • MANUFACTURING WORKERS
  • JOURNALISTS
  • MOVIE STARS