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Thursday 26 July 2018

Robots Are Taking Over Our Jobs. You Should Be Prepared

Robots Are Taking Over Our Jobs. You Should Be Prepared 

The robot revolution is coming, and you best be prepared.
OK, that sounds a little more ominous than what I was going for. 
But let's face it: There's a lot of AI that runs our world, and it's only going to get worse (better?) as time goes by.
Case in point: Your job. Depending on how you feel about your 9-to-5 gig, that could be a blessing or a curse. 

1. At risk: Farm laborer

Picking crops like fruit and grains is often dirty, dangerous, difficult work. It's often hard to find people who want to do the work, too. Engadget says the agriculture industry has already put machine learning robots to work, and there are many other "farmbots" in development.  
Tough to say how robots look in cowboy boots though.

2. Safe: Clergy

Maybe you've attended a sermon in your life that felt like it was delivered by a drone. But according to NPR, ministers and their like will probably remain human for the foreseeable future. 

3. At risk: Travel agents.

With all the travel plans you can make online, it's hard to believe human travel agents still exist. And while MarketWatch says humans will never completely be removed from the industry's equation, technology is putting more and more of their business model at risk.

4. Safe: Doctors, dentists, and specialists

Maybe in a way distant future, an AI doc will scan your body, give you an immediate diagnosis, and dispense your pills, all in one visit. But for now, NPR says that stethoscopes will still be held by human hands.

5. At risk: Air traffic controllers

Again, one of those jobs that could benefit from a lack of human error. And if self-driving cars are already a thing, it's only a matter of time before self-flying planes follow suit. Plus, air traffic controllers are already in the top 10 list of jobs robots are doing, according to O*NET.

6. Safe: Occupational therapists 

If you're rehabbing after a major injury, you might feel better if the occupational therapist you're cursing has gears for guts. But that time is not quite here yet. According to NPR, there's only a 0.3 percent chance of those positions being automated. 

7. At risk: Plant and systems operators

Robots controlling our septic systems and nuclear plants might, hopefully, be a good idea in that there would be less chance for things to go boom. Plus, O*NET says these jobs are in the top 10 of positions already filled by robots.

8. Safe: Counselors

Though there are robots designed to feel empathyNPR claims that for now, the person you tell about your phobia of cats dressed as clowns will remain fully human.

9. At risk: Insurance claims examiner

It seems like you might need the human touch to examine a home or vehicle after an accident. But as technology evolves, robots may be the ones cutting you a claims check, as O*NET claims the role is already one of the most automated in America. 

10. Safe: Social workers

Probably a good profession not to farm out to dead-eyed AIs. When it comes to kids facing traumatic family situations, the human touch is still the best approach, and NPR says these jobs are barely at risk. 

11. At risk: Mail sorters

It's hard to believe this menial, repetitive task hasn't already been absorbed by robots. Maybe someday, robots will make sure your Amazon package doesn't arrive as though it'd survived WWIII. Plus, this job's No. 5 on O*NET's automation list.

12. Safe: Foresters

Maybe someday, Smokey Bear will become Smokey Robot. But for now, those caring for our forests and wild places will still have skin...and possibly fur. NPR says there's only a 0.8 percent chance of forest ranger jobs being automated.

13. At risk: Robotics engineers

Yeah, feel free to say "duh" at this one. Robots building other robots seems like a no-brainer. Although, it does feel a bit like The Matrix if you think about it too hard. And it occupies the No. 4 spot on O*NET's automated jobs list.

14. Safe: Mechanical engineers

If you're having trouble keeping your engineers straight, mechanical engineers build stuff like engines and elevators. And while it might seem like robots would be good at that, NPR says those jobs still need a human mind.

15. At risk: Telephone operators

If you're like me, you can't remember the last time you talked to a human phone operator. And robo callers are becoming more prevalent, which, according to NPR, endangers the jobs of the few human operators who remain. 

16. Safe: Teachers.

Although some countries, like Japan, have toyed with robot substitute teachers, most of those who will be shaping young minds will remain fully human. Of all teachers, NPR says high school, elementary, and preschool teachers have the lowest chance of being replaced, with teaching assistants at the highest risk. 

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