Will a robot take over the world or just my job?
Fortune Magazine states that as many as 800 million jobs could be taken by 2030.
Back in 2016, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim predicted that over 50 percent of employment in many developing countries will be taken by Robots.
Oxford University conducted a study and concluded that 47 % of Jobs in the U.S. are threatened.
Statistically, a robot probably will take your job. In the short run, this could really put some stress into your life. Long term, it’s the absolute best thing that could happen. I’ll explain why.
How can I be sure that this is a good thing?
Because we have already faced a robot uprising before many times before.
Technology has already replaced so many jobs in agriculture that 2 % of the population in the U.S. feeds the other 98 %. The use combines, and other forms of machinery have taken the burden of physical labor out of much of farming.
As early as the invention of the plow, technology replaced the need for a human to break his or her back tilling a field. The long days and a slower pace of life for farmers is now a choice and no longer a necessity.
In the 1800s people worked in incredibly hazardous conditions inside factories. A standard work week just to make a subsistence living was 70 hours. People would routinely lose life and limb working in these places.
Yet, somehow, people were so frightened of losing these awful jobs that they broke this new machinery. The most successful group was known as the Luddites, now a label for any technophobic person.
In the 1980s computers arrived and began to replace the hundreds of thousands of lower-level clerks in banking and business industries. As well as other industries that required people to sort through stacks of papers to collate, sort and file them. This is referred to as Office Automation and dramatically changed the landscape of business and industry in the 1970s and 80s.
Robots will harvest, cook, and serve our food. They will work in our factories, drive our cars, and walk our dogs. Like it or not, the age of work is coming to an end.
The job that you get may not be invented yet.
A robot may be poised to take your job right this very instant. I know that there is already talk of AI replacing journalists. I use a form of AI to proofread and correct errors in grammar and spelling in these articles.
Will a robot completely replace me as well? I don’t think so. Many industries use robots alongside people not to completely replace but to enhance their performance and capabilities.
Robots perform tasks that lead to repetitive stress injuries. Preventing someone from loss of income from having to go through corrective surgery.
They work in environments that are hazardous or impossible for humans to operate in. Radioactive areas, submerged areas, and areas with a high level of toxic fumes can be worked in by robots while a person will develop a life-threatening illness.
It improves efficiency and frees up a human for other more critical tasks. These people can then pursue more creative endeavors that provide a better return on investment than some mindless or tedious work.
While it may sound harsh, the reality is that if you have a job in which you can be replaced by a robot, then you didn’t really have a, to begin with.
Why robots won’t take over the world
Plain old dirt
Probably the most significant limiting factor for robots is the fact that they are very susceptible to dirt jamming their mechanisms. Bearings deteriorate very quickly if even a small amount of dust or sand gets into them.
Take the Middle East as an example. Planes are often sold to Middle Eastern countries by western nations. They then proceed to fall right out of the sky. The reason for this is not because the pilots are worse, or they have been sold defective products but because the amount of maintenance required for them to operate in this environment is substantial.
Unless that plane has been rigorously maintained by qualified personnel, then its internal workings are quickly jammed by sand and rendered inoperable.
This simple cause and effect make it next to impossible to make a robot more robust than a human. The human body is a surprisingly efficient machine.
We are able to still maintain most of our functionality even after losing a limb. The phrase healthy as a horse is used a lot, but a horse is basically dead after injuring a leg.
We can still see and function after losing an eye.
We need only to process organic matter to produce energy and don’t necessarily need replacement parts to repair an injury.
We can fight on even after being severely damaged.
The Terminator should fear us, and this has been proven after every single Terminator movie. The Terminator just never wins completely. Even after we have dealt with nuclear annihilation, we are still kicking Skynet right in the balls.
For a human to be replaced, the amount of money that could be saved over the life of the robot must be higher than that paid to a human.
“If a machine acts as intelligently as
Humans are more capable of adapting to different scenarios than a robot. They are more functional in terms of manual dexterity. Humans also can flow with changes to an environment.
In an assembly line, if one robot fails to perform correctly or at all, then the entire range of robots before that point grinds to a halt. This often equates to tens of thousands of dollars lost for every second that the machine is down.
Not to mention that the Robots themselves are expensive ranging in cost from half a million to several million dollars each. Each one is only able to perform a particular task.
Couple that with having to stockpile an inventory of parts to repair and maintain the robot. Elements that are often more expensive than the completed machine itself, i.e. it is cheaper to buy a complete automated work cell than to try to build one yourself from parts.
Then add in staff that needs to maintain, repair and program these robots. Often times, but not always, these people are well paid and well trained.
You can see that it becomes costly to replace a human.
So why a robot? Because robots do not tire, call off work or need vacations. They don’t need the extra added benefits packages that human workers receive.
As an employee, you might not often think of what these extras cost a company. However, that doesn’t mean that the cost of your health care and retirement package are solely paid for by you. Often the company does this at a great expense merely to attract and keep people in roles within the company.
Like I said before if it is a job that is mindlessly repetitive and one that is done many thousands of times then it is a perfect job for a robot.
Ultimately, it must be determined whether the full value of the robot exceeds its overall cost.
As it stands now, programming a robot is still reasonably technical. There just aren’t very many people that do it well. While it may be true that the Human Machine Interface is becoming more comfortable to use and manipulate, the fact still remains that it takes a great understanding of logic gates to prevent or troubleshoot errors that effectively disable a robot.
This is true both in hardware and software.
A lot is made in media about artificial intelligence, the biggest problem with real artificial intelligence is that it is code that begins to write itself. Most of what we refer to as artificial intelligence isn’t actually artificial intelligence but exceptionally well-written code that follows a hierarchy of logic flow.
