Are robots - or, more specifically, specially designed computers and technology - going to make your job obsolete? Recently, researchers at Oxford attempted to answer this question scientifically. They measured a variety of jobs for three attributes that they might require: social intelligence, creativity, and perception and manipulation. The less your job requires these, the greater the likelihood that robots will eventually replace you-and 47% of all jobs are at risk. Here are ten professions, according to the researchers, that will likely be "computerized" in the future.
The Oxford study says the probability is 84%. It might seem odd to imagine Paul Blart, Mall Cop being replaced by a robot, but in fact this technology has already been developed and implemented. According to the MIT tech review, the K5 security prototype "uses cameras, sensors, navigation equipment, and electric motors ”” all packed into its dome-shaped body with a big rechargeable battery and a computer. There are four high-definition cameras (one on each side of the robot), a license-plate recognition camera, four microphones, and a weather sensor (which looks like a DVD-player slot) for measuring barometric pressure, carbon dioxide levels and temperature. The robots use Wi-Fi or a wireless data network to communicate with each other." Another benefit of robot guards - they are less likely to be racist bullies.
There's an 85% chance robots are going to replace the technicians operating our nuclear power plants. It might sound frigthening, but like the robot security guards, it's already happening. Because of radiation concerns, it's probably safer for humans if they don't get involved.
Clocking in at 86%, it's pretty easy to see why realtors will have to go eventually. Thanks to websites, they're no longer needed to show buyers what houses are available. We don't even need to drive by to get a look at the neighborhood, thanks to Google Street View. What about setting up appointments and actually showing the house? We're already building robots that do that too.
We've known for a while that big companies use machination on their giant assembly lines, but now robots are being built to replace bakers are small Mom & Pop bakeries, too. The Oxford study says 89% probability, and with the technology already available and commercially successful, it's hard to argue.
Companies like Uber and Lyft seem to be poised to replace taxis in the near future, thanks to the fact that technology has eliminated the need to know directions. But recently, Uber has announced that they plan to replace their own drivers with robots. And if Uber doesn't do it, Google will. The Oxford study says 89%, which if anything appears to be a conservative estimate.
Preparing and dispensing pills doesn't require any of the special skills that the Oxford study tested, so it's no surprise that they clock in at 92%. And yes, robot pharmacists are already operating right now. And it's safe to say, they'll probably get tired less often and make less fatigue-related mistakes than humans.
Similar to bakers, most large scale versions of this job have already been automated. But now your local deli's meat slicer is being replaced as well. Yes, once again, the technology is already being used. The Oxford Study says the risk is 93%.
Computers were designed to be number crunchers, so it's no surprise that they can balance a checkbook more efficiently than a human. A recent CNBC article entitled "Would You Trust a Robot to Manage Your Money?" explores the trend of firms already employing automation of financial advice. The Oxford Study says the risk is 94%, and I'm guessing they used a computer to calculate that number.
Bad calls are a constant source of complaints among sports fans. Whether by human error or by outright corruption, a bad ref can ruin a game. Robots taking over this job could restore a sense of balance, as nobody could accuse a silicon umpire of favoring the home team. The Oxford Study says it's a 98% risk for computerization.
Few would shed tears if telemarketers, one of the most reviled groups in America, lost their jobs to robots. But the way the automation is occurring, most of us won't be able to tell. The title of the Time article says it all: "Meet the Robot Telemarketer Who Denies She's a Robot." That's right - robots are being trained to use speech recognition to make unsolicited calls just like a human being would. The Oxford study says computerization will occur, with a 99% certainty, the very highest on the list.