Will Robots Steal Future Jobs?

Everywhere you turn are the wonders of cutting-edge technology including 3-D virtual reality, smartphones, robots and Amazon’s proposed new Prime Air pilotless drone delivery system that can deliver packages within 30 minutes of a customer order! As a result, our civilization has moved forward quantum leaps in R&D, scientific, engineering, IT, technical and manufacturing development.

Unfortunately, these breakthroughs may cost us many of our future jobs! In a recent study entitled, The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerization,” authors Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osbourne of Oxford University predict that nearly 50% of U.S. workers will be replaced by robots within 10 to 20 years!

Strategic Search Corporation are specialists in technical recruiting and engineering recruiting.Research shows that as machine learning has dramatically progressed and lowered in cost, jobs like real estate agents, loan officers and office clerks will be replaced by robots and automation using artificial intelligence (AI). AI has already started to permeate the workplace with new tools that replicate human judgments that were previously too complicated and subtle to implement into a computer instructions just a few years ago. These AI Algorithms “learn” from past examples, which eliminate the need for mass, new software code for every new command. Such IT advances coupled with R&D advances in mobile robots make it highly likely that many of today’s U.S. workers will be replaced by automation!

Robot of the future JobOne current example of this dramatic transformation is the online peer-to-peer lender Daric Inc. Partly funded by former Wells Fargo & Co. Chairman Richard Kovacevich, this startup company has developed an AI algorithm that has not only learned what types of past borrowers make for safe credit risks, but also constantly updates its IT program to predict the most creditworthy in the future. As a result, Frey and Osborne believe that such AI programs will eventually replace 98% of today’s loan officers!

This is not all bad news. At executive recruiting conferences I regularly meet with other engineering recruiters, R&D recruiters, IT recruiters, scientific recruiters, technical recruiters and manufacturing recruiters to discuss the most difficult to fill positions. We all believe that many related engineering, scientific and technical positions, including hardware, software, robotics, AI, mechanical and biomechanical, will continue to be in short supply and high demand for many years to come as new, future derivations of AI are developed.

The main problem as I shared in one of my previous articles Exercise Our Nation’s Students Into More Engineering, Scientific and Technical Graduate Studies and Jobs is we need to dramatically improve our math, science and reading education to produce future leaders in the technical, scientific, engineering, IT, R&D and manufacturing fields. Without enhanced K-12 educational training we will not be able to generate enough engineers, scientists, R&D, IT, technical and manufacturing professionals needed for future AI, robotics and automation development.

What are your thoughts?

Top Technical recruiter and Engineering Recruiter


2 Responses

  1. Good summary and relevant, although I see the implementation of automation as a slow evolution process and it has or in the process of replacing human labor where it present some form of financial benefit.

    A key issue remains to be addressed by robotics development, is that human intelligence can handle very well, exceptions and adjust in real time more gracefully. The robot is been upgrade in every generation to adjust for every real world exception, and what remains will be challenging, although not impossible. There is plenty of places where the human ability to adjust in real time remains within the human domain.

    For example, Robotic tools are been used for many surgeries as great complements to medical doctors, but the human factor will be needed for a long time since a machine has not been designed yet that encapsulates all the possible complications and methods to address every possible exceptions, react time and accuracy can be provided to a robot, but real time AI processing is still on its infancy.

    STEAM focus is a world wide need not just USA, but I agree improvements need to be made to increase tech and science in all levels of education.

  2. The “Brave New World” that we and our children face. At the risk of sounding like a luddite, this is a worrying trend that can break either bad or good. The two potential outcomes that I see are 1) the impoverishment of the bottom 2/3 of society or 2) the creation of so much wealth that working hours are reduced and living standards are raised for all (or most). Left to themselves, competitive economic forces will tend to move things in the direction of the former, so some governmental role will be necessary to manage a shift to the latter. I’m no commie, and I’m wary about big government, but the 50+% unemployment and poverty rates created by the former would be a recipe for the unraveling of our democratic republic (all social democracies for that matter).

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