Human vs tech: how to future-proof yourself against AI

Aidan Cramer, Founder and CEO of the job automation platform AiApply, looks at how AI will affect certain sectors of the labour market and what you can do to future proof yourself from the threat of automation.


A recent survey by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology looked at the perceived impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what people in the UK thought the greatest risks from using it were in society today.

45% of respondents thought the biggest risk in society was that AI would effectively take people’s jobs, as the technology continues to advance. Around 35% also expressed concern that AI will lead to a loss of human creativity and problem-solving skills that we require in everyday life, relying more on technology to make these decisions.

The survey showcases some of the genuine concerns that people have about the rapid growth and development of AI technology, but should workers be worried?

Aidan Cramer, Founder and CEO of the job automation platform AiApply, looks at some of the biggest employment sectors in the UK, exploring how they’re likely to incorporate AI technology in the future and whether workers should be concerned about their jobs being replaced by artificial intelligence.

What is AI technology?

Artificial intelligence, commonly known as AI, is a technology that learns to solve problems and answer questions in a human-like way. AI has made leaps and bounds in technological advancements over the last few years, with platforms such as ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini becoming widely available to the public. Whilst these tools are relatively new to the market, AI technology has been incorporated into our everyday lives for decades, from GPS navigation in our cars, to online chatbots and chatbots and smartphone digital assistants like Siri.

The job industries using AI technology; is your job at risk?


Supermarkets are some of the UK’s biggest employers, with Tesco alone employing over 330,000 people. Tesco already uses AI to help them with their online shopping deliveries, particularly during the pandemic when lockdown conditions meant they had to optimise their delivery routes to ensure more orders were met for customers. This was all thanks to AI technology, which helped retrain their delivery route optimisation algorithms and made their delivery service more efficient. The supermarket has also trialled ‘frictionless’ stores in London, a concept that allows customers to walk in, shop and walk out without the need to check out and pay as payment is done through AI technology and app-based payments.

Is my job at risk? – Unlikely, however, workers could see their roles change over time as technology advances. If the trials in frictionless stores are a success, AI could effectively replace the mundane jobs such as scanning barcodes, checkout and daily stock takes, allowing workers to concentrate on more engaging roles and offer more personalised shopping experiences for customers. In this case, AI could enhance jobs, not replace them completely.


The NHS employs around 1.4 million people across the UK, making it the country’s largest employer. Being the main provider of healthcare means that the NHS is continuously looking for ways to improve its service and speed up waiting times to see a doctor. Last year, the government set aside £21 million to invest in artificial intelligence in services across the NHS, from AI imaging and decision support tools that are designed to diagnose conditions such as cancer, strokes and heart conditions much quicker.

Is my job at risk? As AI technology in healthcare advances, we’re certain to see more artificial intelligence being used by doctors to help speed up diagnoses and recovery time for patients. It’s highly unlikely that we will see healthcare professionals being completely replaced, as a human touch will always be required to interact with patients at their time of need. We could see time-consuming admin tasks such as prescriptions and note-taking taken over by AI technology, freeing up more time for doctors to see more patients and reducing long waiting times.

Customer service call centres

Call centres play a big part in the employment sector, with over 800,000 people working in the industry across the country. Automation has long been established in the customer service industry, with online chatbots, multilingual support and virtual assistants already in use. AI has also provided customer service centres with automated call routing, connecting customers to the best agents that are able to handle their query quickly and more efficiently.

Is my job at risk? – As chatbots become more intelligent, there is a risk that customer service roles may change for some agents as the need for human interaction becomes less essential. AI technology could take smaller, less urgent tasks away from agents, which frees up more time to take more pressing queries from customers. This could also provide opportunities for companies to train their employees to increase the level of customer service they provide, thanks to the reliance on AI technology to look after less urgent issues.


Automation in manufacturing is nothing new, with robotics being introduced to vehicle assembly lines as early as the 1960s. AI can aid the manufacturing process for aspects such as analysing data to predict issues before they happen, helping machinery learn and adapt to optimise the production lines and make products more quickly. A study by the Federation of Robotics found that in the automotive industry, the use of robotics saw a 16% increase in productivity between 2010 and 2016. This shows that AI and automation from a manufacturing perspective are definitely here to stay.

Is my job at risk? The risk is apparent for those working in the manufacturing industry that AI and robots could effectively replace their jobs as they become more intelligent and efficient. However, there will always be a need for humans in manufacturing, particularly when it comes to quality control, problem solving and ensuring that the machines are working effectively. Many companies such as Rolls Royce and Bentley continue to rely on humans on the production line, where craftsmanship and expertise are paramount to their finished products, so it’s highly unlikely we will see AI technology dominating the manufacturing industry anytime soon.

Financial Services

The financial services industry employs over 1.1 million people in the UK, making it another big employer across the country. Banks have been using AI for a while now, from their customer service channels to facial recognition in their online security. As banking now relies heavily on apps and online services, AI has played a part in the analysis of consumer spending habits, helping to notify customers of any upcoming bills and allowing them to manage their money more effectively. The move to digital has come at a cost to face-to-face banking, with nearly 5,800 branches closing across the UK since 2015.

Is my job at risk? There is a chance your job could be at risk, particularly if you work in a bank branch. The use of AI and online banking has meant that the need for face-to-face banking has become less important for many customers, leading to multiple closures of local branches. If AI can help deal with customer queries effectively, there will be a need for human power in roles such as financial planning, fraud detection and more complex customer issues, opening up potential opportunities for employees to upskill and continue to grow within the banking industry.

How can you ‘future-proof’ yourself and your skillset?

Whilst the age of AI is here, and it’s here to stay, it doesn’t mean your career is doomed. Here are four steps you can take to future-proof your skills and thrive alongside AI technology:

1. Work with AI, not against it

Whether you like it or not, AI is likely to play a huge role in your future career – so why not learn to use it to its full potential?

AI is great at getting mundane, repetitive admin tasks done – think data entry, reporting and other routine processes. By using AI to complete them, you free up valuable time and energy to focus on more strategic and creative aspects of your job that AI can’t replicate.

Spend some time thinking about how AI can complement your specific role, which tools will work best for you, and how to get the most out of them. By embracing AI rather than fearing it, you instantly become a more valuable asset. After all, increased productivity benefits both you and your employer.

2. Focus on what AI can’t do

You might feel it’s impossible to keep up with AI, but here’s the catch: AI will always lack the human touch.

It can’t understand or respond to emotions, meaning it lacks strong communication, empathy, and emotional intelligence. In addition, AI excels at following patterns and thinking logically, but for now, it can’t replace human creativity, such as thinking of new ideas or innovative concepts.

The take home? If you can master communication, develop strong emotional intelligence and become a true ‘ideas person’, you’ll have something that AI can’t offer.

3. Prioritise upskilling

Artificial intelligence may mean that some of your existing skills become obsolete. The solution? Prioritise learning new skills to ensure that your skill set remains relevant. Continuously learning also shows employers that you’re adaptable, which is crucial in an evolving job market.

The path to upskilling is unique to you. Focus on in-demand skills within your industry or those projected for future growth. Consider taking online courses, attending workshops and volunteering for new responsibilities at work to gain hands-on experience.

4. Consider alternative career paths

If you’re currently in a role or industry that’s likely to be severely impacted by AI, it could be worth planning ahead.

Do some research into industries that are likely to be less impacted by AI. Are there any in-demand skills or specific job roles that you feel you’d excel at? Even better, are there any areas that would utilise your existing skill set?

Exploring these options isn’t about instantly abandoning your current role, it’s about being strategic and ensuring your career can continue to thrive alongside AI.

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