In the Future, Will a Robot Take Over My Job?
Everywhere we turn it seems machines are getting smarter and more efficient. There are drones for military applications, talking personal assistants on our cell phones, and self-driving cars and robotic burger-flippers are on the near horizon. No wonder industry leaders are asking: is it just a matter of time until robots take over our jobs?
Can My Job Really Be Replaced by a Robot?
Early in robotics technology, we assumed machines were only capable of performing basic manual labor. However, advances in design and artificial intelligence have created robots capable of higher level performance. As Business Insider has warned, robots are predicted to take over 30% of jobs by 2025. White collar employees, from pharmacists to journalists, could see their once secure jobs challenged by newly developed robots. As NPR explains, "Right now it's the more routine formulaic jobs — jobs that are predictable, the kinds of jobs where you tend to do the same kinds of things again and again — those jobs are really being heavily impacted." However, experts warn that we are advancing quickly and robots are performing tasks we never dreamed of fifty years ago.
Is There Any Hope for Human Workers?
While the statistics are alarming, not all experts believe the age of humanity is over quite yet. Economics professor David Autor of MIT states that we still have not successfully created robots that can handle even basic human behaviors. He points out the many challenges faced by robots and notes "Automation is advancing, but we are still far from the day when machines can do complex physical and mental tasks that are easily done by humans." Robots may serve as our heavy lifters, but they have a long way to go before they acquire the creativity, curiosity, and the intuitive thinking of human workers.