Let’s share some concrete data on the AI will replace humans in the workplace debate, shall we?
Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm, reported in its May 2023 job research that 3,900 jobs were lost to artificial intelligence. It is the first time that the research institute has cited artificial intelligence as the reason for the job cuts.
When it came to the reasons for job cuts, artificial intelligence ranked seventh, behind:
Closing: 19,598Market/Economic Conditions: 14,617No Reason Given: 12,914Cost Reductions: 8,392Voluntary Severances/Acquisitions: 8,000Restructuring: 5,215
This comes a few months after Resume Builder, a careers site for creating resumes, published a survey that found nearly half of companies using OpenAI’s generative AI chatbot ChatGPT say it has replaced employees . The survey, which polled 1,000 US business leaders, found that 48% of respondents say their companies have replaced employees with ChatGPT since the launch of the OpenAI generative artificial intelligence chatbot in November.
Rising employment lowers the norm in the US
The news of AI-related job cuts comes amid a rising number of job cuts in the US. According to the Challenger, Gray & Christmas report, US employers announced 80,089 cuts in May, up 20% from the 66,995 cuts announced a month earlier. That’s 287% more than the 20,712 cuts announced in the same month in 2022, and companies have announced plans to cut 417,500 jobs so far this year, a 315% increase from the 100,694 cuts announced in the same month announced for the same period last year. It is the highest January-May total since 2020, when 1,414,828 cuts were recorded. With the exception of 2020, it is the highest total in the first five months of the year since 2009, when 822,282 cuts were recorded up to May.
In another sign that AI is infiltrating the workplace and taking away jobs, the tech sector announced the most cuts in May, with 22,887 announced for a total of 136,831 this year, up 2,939% from the 4,503 cuts announced in the same period last year became. The technology sector has now announced the most cuts for the sector since 2001 when 168,395 cuts were announced for the full year.
“Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level in six months and job vacancies are falling. “Businesses appear to be pulling on the hiring brakes in anticipation of a slowdown,” Andrew Challenger, labor expert and senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., said in a statement.
Related Article: ChatGPT and Generative AI: Just Another Tool in the Creative Toolbox?
Are Marketing and Customer Experience Jobs Safe?
So, as a marketer or customer experience leader, the question is: How do I protect my workplace? How can I prove that I can do a job better than ChatGPT alone? Or how can I prove that I can work with such tools and still support marketing campaigns, loyalty programs and all other marketing and CX business initiatives?
First, it’s good to know which jobs are most at risk of losing to our text-producing, data-analyzing, photo-producing, and creative friends in the generative AI universe.
According to Business Insider, the following jobs are most at risk of being replaced by AI:
Tech jobs (programmers, computer programmers, software engineers, data analysts) Media jobs (advertising, content creation, technical writing, journalism) Legal industry jobs (legal clerks, paralegals) Market research analysts Teachers Financial jobs (financial analysts, personal financial advisors) Traders Graphic designers Accountants Customer service representatives
There’s certainly enough fuel here to fuel the worry engine for marketers and those responsible for customer experiences. And this is not the only list of its kind.
Remember that these are prediction lists. The Challenger, Gray, and Christmas data represent actual jobs lost to AI, and 3,900 is more than a handful.
Hope for Marketers, Marketing AI Jobs
What does all this mean for the future of marketing and customer experience jobs? First, it’s far too early to tell. The concrete data on marketing and CX jobs and the effects of AI are not yet available.
Moreover, it is not only doom and gloom. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics released its own monthly jobs report on June 2 and reported that the US added 339,000 jobs in May, far exceeding Wall Street analysts’ estimates.
And there are signs that companies are embracing AI and supporting work environments where AI can work side-by-side with marketers.
Here are some examples:
Senior Director of Marketing, Artificial Intelligence. Intel posted a vacancy last week looking for a Senior Director of Marketing, Artificial Intelligence. Required is “deep AI experience and the ability to collaborate effectively in large, structured organizations.” You will be responsible for overseeing all AI marketing activities including messaging, positioning, audience programs, demand generation, content development, social media and merchandising.”E -Mail marketing specialist with AI expertise. Upwork posted a job description last week that included the ability to: Leverage AI tools, specifically ChatGPT, to create personalized and engaging email content, create email templates and prompts for use with GPTU, AI for leverage the automation of your email campaigns, AI Senior Product Manager. Coca Cola has announced a vacancy for a senior AI product manager to be “a key contributor and influential role in the global Human Insights and Marketing Performance (HI+MP) team.” Responsibilities include: overseeing the development of AI-enabled research tools and protocols, identifying user needs, defining product requirements and managing the development process, developing and launching new tools and protocol products using AI technologies
Related Article: Will AI Chatbots Eliminate Programmers?
Hoping for Customer Experience Experts, CX AI Jobs
Customer experience executives also have reason to be hopeful. First, Gartner released a survey last month that found that 38% of respondents consider customer experience/retention as their primary focus when investing in generative AI. That was #1, ahead of revenue growth (26%), cost optimization (17%) and business continuity (7%).
You need customer experience experts to lead those investments and look for CX profits, right? And while Business Insider’s customer service, which we previously shared, was on the risk list, there are signs that companies are investing in positions for customer experience leaders who work with AI.
For example, check out some of these titles in recent job ads:
Customer Engineer, AI/ML, Generative AI, Google Cloud. Google wants someone to be a subject matter expert in machine learning to work with technical sales teams to differentiate Google Cloud from customers and to identify and evaluate customers’ artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) or generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) opportunities to uncover cloud solutions to recommend, plan for, and address key market opportunities and use cases. Lead architect for custom AI/ML solutions, AWS. This customer-centric position is designed to enable large-scale customer use cases, design ML pipelines, and drive adoption of AWS for the AI/ML platforms. The position provides guidance on customer engagement and develops whitepapers, blogs, reference implementations, and presentations to enable customers to take full advantage of AI/ML on AWS. Lead for Product, Conversational AI for Customer Service, GotIt! This AI vendor wants its product lead to set product requirements and roadmaps by collaborating with customers, executive team, sales/CX, marketing, R&D, design, and engineering teams, and cross-functional, diverse, global product and engineering Lead Team Deliver a complex, advanced NLP product, work alongside Sales and Business Development on strategic relationships with strategic channel partners, and coordinate and lead product, R&D and solutions workflows.
And let’s not forget the marketing and customer experience jobs that will be available in the growing artificial intelligence market. The global artificial intelligence retail market (which was worth $6.37 billion in 2022) is expected to reach $48.64 billion by 2032, according to a new report from Extrapolate.
And despite the rapid developments in AI over the past six months, many remain confident that marketing jobs will remain.
“Those who work in digital marketing know that the field relies on elements of imagination, creativity and originality to find ways to improve communication with customers,” Saurabh P. wrote in a LinkedIn post in February . “Equally, digital marketing requires a human touch. It requires storytelling and emotion, two aspects that AI today cannot learn in the ways required to make marketing effective.”