I, Robot: Soon to become an automated reality?
Quicker, faster and tireless. As much as I’d like to think those adjectives apply to me, they really describe robotics and automation. It’s hard to compete with an entity who doesn’t take a break, won’t complain about the work schedule and is more than willing to start early and stay late. Automation may not threaten your job today, but oh baby the time is coming.
According to a study conducted by the World Economic Forum, automation and robots will eliminate over 5 million jobs within the next five years. Not a pleasant thought, especially if you have the type of job that could be performed for less money and with more efficiency with an automated machine.
Does your job make the list?
An interactive chart (below) prepared by the McKinsey Global Institute demonstrates just how automation can potentially replace certain work fields based on the tasks usually associated with each job. The MGI model is based on data from the 2014 US Bureau of Labor Statistics and shows different occupation fields, their average wages, how many workers there are in the US, as well as how much of that occupation can be automated.
Rapidly changing core skill sets
It’s a hairy thought to say the least.
If there’s a positive side to all this, the report issued by the World Economic Forum points out that technological disruptions due to robotics and machine learning, contrary to completely replacing existing occupations and job categories, will actually free up employees to focus on new tasks and leading to rapidly changing core skill sets in many of the at-risk occupations singled out in the MGI chart (related charts and info can be seen here).
Better brush up on some new skills
In the meantime, we’d all do well to commit ourselves to learning secondary job skills in the short term and dedicating ourselves to lifelong learning in the long term. With job-market competition coming from a robot instead of the individual we share a desk with, it certainly can’t hurt.
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