In TV shows like the Jetsons, it seems really cool to have a robot worker. Not sure how much George was paying Rosie; but it didn’t have much work to do with all of the computerized house gadgets. In the movies, however, robots tend to take on more active career roles.
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In WALL·E, there’s the happy go-lucky waste collecting robot who accidentally ends up on a space voyage that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. There is no doubt that this type of robot is needed in the workplace. Then there are the movies, “Robo Cop” and “Robo Cop2” that features a Detroit cop who emerges as a robot after being fatally wounded on the job. Not sure, there is a need for more “Robo Cops”; but it might work. On the other hand, in “I, Robot,” a bunch of psycho robot workers become threats to the humans that they work for.
So what do you think about automating the workforce?
Well, it may not be limited to the big screen for much longer. According to a new report co-authored by Oxford University academics, a robot worker may be coming to a cubicle near you in the very near future. And the problem is that the robot might even replace you. Here’s a look at how an automated robot workforce could come to “terminate” your job in the future.
Rise of the Machines
Hopefully, you will not have to hire a robot to travel back in time to protect your job from a crazy robotic assassin like in "Terminator 3" because the rush to build a robotic workforce is already underway. For example, in countries like China, a shortage of blue-collar workers, has led the struggling country to develop and utilize robots in thousands of factories, according to The New York Times.
“Waves of migrant workers from the countryside filled China’s factories for the last three decades and helped make the nation the world’s largest manufacturer,” says The New York Times. “But many companies now find themselves struggling to hire enough workers.”
Chinese businesses and the government are responding, says The New York Times, by creating and positioning large numbers of robots, with the “goal of keeping factories running and growing without necessarily causing a drop in overall employment”. The reason there are not enough workers in China is because of the government’s “one child” policy and the swift development of the country’s university system, says The New York Times.
According to The New York Times, there were over 25 million undergraduates enrolled in college last December, and almost a quarter of China’s young people now attend at least some university. The average age for a factory worker in China and in other developing countries ranges from 18 to 24, according to The New York Times. So that’s why a rising number of companies, says The New York Times, are finding it less costly to build robots to replace workers than either paying ever-higher wages or moving to another country. So what about the use of robots for other industries?
You should definitely be concerned about the more advanced robots like the cyborg that was made out of liquid metal in “Terminator 2”.
“Jobs that are considered creative today may not be so tomorrow,” according to the report, Creativity versus Robots, written with Nesta, a London-based non-profit research and innovation group.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the report, which was released last week, explores the possibility of automated robots taking over the workforce, while trying to guess which occupations are creative enough to elude near-term automation or termination. Out of the over 700 occupations classified in the U.S., over 20 percent ranked as “highly creative,”–offering the most protection against automation, says The Wall Street Journal.
The jobs that could potentially be dominated by an overzealous robot include office administrators, call-center staff, librarians, cattle and crop farmers, loggers, miners, car salesmen, and hotel staff, according to the report.
“The results strongly confirm the intuition that creative occupations are more future– proof to computerization,” the report states. According to the report, the following five jobs are safe from robot supremacy:
Translators and interpreters (5.8 percent)
Performing artists (7 percent)
Radio broadcasters (7.7 percent)
Film and TV producers (8 percent)
R&D on natural sciences (10.9 percent)
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Do you think that your job is in danger of being taken over by robots? Or is it too creative? Your thoughts and comments below please...