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Over a third of Phoenix-area jobs could be replaced by artificial intelligence

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Artificial intelligence might still sound like a term only used in science-fiction movies or novels, but it may be creeping closer to mass adoption than some people think.

According to a report by nonpartisan think tank New America, 35 percent of jobs in the Phoenix area were at risk to be taken over by artificial intelligence.

Almost 650,000 workers with low-skill jobs were the most at risk, while high-skilled jobs carried the least amount of risk.

Some jobs that have the highest instability included cashiers, retail salespeople and food service workers. 

Occupations with the lowest chance of replacement included medical assistants, registered nurses and software developers.

According to the report, high-risk occupations disproportionately affected women as they made up a greater portion of the high-risk jobs.

The wave of automation was already seen with construction jobs and fast food restaurants taking advantage of the option that was cheaper and didn’t risk human error.

Certain construction and fast-food jobs have already gone the way of automation.

Arizona has had firsthand experience with automation — companies have been in the state testing self-driving cars for a couple of years, including Waymo, Intel, Ford and GM.

Uber was testing on public roads until a fatal accident in March in Tempe.

Gov. Doug Ducey suspended the company’s autonomous testing after a March crash left one person dead in Tempe. But, reports said that the fatal crash may have been unavoidable even if a human had been driving.

There were no plans to bring the program back.

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