When Robots Steal Jobs: 7 Occupations Most at Risk of Being Replaced by Automation

June 20, 201712:44 pm658 views

A robot taking care of patients in the hospital, or a humanoid greeting customer at the reception desk are no longer objects of science fiction. Instead they are soon becoming popular culture, they are already coming to reality. As automation technologies are undergoing rapid development, it has dramatically changed the workplace landscape across sectors and activities.

Given the growing involvement of machine-learning robots in our everyday life, what kind of effects do they potentially bring to the workplace? What are the occupations at risk of being eliminated by robots?

Robots have increasingly taking over the workforce. From simple jobs such as taking orders from customers in fast-food chain restaurants, to more complex jobs such as constructing a brand new house within two months, more and more industries are relying on machines to deliver simpler, faster, and better performance.

Recent PwC study reveals that up to 38 percent existing jobs in the United States are susceptible to automation by 2030s, followed by German (35 percent), UK (30 percent), and Japan (21 percent). The survey notes that compared to other sectors, we will see the highest transformation in transport, manufacturing, wholesale and retail. Meanwhile, education, health and social work can expect lower penetration of robot workers.

Machines are now doing jobs that were once exclusively done by humans. If you think that only low-wage occupations are affected by the rise of artificial intelligence in the workplace, you need to reconsider this.

According to PwC study key findings, professionals and highly-skilled employees in sectors such as finance and marketing could see their job opportunities reduce over the next decade. Here are 7 occupations most at risk of being replaced by automation:

See: Dawn of Automation Age: How to Achieve the Right Balance between People and Machines?

  1.    Drivers

Autonomous cars that can run without human input have already been developed by giant technology companies in the world, such as Google. Driver-less vehicles that require limited human control are designed to increase safety on the road, which helps save more time when commuting to work.

  1.    Information clerks

Every business owner will fancy the idea of increasing their product sales, while reducing the costs to pay the employees at the same time. Self-service machine and virtual store clerks will be employed to cut off operational budgets. Effective and cost-efficient, you can expect to see more robots taking over the role as information clerks and even guides in the near times.

  1.    Workers in manufacturing

Right from manufacturing of small and cheap stuffs such as making screws to the bigger and more expensive ones such as assembling cars, robots are increasingly used in the manufacturing industry. Able to implement efficient, accurate, and detailed performance, AI-powered machines will deplete huge number of human manufacturing workforce in the future.

  1.    Salesperson

Sales and marketing functions are undergoing a paradigm shift with the coming of big data and analytics. Relying on these machines to conduct data collection activities, business leaders can deliver better customer experience and engage them with their products or services.

Technology-driven retailers are believed to carry out well-organised data processing and help in the decision-making process.

  1.    Writers and journalists

Robots are coming to the publishing industry as well. As they can be programmed to read data and analyse particular patterns from many kind of research materials, machines are able to produce systematic, quick and readable writings.

  1.    Artists and entertainers

Within the past few years, Hollywood filmmakers are embracing CGI (computer-generated imagery) technique as part of their attempts to create factual and vivid depiction of particular images, characters, and backgrounds. Hologram technology also enables to ‘revive’ deceased artists, such as how legendary American hip hop singer, Tupac Shakur, was resurrected in a concert at the Coachella music festival in 2012.

  1.    Construction workers

As stated previously, manual labour occupations cannot escape the threat of machine and automation. Able to work faster than human workers and tirelessly, robotic bricklayers are going to replace humans in the construction industry.

Read also: Reshaping HR and Businesses through Automation and AI

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