When and how will your work be replaced by AI?

Is 2030 the end of the road?

I won’t keep you waiting.

Here is precisely when you will be replaced by an AI application, depending on your field of practice:

Chart illustrating a timeline for how we might expect to see fundamental models progress and the associated applications that become possible
Chart illustrating a timeline for how we might expect to see fundamental models progress and the associated applications that become possible — Source

So, in the best-case scenario, according to Sequoia Capital’s generative AI research, you will become unemployed by 2030 latest.

Excited about early retirement?

Yes, for the near past and future, but that 2030? is out of the scope:

“ 2025 and beyond is just a guess” — Sequoia Capital

Like any other future prediction, this one can be challenged in multiple ways, but I will get back to it later.

First, let’s go with categories:

Looking at the chart, we see that some of the text-based practitioners should be already (or almost) unemployed. 2025 and 2030 appear to be way out into the future.

ChatGPT blindsided all larger tech companies, and now Google and Microsoft are rushing to push their technology out.

ChatGPT output has certain limitations:

  1. Direct output reads blunt, but this can be easily fixed (you can tell it to “rewrite eloquently.”
  2. It has been trained using data available before 2021.
  3. It tells you it cannot access the internet (some people found ways around this)

Yet still, there are a lot of creative and technical ways in which you can use ChatGPT. Actually, the help you can get from ChatGPT is, how I should put it… invaluable.

See some application areas here:

I am thinking what if… That would have been a blast if I had this tool while writing my Ph.D. dissertation. I took writing support from the language center at MIT but was able to use ~1 hour per week only.

Long story short, jobs that revolve around text generation and editing will take a huge blow.

The experts with accumulated experience and insight will become essential figures (not all of them, but the top of the crop) as they will know how to tame the beast and use it to its full extent in the way it should be.

A junior programmer with limited experience may have concerns about the impact of AI on their career. While it is true that AI will automate specific tasks and jobs, it still needs to be advanced enough to replace human programmers completely.

On the flip side, AI systems are already being used for code review, testing, and bug fixing, which can reduce the need for human programmers in these areas:

…there is arguably no simpler and more efficient way to review code than through software-based code review tools — Esteban Spina

Junior programmers with a strong foundation in software engineering and a background in creative problem-solving will likely still be in demand, as AI still relies on human programmers for development, maintenance, and regulation. Not sure if that will be true in 2030, though.

To remain competitive in the job market, it may be advantageous for junior programmers to gain a strong understanding of AI and machine learning and to focus on developing skills in areas where AI is not yet advanced, such as software design, user experience, and critical thinking.

They will need to accumulate a lot of experience, and more importantly, build insight of a decade in a much shorter time.

Computer science program graduates enjoyed the perks of being hired right out of school with excellent pay — that was last decade. That won’t be the case anymore.

They will need to be happy with much lesser pay, assuming they can find a job.

A common mistake made by non-designers is to confuse image-making with designing, which are actually two distinct activities.

So, neither of the below is a pipe.

Artwork by Rene Magritte “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”, showing a pipe on a clear background
“This is not a pipe” — Rene Magritte, 1929
Image of a highly ornamented pipe created by the author using Midjourney, the text-to-image tool
“Ceci n’est pas une pipe” — Author in Midjourney, 2023

While image-making can be a part of the design process, particularly in the creation of industrial designs or buildings, the same cannot be said for graphic design or concept art.

Unfortunately, those types of jobs may be at risk, as some professionals have reported a decrease in commissions towards the end of 2022.

However, designers with experience and insight will continue to thrive, as they know how to choose from the virtually limitless options generated by AI tools. Again, not all of them, but top of the crop.

The ability to make informed choices is a valuable skill that cannot be replaced by AI, making it even more important for designers to cultivate their expertise and experience.

It appears that video and 3D game makers are the last to be impacted by AI.

This can be deduced from the pattern observed in the industry’s trends.

The complexity of 3D assets and the integration of story lines, powered by natural language and probability, make the creation and editing of video and 3D games a challenge for AI.

The prospect of a fully AI-developed game with gameplay lasting 10–50 hours, equivalent to today’s best sellers, is uncertain and remains to be seen — but would I be surprised if this happens within a year?


With the increasing sophistication of AI tools, the role of designers who possess experience and insight will become even more crucial in navigating the vast array of options generated by these tools.

Design is a highly creative field that requires a unique combination of technical skills, aesthetic judgment, and empathy for the user, and AI systems are still limited in their ability to replicate these skills.

In general, AI is already being used in some areas of design, to assist with tasks such as prototyping, 3D modeling, visualizations and pattern recognition.

However, while AI can assist designers in certain tasks, it is nowhere near to compete with a human designer, even for a simple product design.

An imaginary, organic and futuristic product line rendered using AI text-to-image tool, Midjourney
Great but pointless for an applicable product design — Image created by author, using Midjourney — “AI designing and manufacturing a biomorphic hand-held device with soft touch and a screen, iridescent, shiny, led, infographic showing the highly detailed organic production line — ar 16:9”

For example, while AI can generate simple designs based on patterns and trends, it still lacks the ability to truly understand the motivations and emotions behind design decisions, or to think creatively about how to solve design problems.

It must be acknowledged that a product encompasses much more than its shape and form.

Factors such as materiality, texture, durability, lifespan, and user experience all play important roles in the creation of an industrial design product.

While it is possible to develop an AI system to handle these parameters, the notion of a fully automated idea-to-output system remains implausible at present.

Therefore, the demand for human designers remains high for tasks that require imaginative thinking, problem-solving abilities, and empathy.

These unique human traits continue to be vital for the successful creation of products that meet the needs of consumers.

It is therefore imperative for designers to possess a foundational knowledge of AI and machine learning, as these advancements are poised to significantly impact the design industry in the near future.

Furthermore, designers who are equipped to seamlessly integrate AI systems into their work, leveraging them to augment their creativity, will possess a distinct advantage in a highly competitive job market —

Here is a great article talking about skills for designing with AI:

If I bring closer to home, after challenges of proof of value, the early adopters of computational design, who began practicing over two decades ago, may now find themselves in a favorable position.

With a wealth of experience and insight, they possess a comprehensive understanding of computational design systems and expertise in bringing designs to life and imparting that knowledge.

While the thought of the potential displacement of jobs due to AI can be unsettling…

…it is important to recognize that the AI revolution is not only changing the job market but also transforming the definition and value of existing roles.

Ultimately, this is the conclusion that one can draw from this shift.

So what is the way to deal with all this: “NO TO AI!!!”

— Imagine a face-palm here —

And read the article below to understand why such resistance barely makes sense:

OK —

Let’s relax a little bit.

AI will replace your JOB. Not you.

And you will have better things to do, including your new job.

That is great news. Because you have been working all day long, getting bored by doing repetitive and meaningless tasks.

You felt: dumb, silly, tired, unmotivated, and even maybe worthless?

Well, then, AI is not bad news at all. All those silly repetitive tasks, that is what AI will be doing for you, for all of us.

You will maybe lose your job, but if you do, it will be great, because all job definitions will change. Humanity will need to come up with better job descriptions, more meaningful tasks for humans to be taking care of, and more time for everyone to have a healthier and happier life.

But we all have to partake in this for it to work.

Categorized as UX Tagged

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