- June 2, 2014
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!
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!
One 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?