You may have seen the Robot Sophia agreeing to “Destroy all Humans.” But I will tell you that this was just a pre-programmed joke and not something that Sophia came up with on the fly.
So what is really going on? Someone writes code to issue out a statement based on inputs. The program never deviates from the pre-ordained script.
You know how irritating this can be if you’ve ever had to deal with a bot on an automated customer service line or with online bots that respond to you from various businesses.
There will eventually be a point that AI is capable enough to sound and behave in an almost human way effectively. Especially since there is already such a wide range of human behavior that already exists.
But this is much farther away than most people think. In the meantime, humans will be able to adapt and change to find new roles and jobs.
Your new job doesn’t exist
The potential exists that a person’s profession doesn’t even yet exist. Just like the industrial revolution of the 1800s, new technology frees people to pursue more comfortable and more engaging work.
This is hard to believe when you are facing replacement by a robot and have bills to pay. But it is the truth.
Computer programming, repair, and sales didn’t exist 30 years ago. Along with that came the creation of other jobs related to the industry such as web developers, graphic artists that specialize in computer graphics, YouTubers, basically the entire gaming industry, PLC programmers, I&E technicians the list goes on and on.
So I believe that it is safe to say that whatever jobs are taken by robots could very well help in the creation of new and better jobs.
More Free Time
We have watched as the average workweek shrink from a median 70-80 hour work week pre-industrial revolution to a 40 hour work week. People are still able to make a living but just don’t spend every waking hour slaving at a factory.
The same could very well be correct with the Industrial Revolution 2.0 as the robotic revolution is being called by experts in the robotics industry.
People freed from the burden of mundane and dangerous jobs forcing them into roles that require more mental agility and creativity also makes it possible to earn more while doing less.
There is one worry that is ever present, and that is robotics in military applications. We have seen the rise of drone bombers and even some development in mobile gun platforms. DARPA the organization that is the think tank and research and development group of the U.S. Department of Defense shows off a variety of robotic armaments in development.
Terminator style man-shaped robots and pack animals. However, it is still so early, and most of it may never come into play on an actual battlefield, at least not in this century.
Again expense comes into play. The robot “Big Dog” is a pack robot currently in development and testing with the United States Marine Corps. However, the way I see it is the military has spent several millions of dollars in developing what could easily be replaced by a horse. One that is incredibly expensive to produce and inevitably will fail in dirty environments.
It is a toy. Drone and bombers on the hand are not. They are incredibly effective at dropping ordinance on the enemy. The one factor that is handled and probably will always be handled by a human being is the decision to actually drop that bomb.
Kill orders are still verified and authorized by a person in control of the drones functions.
They are getting even better with time as well. The old “Predator” drone system is now something like twenty years old. There is a new aerial drone, X47b which also has a form of visual camouflage that is incredibly effective..
Utilizing advanced led to display video of the sky above itself on its undercarriage. This has lead to more sightings of UFOs around some of the U.S.’s high security and secretive military bases.
I have found one great post-apocalyptic short story featuring this beautiful machine here:
There are lots of examples of routine, middle-skilled jobs that involve relatively structured tasks, and those are the jobs that are being eliminated the fastest. Those kinds of jobs are easier for our friends in the artificial intelligence community to design robots to handle them. They could be software robots; they could be physical robots.
What jobs are robots taking?
Robots are primarily tasked with replacing workers in boring, repetitive or dangerous situations. They also take some jobs that require extreme precision.
Those jobs that put humans at risk or positions were a person can be replaced easily with someone else. In some instances, higher cognitive jobs, like analysts, are being replaced by a form of AI.
Stolen by robot: Assembly line, Retail/customer interaction, Long haul truck drivers, Customer service and office assistants. Warehouse workers, Some healthcare
What jobs do robots do?
Stockroom/whare house, Soldier.Pharmacist, Bomb squad, Journalist, Housekeeper
Jobs soon to be hardest hit: Insurance underwriters and claims representatives, Bank tellers/ representatives and traders, Farming
Most likely positions to be taken: Telemarketers, Bookkeeping clerks, Compensation and benefits managers,
Receptionists, Courier, Proofreaders, Computer support, Market research analyst
Will AI become more intelligent than humans?
It is possible. However, it will take a long time to develop fully. Possibly a century or more regardless of the speculations. You have to keep in mind that people in the 1950s believed that we would be driving around in flying cars by now. I’m still waiting for my hover car.
Speculation over future technology is often far ahead of its time and is usually way off the mark. The internet was developed as a system to share serious academic, scientific research and now is used to share videos of cats and babies. So there is the precedence of technology going off the rails.
The only thing is that we have been discussing what to do with robots before they were even a reality. Proflific Sci-Fi writer Isaac Asimov came up with the three rules of robotics when people envisioned robots shaped like cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew with arms like dryers hoses. We didn’t have robots or even computers.
The height of technology of the time was a propeller driven plane.
Don’t worry about robots taking over the world; it is too far away and is already being considered heavily by the people that can actually effect change. It takes a team of people to create one anyway, so the mad scientist scenario is one created by religious fanatics to dissuade advancement in science. But Technology is great.
If anything once the Robots take over we will be treated like a pet dog or cat. Laying around all day bored, eating food and scratching ourselves. Sign me up.
Still need a dose of Robotic uprising to make you quit your job, cash in that 401k and run to the hills to live as the last stand of humanity? Read this article: Ai Destroys Humanity.
Still need to know if a Robot is eyeballing your job? Find out here: https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/
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