Are Robots Taking Over Our Jobs?

The cruel reality is that most of the jobs today can be replaced by some sort of artificial intelligence or machine learning. If you’re in vulnerable states , your current job could be in jeopardy.

That’s not all together a bad thing.

Moore’s Law

The robot revolution began as computing capacity of microprocessors has exponentially increased over time, as described in Moore’s Law. The real question is what is to happen with all of the people? Robots can do the robotic and rote work better, more efficient, and less costly. With the raise of artificial intelligence, the human workers in professions like radiology, pharmacy, and law will be replaced by machines.

All is not lost!

“The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read, and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn” – Alvin Toffler

What makes us unique as humans is our creative ability. Unfortunately our education systems were developed during the industrial revolution to create compliant factory workers. Workers who could take directions and complete repetitive tasks.

Teachers were strict in making sure all the students colored within the lines. All creative express was extinguished, in favor of conformity. No need for creativity with warehouse employees, or manufacturing jobs. But this in not true! Many business have reinvented themselves because of the creative thinking of those employees. The ones who saw a different path which could save time and money.

Just like the conveyor belt cranks out widgets in factories, advancing digitalization will become the mechanism to drive productivity forward. We humans will be able to have time to think and create while traveling in our self-driving cars.

It is the emotional intelligence of workers that will make the difference in the future of work. The aging population in the United States will spur new jobs with people with such intelligence. They will become the compassionate caregivers. The current income inequality that caregivers experience will decrease due to the higher value of service they will be providing their patients.

Not everyone should code

The labor shortage that is predicted will be filled by those who can adapt and adjust. To think that the current call center worker just needs to retrain to code is missing the point. Even the coders will be out of a job by 2050.

In recent years, the push for STEM or STEAM classes in our schools is a band-aid approach to what real skills student are required to master.

Marty Neumeier talks about the 5 meta skills. These meta skills are what makes us human . We shouldn’t be afraid of being replaced if we start to embrace and master these talents that robotic systems cannot duplicate.

5 Meta Skills

  • Feeling- empathy and intuition
  • Seeing- the big picture- systems thinking
  • Dreaming- applied imagination
  • Making- design and prototyping
  • Learning- learn how to learn

We are living in the best possible time to expand our creativity and leave the drudgery to our robotic devices. New opportunities are opening up everyday to satisfy our curiosity.

So are the robots taking our job? YES and they can have them! There will be better jobs for humans to express their creativity and imagination that robots can’t compete.