2 years ago5,000+ Views
So, I just read a staggering statistic that I think the rest of you would be equally WTF?! over. According to a study sponsored by the World Economic Forum, humans will be losing an approximate 5.1 million jobs to robots within the next five years.
The study examined 15 different economies across the world, who combined make about 65% of the international workforce. Due to the upward trend of technology and service-oriented robotics, about 7 million jobs will be lost. However, 2 million will be gained due to the progress of technology in these different nations.
As of right now, robots and machinery have begun taking over more general jobs, like cashiers. However, as they become more and more widespread, the World Economic Forum believes that these robots will become smarter and more specialized.

"As entire industries adjust, most occupations are undergoing a fundamental transformation. While some jobs are threatened by redundancy and others grow rapidly, existing jobs are also going through a change in the skill sets required to do them."

A Business Insider report backed up study, adding that the jobs they believe are most at risk are ones involving data entry or more clerical-style operations, including pharmacists, lawyers and paralegals, drivers, astronauts, store clerks, soldiers, babysitters, rescuers, and sportswriters.
(The idea of astronauts being replaced by robots is seriously depressing to me. Space travel is so exciting because humans are doing it!)
CNN also cited a Bank of America sponsored study that added more jobs to the list: bakers, butchers, tour guides, tax collectors, telemarketers, insurance sales agents, retail salespeople, clerks, accountants, and pharmacy technicians. It also added that the manufacturing industry will see a huge boom in robot workforce, increasing 35% by 2025.

"To prevent a worst-case scenario – technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality – reskilling and upskilling of today's workers will be critical. It is simply not possible to weather the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation's workforce to become better prepared."

The good news is that there are still plenty of jobs that are pretty unlikely to be replaced by robots any time soon. Anything involving the arts, empathy, or intuition - such as social work, teaching, or police work - require a type of human interaction that robots just can't replicate. (So next time you're teased about your 'worthless' liberal arts degree, feel free to let them know about the impending robot revolution.)

So what do you guys think? Are robots really going to be taking over so much so quickly? Do you think the government should have any say over how much robotics is used?

Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow the WTF Street Journal collection.
@ShinigamiSan @ZacharyStewart @BeannachtOraibh Stephen Hawking had some pretty good thoughts on this (which I'll paraphrase) we shouldn't fear innovation and technology, we should fear the people that control it. There have been plenty of innovations in the past decades that should in theory have made human labor easier and more valuable. Automated check-out is something a machine can do, but only a human can write an amazing book for example. In theory all of these machines taking over labor that is necessary for our survival but not particularly fulfilling (like data entry, farming, retail, and driving) would mean that humans would have more time to do different work. This has been a problem for a long time: We have plenty of food- but instead of prices going down due to the surge in supply, we throw it away.
Hmmmm. I'm curious as to how babysitters & drivers are at the top of the list... I mean I personally wouldn't leave my child with one. Or trust one doing 100km on the highway. It can be quite the game of Think fast. Pothole! here. I kinda thought the entire population would think the same as me on those 2 in general though... Did a robot come up with those stats? Sounds suspiciously like one did. Lol.
You made a really awesome point @shannonl5. I actually think that it's something I fear too, but I really shouldn't. I think that while robots might take some of our jobs, that could leave more opportunity for education, innovation, and NEW job creation. There are plenty of jobs out there that require human brains, not just robotic jobs. I think this might actually leave room for us to create those jobs!
My ISP is about this. I'm currently studying the effects that artificial intelligence will have on our economy in the next 15 years. It is indeed true. @ZacharyStewart
Didn't this type of fear happened before the rise of computer and internet? Online streaming pretty much wiped out the whole video industry (blockbuster anyone?), digitalization made tape recorder and Kodak almost obsolete, but are we worse off? New technologies create new opportunities, we just adapt. There's always gonna be technology advancements therefore changes to the workforce.
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