Robots and the Workforce

Robots won’t be stealing our jobs, yet

Angela Thibert / June 13, 2017

Tags: Automationemploymentfuture of worktechnologyworkforce dev

Robots won’t be stealing our jobs, yet

We are starting to see artificial intelligence become more present in the workplace, and eventually, robots could destroy our jobs. It is predicted that almost 50 percent of U.S jobs will be automated in the near future. Jobs at “high risk” for being completely replaced include those in transportation, production, maintenance, and construction industries. Before our eyes, we are slowly watching these replacements happen, with the most noticeable example being self-serve kiosksBut it is still impossible to program robots to do everything.  

No computer can ever be programmed to think creatively or have emotional intelligence. Jobs that include managing others, applying expertise, and interacting with people are least likely to become automated. For some jobs, humans will have a competitive advantage.

Even if robots end up taking some of our jobs, there is still good news. According to “What To Do When Machines Do Everything,” robots will make us “more creative in the long run” by making us focus on what we as humans do best. Others say that the rise of automation will lead to more of a focus on craftsmanship and artistry. And even if robots can be programmed to carry out a job, it does not always make sense for them to replace humans. Sometimes, replacing human workers with automation might be too expensive and wouldn’t provide a good return on investment. In other words, we are safe for today, and a couple more decades at least.

There may be nothing we can do to stop the rapid development of automation, but humans will find a way to adapt– we always have. 


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