It’s been the question on everyone's lips all year long. So in the interests of putting this once alarming now boring conversation to bed once and for all, we present an A-to-Z guide...
A good place to start, really, because architects are broadly representative of the truth about most jobs and AI. That being: if you are one of the architects who is forever adding soulless empty-flat skyscrapers to the skyline, you’re probably going to be screwed quite soon. If you have just knocked out the Guggenheim, you’re not. Actually, that was a terrible place to start, because you could basically say the same thing about any of the below jobs. Oh well…
So long as AI can stifle its laughter when the people who hire it start dropping their vowels to a working-class register and offering up ‘a cuppa’, then full steam ahead. Well. Maybe not full steam.
Whoever proclaimed chefs to be the new rock stars did chefs a huge favour because, let’s face it, AI can probably, technically, already caramelise an onion or soufflé a soufflé or wear chequered trousers better than any cook in the world. But being a rock star within your chosen field? More difficult to do. Nobody can define what being a rock star actually means because being a rock star is basically a load of complete bullshit. And I should know because I am one.
The precision required to sculpt the innermost parts of the mouth intricately — assuming there are mouths in the future — AI has obviously got down pat. The bigger question is: can AI master the phrase, "You do need to floss more," and then write out a bill for £60? If so, dentists need to be scared.
Executive Vice-President Of Comms Development
The genius of inventing your own grand-sounding but meaningless job title has always been that it’s very difficult to discern what you are actually doing in that corner office of yours. And let’s face it: once AI looks into how much it’s going to cost to get rid of you, there’s not going to be a lot to worry about.
Very tempted at this juncture to make some cheap Alan Partridge-style gag about farmers here but I don’t much fancy being flattened by a dead cow, so let’s just move on.
A job that exists solely now to populate sartorial put-downs — ie, "He dresses like a geography teacher" — and as such one that we should cede without too much fight. Superiority via the medium of knowing what the capital of Peru is has not really been a thing for a long, long time now.
Try, just try, doing what hairdressers have to do over the course of a working day. By which I don’t mean taking off a bit too much at the sides, but maintaining light, fluffy but relatively engaging conversation while staring at someone’s face in a big mirror for an hour. I guess AI could come up with some ‘they’re all the same’ stuff about politicians. Feigning interest in a succession of interminably dull relationship issues, though? Good luck with that.
Given that AI is not actually alive, AI is likely going to be quite good at doing that dead-behind-the-eyes look that smoothie brands seem to be searching for when it comes to someone to hawk their wares. So it’s tick-tock for you, TikTokers!
Nothing to see here. Again: let’s just move on.
Remember that bit at the end of Terminator 2 where The Terminator looks at the kid and goes, "Now I know why you cry"? He didn’t. Not really. Nobody knows why kids cry. Especially three-year-olds. Three-year-olds crying are like Drake albums or Boris Johnson making surprise Kyiv visits or heatwaves in London: you never know when they’re going to happen, only that they will happen far more often than you could possibly imagine.
AI as yet hasn’t mastered the art of telling outright lies so you should be safe for now, guys. While we’ve got you: what exactly is a sundries inventory charge and why does it mean we don’t get our deposit back?
Musicians think literally every even minor advance in technology is out to render them obsolete. Recorded music was going to kill live music. Drum machines were going to kill drummers. Sampling was evil. Autotune was evil-er. Then someone figures out how to co-opt this sinister new bit of future-stuff, everyone starts copying that person, Paul McCartney gets that person to produce an album for him and around and around we go.
Well, AI: if you want to do a deeply difficult, incredibly emotionally draining and important job that will never, ever garner you a fair pay rise from the powers that be then you’re going to need to learn being selfless and having compassion and a soul. Maybe stick to being an influencer.
The thing is, ostensibly, they don’t seem to do anything. Then office managers take a week off and everyone nearly kills each other and nothing gets done because everyone is suddenly putting out fires, both metaphorical and real. My advice to AI would just be… let them be.
Personal trainers are the most tangible proof that all is not lost for humans. Think about it: you do a free trial hour, find out the price, then think: ‘Screw this, I’ll just find a video online to do.’ Said video remains unwatched and back you go, wondering why you need some bronzed Adonis who looks like his poos must be a perfect shade of matcha green to tell you you’re crushing it. But you do.Queen
Should be a fairly smooth transition to not putting a foot wrong waving. But then again it’s going to be difficult to claim that recollections may vary when you are a digital archive of everything that’s ever happened ever.
There are 800 master thatchers in the UK and, for obvious reasons, they are not hiring right now. But maybe they… should? Maybe a smart policy for the guy over on page 26 to announce would be to make it mandatory for all homes in the UK to have a thatched roof by 2050. Loads of work that only humans can do, loads of jobs and an easy way for the robots to launder money.
Elevator pitch for a movie: in the year 2525, humans are obsolete apart from a few hundred who are still somehow making a living as roof thatchers. They are a curiosity, nay, delicacy for the machines. One day our protagonist is made aware of an alternative job that could, maybe, earn them 10 times as much cash. But there’s a catch…
Those Guys In The Toilets At Posh Nightclubs Who Mean You Have To Wash Your Hands Without Any Soap
I mean, whatever humans are left are still going to need mints, right?
Insert your own ‘Pop Ya Collar’ joke here. Or get AI to do it, I don’t care. Basically if a job is the second thing you think of after a relatively past-it popstar, it’s probably not essential.
Ask any football fan how this is going (and stand back if you don’t like spittle in your eyes). Then take comfort in the fact there’s already a job out there that is better done by humans.
By virtue of being the only people who had the login details for the company website — or indeed knew what a website was — these guys were kind of the AI of the very early Noughties. The rather wizard-esque title they gave themselves certainly suggested they thought they would be overlording before long. But hey, now look at them, asking you if you’ve tried turning it off and on again, just like they did in the Fifties. Maybe there is hope?
X-rated content creator
Depends, really. Can you ever see yourself… actually, you know what, no: this is still a family magazine of sorts.
Humans have got time on this one: our digital overlords will first need to secure a six-figure salaried job in Canary Wharf, then develop a crippling cocaine addiction, then stay awake through two or three years of sober Soho House brunches before finding the requisite meaning/purpose. Whole cycle normally takes about 11 years. AI can probably crunch that down to six, easy.
Feels like this role could easily be absorbed by vets in the great human downsizing process anyway. Either vets or London’s army of batshit cat obsessives.