Perhaps the single-most susceptible job (98% chance of automation), many banks are already using computer programs that analyze risk assessment and loan default probability using complex algorithms. Say goodbye to the days of having a sympathetic George Bailey sitting across the table from you. Photo by National Assembly for Wales / Cynulliad Cymru.
Answering phones? Computerized. Dishing out information at various kiosks? Computerized. Sorting through email correspondence? Computerized. Like it or not, the days of having a friendly human voice on the other end of the phone are limited and fading fast. 96% chance of automation. Photo by gagilas.
Pouring over documents, email, legal case studies, spreadsheets, and various other records used to be a time-consuming and expensive part of litigation. Lawyers passed this grunt work over to paralegals and assistants, but once again, we are seeing computers with complicated programming take over. Lawyers can simply input keywords and job parameters into the system, and have it done in a flash. 94% chance of automation. Photo by maveric2003.
The retail landscape has been changing for some time now, with online shopping grabbing an ever-increasing piece of the pie. Companies like Amazon make shopping from home the easier - and often cheaper - choice. Physical retail stores, while not in decline just yet, are not seeing much growth either. 92% chance of automation. Photo by La Cita Vitta.
Remember all those automatic and self-driving cars in science fiction movies? Well, they are (almost) finally a reality. We already have cars that parallel park for you, and several companies (including Google) are working on fully-automated cars that rely on a strong system of sensors (to detect traffic, pedestrians, and other obstacles) and read microchips embedded in the road. The future is now...or almost now. 89% chance of automation. Photo by Wolfgang Lonien
The necessity of a live, human security guard is quickly fading. While it might be a few years before walking and talking robots take over the job, most businesses are opting for complex surveillance systems that can monitor, record, and assist (by notifying local authorities) when required. The days of grainy, blurry video footage captured on cheap VHS tapes are long, long gone. Security systems today are high definition, and often utilize face recognition software amongst a bevy of high tech upgrades. 84% chance of automation. Photo by Ethan Prater.
Machines (or simple robots, if you prefer) are perfect for carrying out repetitive tasks, like making a hamburger the same way over and over again. Or salting french fries. Or stirring and dispersing milkshakes. You won’t have Rosie from "The Jetsons" taking your order this month, but you just might see a machine flipping burgers and squirting on ketchup, and soon. 81% chance of automation. Photo by JohnSeb.
Similar to fast food cooks, bartenders repeat the same task (or group of tasks) throughout their shift. A machine can be taught thousands of cocktail recipes. It can pour and distribute beer. It can wash glasses via a conveyor belt system. Where it falls short is handing out advice, or flirting with the customers, and that would be a loss to humanity. 77% chance of automation. Photo by gagilas.
Similar to the loan officer, a computer program can complete this job faster, more efficiently, and with better access and understanding of existing data. It can analyze a clients financial situation, looking at thousands of records and transactions, and couple it with and against various financial markets and strategies. Instantly. 58% chance of automation. Photo by LendingMemo.
No, I’m not talking about self-replicating and self-aware computers (yet). A computer can be taught to write programs for other computers, so long as it understands the parameters and programming language. 48% chance of automation. Photo by houdini_cs.
Well, it looks the Age of Machines is just about upon us. The Terminator-style extinction of mankind can't be far behind, right?
Relax. We have some time left. However, a recent study by the University of Oxford has found that many jobs and industries will be heavily affected by computer automation in the next 10-20 years.
Jobs that require data analysis are some of the most affected. Likewise for positions that require simple, repetitive actions and labour with step-by-step instructions. How long until a robot serves a beer at your local watering hole? Probably sooner than you think.
There are some areas with little or no impact, though. Jobs requiring manual dexterity - like oral surgeons, make-up artists, and fire fighters - are safe (for now, but computers and machines get more complex all the time). The same is true for creative positions, like choreographers, writers, and curators. These areas clock in at well under a 20% chance of automation, and many of them actually received a probability score of UNDER 1%.
Another safe zone is anything requiring social perception skills, like mental health professionals, clergy, and coaches. These jobs require an acute understanding of human behaviour and condition...something that computers don't yet comprehend. Jobs in these industries have a chance of automation in the 0.3-1.3% range.
Will we be better off? Who knows? The only thing we can say with absolute certainty is that a change is coming, whether we like it or not.
So, how safe is your job?