The Risk of Robots

—Harrison Kostoff, Web Editor—

It’s 2018 and now more than ever the human race is launching farther and farther into the technology and computer controlled society old sci-fi films and books used to

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Photo courtesy of toysrus.com

fantasize over. Along with human all these technological developments comes robotics and robotic automation, one of the most intriguing but also scary developments that there is to offer. Already robots are being used for a whole lot of things like working assembly lines, organizing and managing storage warehouses, toys for

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children to play with and robots are even starting to be used in the military. So by the sound of it robots are amazing and can prove to be useful to society in numerous ways, but is this always the case? When robots are developed to offer any service, that means that the living persons who normally provide that service are going to start losing their jobs to those robots. This has already happened to a handful of different industries like the automobile industry, which is mostly labored via robots on assembly lines. So should you be worried about losing the job you already have or want to pursue in the future? Let’s find out.

High Risk Jobs

In general, jobs that are at high risk of being taken over by robots are those that don’t require a significant amount of education and those that don’t require as much person to person connection or any sort of human analyzation.

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One of the first jobs that will most likely be completely automated would be fast food. Already due to automation, McDonald’s has cut the amount of people in their staff by about half. Not only McDonald’s but Wendy’s has also started automation their restaurants, and even though it’s not technically fast food certain gas stations such as Wawa and Sheetz have touch screens you can order food on. For these companies it makes sense, it’s a whole lot easier and cheaper for a fast food company to just install a touchscreen to take peoples orders than hire someone who has a salary and could be prone to making mistakes. All the same it’s easier for fast food companies to install an assembly line of robotic arms to cook burgers and fries than hire a real person who again could make mistakes negatively impacting customers.

Similar to cashiers, toll booth operators are at high risk of their jobs being automated. In fact this has already happened on a pretty large scale; E-ZPass is a little box you put in your car that is connected to your bank account and when you drive under an E-ZPass available toll lane there are sensors that scan your E-ZPass and charge whatever the toll costs to your bank account. It can be assumed that in the near future the small amount of tolls that are still manned by a living person will be replaced by touch screens or some other form of automation.

Even though there’s many other jobs at risk, the last one in this section of the article

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Photo courtesy of robots.com

would be transportation. Although they’re not developed yet but in fact still in development, fully automated or self-driving cars are the whole reason people in transportation are at risk. Taxi drivers in the cities and Uber drivers across the country will all eventually be out of their jobs. In fact, Uber let out a statement stating that they’re going to construct a fleet of self-driving cars in hopes that one day all of their business will be powered from those fully automated cars. On the brighter side those who aren’t transporting people but things like merchandise instead will probably have their jobs a little longer since there’s no robots that can both operate a vehicle as well as pack and unload merchandise into and out of a vehicle. At least there’s no robots that do that, yet.

Low Risk Jobs

Some of the safest jobs are those in entertainment and art. For example sports coaches don’t have to worry about any robots taking their jobs since their job requires them to be able to help their players improve and be able to tell which of their players are fitted for certain roles. No current computing software is capable of doing that, not to say they won’t be able to in the future. Those who are in the music industry are definitely safe from losing their jobs to automation. There is AI computer software capable of creating beats on its own however there’s no software that is capable of composing a song, that’s up to the creative minds of human songwriters.

Social worker jobs are also considerably safe. Most social workers have to connect with their customers in order to do their job. Obviously since robots have no emotion they aren’t capable of handling jobs such as this, and until there’s AI that’s capable of feeling human emotions this job will never be automated.

Finally, people in the medical field are pretty safe when it comes to them keeping their jobs. People like surgeons could not be replaced by robots because any mistakes made in this field could be fatal. Plus nurses are supposed to be hospitable and friendly towards their patients which wouldn’t be easy to do if you were a robot.

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Photo courtesy of disney.wikia.com

The world of robotics is growing and as a society we need to think ahead as to how we will adapt to the changing world around us, if we don’t the results could be terrifying. Hopefully now when you think about your career you’ll think about what that career will look like in the near future, and if it will stay a job for living breathing people or become one ran by clangy metallic robots.