2 years ago5,000+ Views
Will Robots Steal Our Jobs?
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.
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This is true. Robots are already taking over our jobs, starting with the manual ones. How far they will go? it all depends on how smart they become; they are getting smarter, but the limit is still debatable. Norbert Wiener predicted this issue 50 years ago working on this field. however, he maintained that giving robots our jobs, which most of us hate, will give us the luxury to work in more meaningful, and more interesting jobs. One could claim that without jobs, people will struggle satisfying the first of the human needs; survival. in this case, I will be interested in the following question: with no consumers, who will payoff the investment of the wealthy (on such robots)? let's argue that the wealthy figures out a way to a cornucopia (they figure out how to eliminate the consumer from the equation, where they invest to get what they want (cars, yachts, food, etc) directly and not the money to buy these things, and at the same time, their resources that they can invest again are not decreased after each investment). If they dont find this cornucopia, they will die with us after they loose all their resources satisfying their needs or wants. If they don't, and they are smart, they will accept some compromise as to balance the economy again. After all, I think the question that we must ask is whether we are doing economics right, not whether robots will take our jobs. The current economics will soon become obsolete, if not already. Change is coming, and we ourselves have to take the initiative and invent the economy that works for our time.
2 years ago·Reply
@safeer you bring up some very good points! the truth is that technology has made work obsolete time and time again. The printing press meant that people didn't need to write books by hand anymore. It made books cheaper- so more people were reading. And all those people who were hand-copying books had more time to write new ones. An opposite example is the cotton gin. It meant that people didn't have to hand-pick seeds from cotton, which should have equaled less work for the laborers. However the people doing that labor were slaves, so what ended up happening is that their prior work was valued even less and they ended up having increased demands. It was because the people doing the work and the people benefitting from it were not the same group- and the people that owned the machinery didn't share the profits with the people working beneath them. The question now is what you asked: is our economy functioning correctly? Are the people doing the labor getting the same value out of their investment as the people who own the machinery that makes work easier, faster, and more efficient?
2 years ago·Reply
@danidee do you think this world will end up like the movie wall-e???
2 years ago·Reply
@YoooCarlow I would like to think there'd be some regulations put in place before we got to that point! Hahaha
2 years ago·Reply
@danidee I would let Chewbacca babysit. Obviously he's not a robot. I just wanted to put that out there as an alternative solution. :-D
2 years ago·Reply