Fox news is carrying a story that, Oxford University researchers have estimated that 47 percent of U.S. jobs could be automated within the next two decades!
In fact, friends of mine have been at a TV and Radio show where speakers were speculating that the job culling will start much faster than the next two decades, they were speculating that we could be losing a great number of Jobs withing the next two years.
It may well be that the call from groups like the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) saying that it has found that 21% of small firms currently employ staff from an EU country and that more than half that 21% are worried that they will not be able to recruit the right staff in the future without EU migrants.
This, of course, raises a whole series of questions like…
- Why can not a UK citizen do the job?
- And if the answer is that there are not enough skilled workers in the UK, how come the much poorer countries from Europe can produce quality qualified staff, who are sufficiently fluent in English to meet employers needs, while the UK can not?
But is it just possible that the question is somewhat mute…
Will robots take over the vacancies left by EU migrants by the time article 50 reaches the end of is process?
[When in this article we talk of robots, we may not be talking about humanoid machines, but also computer programs or algorithms that will be working somewhere on a server.]
What Jobs will these robots be taking?
Will they all be simple manual jobs like we see in the car factories?
No, according to Shelly Palmer, (Named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Technology), many of the next lines of jobs to go will be white-collar jobs! In an article on his blog, he lists five areas he expects to come under the reapers scythe over the next few years.
1 – Middle Management.
He says, “If your main job function is taking a number from one box in Excel and putting it in another box in Excel and writing a narrative about how the number got from place to place, robots are knocking at your door. Any job where your “special and unique” knowledge of the industry is applied to divine a causal relationship between numbers in a matrix is going to be replaced first. Be ready.”
If you are in middle management and think that it is only shop floor workers who are under immediate threat… think again.
2 – Commodity Salespeople (Ad Sales, Supplies, etc.)
If you are in sales and do not add something significantly more to you employer than specifications, price and availability, start thinking about your next gig.
Commodity sales will go the way of Amazon for retail sales. A computer can now beat humans at poker more times than not… they will be better at negotiating business than you are.
3 – Report Writers, Journalists, Authors & Announcers
Already a lot of sports and financial/business reporting is being generated by robots, or rather by a computer algorithm that can instantly sift massive amounts of data and come up with analysis that is readable and sound human.
4 – Accountants & Bookkeepers
A huge amount of accountant and bookkeeping functions are now being handled by computers connected to your bank, order received process and stock control. Soon with will step beyond handling the mundane maths and into fully fledge account management.
5 – Doctors
Robots make amazing doctors, diagnosticians and surgeons.
IBM’s Watson and other pattern matching algorithms are becoming extremely competent at analysing samples and diagnosing disease.
much or your eye test is now actually done in a second with a machine. Today this needs to be administered by a trained technicians and reviewed by an ophthalmologist, but how long until you camera on your phone will be able to perform this service for you with you just following three or four simple instructions. I believe this is already being done in some third world countries.
One company is coming out with a smart toilet that will analyse your… wee and poo everytime you use it. Not yet, but one day it will be fitted everywhere, and not only a huge number of lab tech will be out of work, but many illnesses will be being detected VERY early.
So what should we do?
An Obama administration era prediction suggested that “There is an 83% chance that workers who earn $20 an hour or less could have their jobs replaced by robots in the next five years. Those in the $40 an hour pay range face a 31% chance of having their jobs taken over by the machines.”
So what should/can we do?
In a word or two… I do not know.
If you think that your job could not be done by a robot or an algorithm, you are probably wrong.
Much of Amazon’s warehouses are automated to a large degree, and the human jobs that are still in these facilities are almost certain not there because they could not be replaced by a robot, but that it is not yet politically expedient to go human free.
In x years we will not have taxi drivers and probably not lorry drivers either. Supermarkets are losing till operators in favour of self-service checkouts. Probably the area that you need to be looking at for a healthy job expectancy are areas that include the words, ‘Craft’ or ‘handmade’ or ‘traditional’.
Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.