We all know the economy's been taking a few gut-punches in recent years, and stories about "job creation" have become a staple in the news. Complicating the generally crap availability of worthwhile employment opportunities, a flood of advances in artificial intelligence and cheap robotics technology have provoked some rather scary conversations lately about the possibility of almost all routinized labor being replaced within the next 20 to 30 years by computerized and automated workers. Which jobs and careers are robots poised to take from us mere mortals in the not so distant future?
This scenario obviously has its pros and cons, but what we all want to know most urgently is, of course, "Will my own job be replaced by a robot some day soon?" Good question. Which jobs are most likely to be taken over by robots? Which jobs are the most secure from robot infiltration? Will service robots eventually, creepily outnumber actual human citizens?Scroll down to discover the answers to these questions and cast your votes for the jobs you think will disappear thanks to advances in technology. (I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.)
All those agonizing hours in high school spent memorizing the weird layout of your computer keyboard so you could type 70+ words per minute and support yourself through a drab existence of trying to get your novel published? It may soon turn out to be all for naught. With the growing proficiency of text recognition software and automated intelligence, companies paying people to do manual data entry may soon become a thing of the past.
Telephone operators are already a practically extinct species (who do you seriously know under the age of 50 who even has a landline anymore?) Obviously, the calls you make on your cell phone still need to be routed someplace, but this sort of thing is thankfully no longer accomplished by women in giant earphones manually connecting circuits by sticking phone plugs into things.
This might actually backfire, since it's way less satisfying for potential customers to scream angrily at an automated recording that's trying to sell them a magazine subscription than it is to scream at an actual human.
Fast Food Workers
Anybody who was forced to read Fast Food Nation in college knows these jobs are already designed to be done by untrained, interchangeable workers. Plus, robots don't cut out early on their shift, insult annoying customers, or complain about the black ooze that's been dripping out of the shake machine for three weeks.