If you’re a bookkeeper, then your job has a 97.6% chance of being automated in the future. That is the prediction from an ingenious calculator based on research from Oxford University. Although the research was published two years ago, its predictions appear to be pretty accurate. Read on to find out more about the calculator and the key highlights from the research.
Will Your Job Be Automated?
The calculator allows you to work out the probability of your job being automated in the next two decades. Over 700 different jobs were analysed for a variety of traits and creative intelligence, social intelligence, perception, manipulation and negotiation were found to be the key predictors of automation. Also factored into the algorithm were expected improvements in automation within the different fields over the next two decades.
Use the calculator to find out if your job is at risk of automation and have a look below for some of the study’s interesting findings.
Key Highlights From The Research
- Nearly half of all US jobs are at “high risk” of automation over the next two decades.
- Jobs with high requirements for creative intelligence, social intelligence (including jobs that require human help), perception and manipulation and negotiation are the least likely to be supplanted by machines over the next two decades.
- Surprisingly, the study’s algorithms predicted that waiters and waitresses would be at high risk of being replaced by robots, despite their high levels of social interaction – placing the risk of automation at 93.7% (due to the low level of creative intelligence required). Indeed, some restaurants are already streamlining their waiting staff, by using tablets to take food orders.
- Computers will principally substitute low-skill and low-wage occupations over the next decade or two. High-skill and high-wage jobs are the least likely to be at risk of automation.
- Jobs that are not at high risk of automation will still use automation, especially to process large amounts of data. This is already the case in the field of law, where algorithms are used in place of paralegals or contractors to scan legal briefs. And in some medical specialisations such as oncology, computers are used to sift through swathes of patient data to look for patterns and recommend treatments for individual patients.
- Robots can already be programmed to determine quality thanks to the increasing sophistication of robot sensors. Spanish food processor El Dulze uses robots to collect lettuce heads from a conveyor belt, discarding those that do not meet its quality standards (achieved by measuring density levels).
- Commercial robots are increasingly being taken out of the factory environment and brought into ’social’ environments, where they are used to perform a variety of service tasks in areas such as deliveries, food preparation, elderly care and commercial cleaning.
- Even the work of software engineers will eventually become supplanted by computers, and they will function “with a reliability that humans are unlikely to match”. Eventually, algorithms may be able to write computer programmes to human specifications, the study posits.
Takeaways From The Study
Technology on the move
ust a few years ago many of us would have laughed at the prospect of self-driving cars, but who’s laughing now? And we’d have raised our eyebrows at the idea of telemarketing robots. But they’re here – ask Samantha West (or, better still, listen to the hilarious recordings on TIME in which she denies she’s a robot).
Robots are no longer restricted to performing manual tasks
To date, technological advances have been restricted to the mechanisation of manual tasks, for example in manufacturing, packing, agriculture, construction and maintenance, but this is changing.
Today, technological progress can be expected to contribute to cognitive endeavours and low-wage service occupations, which until now have remained within the human domain. Computers are constantly challenging human labour in a wide range of knowledge and service-based tasks.
Why not use the calculator to check out your job’s risk of automation?