Meet Sparks. He is a robot. And he is your new manager.
Sound crazy? Maybe not. According to a new report published by the Boston Consulting Group, the percentage of robots taking over manual labour will increase from 10% today to nearly 25% by 2025.
Well-paid jobs in the automotive sector, computer and electronic products, electrical equipment and machinery are slowly being replaced by robots and computers.
Computers aren’t just taking over our factories. They are digitizing our restaurants as well. The University of Oxford stated there is a 92% chance fast food preparation and service will become automated in a few decades. Applebee’s, Chili’s and other restaurants allow customers to buy food on a tablet without having to talk to a waiter. (Am I still expected to tip the tablet for good service?). Panera Bread announced they will be replacing their cashiers with kiosks. They are following the same path as our grocery stories, many of whom offer self-serve automated cashiers.
One American robotics firm claims is has created a machine that can produce 360 hamburgers per minute. I’m not sure if I would want to eat one of those burgers, but with technology like this, who needs to hire a cook?
Delivery representatives and truckers may become extinct as well. Amazon.com wants to send unmanned drones to your home and deliver packages. Companies are designing cars that drive by themselves.
Actors have reason to be worried too. Animators can create cartoons that looks just like human beings. Who needs a director to recast a scene several dozen times when you can just tweak their expression in a software program? Who needs live celebrities like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie when you have a brand icon like Laura Croft from the popular video game Tomb Raider?
Robots, machines and computers taking over jobs is nothing new. Over the past 200 years, automated robots have been taking over work that used to be done by humans and animals. But the pace is getting a lot faster.
The theory is that workers who are displaced by robots will be retrained and find new jobs. Easy, right? Well, not exactly. Let’s say you spent three years earning a diploma. You worked for five years in the field only to be displaced by a sleek new super-computer. That means you have to go back to school again to earn another three-year degree. How many times do you have to go back to school to establish your career? People lose a considerable amount of earning potential when they spend half of their working lives in school.
We need to make sure new technology doesn’t disrupt people’s jobs and their working lives to the point where people have to spend half of their working lives in school instead of working.