Artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and robotics are just a few pieces of futuristic technology available today that will fundamentally disrupt the way we work and alter the way we live. Countless bold ideas that used to be just figments of peoples’ imaginations are now adding to and taking from the workforce. Know these bold impact of technology on labour.
Through such impressive technologies, experts predict a large number of jobs may soon become partially, or even completely obsolete. And it’s not just tech-related work – even seemingly unrelated jobs like cashiering and driving cabs are slowly taken over by innovative ideas displacing manual labor.
Could a Machine Do Your Job?
Automation efforts involving advanced robotics, AI, and the like may impact various sectors throughout the United States and the rest of the world. A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that automation may end up dominating as many as 45% of jobs in the US, possibly affecting up to $2 trillion in yearly salaries. In fact, autonomous trucking alone may hypothetically deem 3.5 million driver jobs obsolete.
Even some of the most unexpected jobs could feel the tech shakeup. For example, AI may soon take over the work of bank tellers, going beyond what the usual ATM can do. “The ATM of tomorrow is going to replace the teller,” proclaimed Andy Mattes, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of financial software company Diebold Nixdorf. “It can do approximately 90% of what the human being can do, and it’s going to be your branch in a box.”
Other work such as that of financial analysts and insurance underwriters are in trouble. Surprisingly, the work of manufacturers and construction workers are also in danger, as well as those of farmers and taxi drivers. Interestingly, VR and AI can also affect jobs in recruitment, journalism, and even acting jobs in Hollywood.
Quite recently, Lucasfilm revolutionized the use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) when they resurrected Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (the same film featured a CGI of 21-year-old Carrie Fisher as Princes Leia).
Some of the top economists even recently sat at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conference discussing AI and the future of work. Some addressed many peoples’ concern that AI could take away many jobs, and many debated what kind of bold impacts tech has on productivity. Daron Acemoglu, a Professor at the MIT Department of Economics, gave a notable statement on why even though technology may displace certain workers, it can also take them to complementary production areas.
With Every Loss Comes Opportunity
One of the most well-known clichés around states, “when a door closes, another one opens.” No matter the variant of the quote, the basic message is each loss eventually transforms into a different opportunity. This goes the same for jobs and how tech has been disrupting it for years.
Take gas stations, for instance. Today, New Jersey is the only state left that requires a filling station attendant to pump your gas – the 49 others have self-serve gas stations that has been a norm for years. When a gas-delivering robot was introduced in Colorado in 1964, the industry was changed forever. What started in the era as an interesting disruption on a simple gas pumping task pretty much vaporized the job within the next 30 years.
True, the loss of thousands of gas pumping jobs back then was devastating for people who did that for a living. However, its broader impact was positive for everyone else. While gas attendants were lost, companies such as Bennett Pump Co. in Michigan, Gilbarco Veeder-Root in North Carolina, and Wayne Fueling Systems in Texas required workers to produce the hardware and software for modern, automated, sophisticated gas pumps. This is just one example of how automation shakes up an industry by destroying jobs but eventually opening new and sometimes even better jobs for those who lost them.
There is an inevitable fear that robots and AI can take jobs, but the future helps create ways for more human jobs. It is understandable that the growing anxiety regarding AI has a grain of truth to it, this disruptive innovation can actually help cultivate an even better economy – one that is flexible and can easily adapt to various bold technological changes.