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.)
- 1157 VOTES
Telephone OperatorTelephone 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.
- 2162 VOTES
Data EntryAll 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.
- 3152 VOTESMany places like grocery stores already have auto-checkout kiosks, and this trend will likely continue, leaving customers with an increasingly harrowing vulnerability to getting accidentally screwed out of red-sticker prices or receiving incorrect change.
- 4140 VOTES
Bank TellerLike cashiers and clerks, bank tellers provide few services that can't be performed more efficiently by computers. Now instead of waiting in line for hours to hand a check to a person in a little vest with a fake smile on their face, you'll be waiting the same amount of time for the elderly, confused, and passive-aggressively slow bank patrons in front of you to figure out how to use a touchscreen.
- 5142 VOTES
TelemarketerThis 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.
- 6165 VOTES
Fast Food WorkersAnybody 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.