What Will Happen When Robots Take Over Jobs

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What Will Happen When Robots Take Over Jobs – Like many children, my sons Toby (7) and Anton (4) are obsessed with robots. In children’s bedtime books, happy and helpful robots appear more often than even dragons or dinosaurs. One day I asked Toby why kids like robots so much.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that one day he might work for them – or, I’m afraid, he might not work for them.

What Will Happen When Robots Take Over Jobs

What Will Happen When Robots Take Over Jobs

It’s not just Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking talking about the rise of invincible machines. Yes, robots have the potential to outsmart us and destroy humanity. But for one thing, artificial intelligence may make several professions obsolete by the time my kids are in their 20s.

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You don’t have to be Marty McFly to see the obvious threat to our children’s future careers.

Let’s say you dream of sending your daughter to Yale Medical School to become a radiologist. And why not? Radiologists in New York typically earn about $470,000, according to Salary.com.

But that job suddenly seems precarious as A.I. getting better at reading scans. The startup Arterys, to cite just one example, already has a program that can perform an MRI analysis of blood flow through the heart in just 15 seconds, compared to the 45 minutes it takes for humans.

Maybe she wants to be a surgeon, but that job may not be safe either. According to Scientific American, robots are already helping surgeons remove damaged organs and cancerous tissue. Last year, a prototype of the STAR (Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot) robot surgeon beat human surgeons in a test in which both had to repair the severed intestine of a living pig.

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Robots assemble vehicle frames on assembly lines at the Peugeot Citroën Moteur factory. Credit… Sebastien Bozon/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

So maybe your daughter is going to law school to become a corporate lawyer on a rainy day. The sky is overcast in this profession as well. Any legal work that involves reviewing a lot of documents on a daily basis (and that’s a lot of what lawyers do) is vulnerable.

The software is already being used by companies including JPMorgan Chase & Company to scan legal documents and predict which documents are relevant, saving tons of billable hours. Kira Systems, for example, has reportedly cut the time it takes some lawyers to review contracts by 20 to 60 percent.

What Will Happen When Robots Take Over Jobs

As a matter of professional survival, I want to assure my children that journalism is immune, but that is clearly a delusion. The Associated Press has already used a program from Automated Insights to create valid copy covering Wall Street earnings and some college sports, and bots were awarded minor league baseball hits last year.

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What about other glamorous jobs like airline pilot? Also, last spring, a robotic co-pilot developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as Darpa, flew and landed a simulated 737. I don’t really find that surprising since commercial Boeing 777 pilots spend, according to a 2015 survey. only seven minutes of average flight time to actually fly the thing. As we enter the age of driverless cars, could drones be far behind?

Then there’s Wall Street, where the robots are already doing their best to push Gordon Gekko out of his corner office. Major banks use software programs that can recommend rates, create hedges and act as robo-economists, using natural language processing to analyze central bank comments to predict monetary policy, according to Bloomberg. BlackRock, the world’s largest mutual fund company, struck back earlier this year when it announced it would replace some of its highly paid human stock pickers with computer algorithms.

Am I paranoid then? Or not paranoid enough? A much-cited 2013 study by the University of Oxford’s Department of Engineering, perhaps the most astute of institutions, estimated that 47 percent of current jobs, including insurance adjusters, sports referees and credit officers, are at risk of becoming victims of automation. possible. one or twenty years.

Just this week, the McKinsey Global Institute released a report suggesting that a third of American workers may have to be replaced by A.I. in the coming decades.

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I know I’m not the only parent wondering if I can robotically secure my kids’ careers. I think I’ll start by asking what they want to do when they grow up.

A common and born entertainer, Toby is obsessed with cars and movies. He told me he wanted to be either an Uber driver or an actor. (He’s too young to realize that those jobs are usually the same thing).

As for Uber drivers, it’s no secret that they’re on their way to the big parking lot in the sky; The company recently announced plans to purchase 24,000 Volvo sports cars for use as a driverless fleet between 2019 and 2021.

What Will Happen When Robots Take Over Jobs

And the actors? It may seem inconceivable that any future computer-aided explorer could achieve, say, Dwayne Johnson’s expressive nuance and emotional depth. But Hollywood is already the south of Silicon Valley. Consider how the filmmakers used computer graphics to recreate Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia and Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin as they appeared in the 1970s (Mr. Cushing is thought to have died in 1994) for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

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My youngest son Anton, cute but as tough as Kevlar, said he wanted to be a footballer. Robot football may sound crazy, but come to think of it, Monday night’s showdown between the Dallas Cowdroids and the Seattle Seabots might be the only solution to the never-ending concussion problem that’s never been in sports.

He also said he wanted to be a soldier. But if he means infantry, he may want to keep the crowd. Russia recently unveiled Fyodor, a humanoid robot soldier who looks like RoboCop after a Whole30 crash diet; this space combat ready android can fire small arms, drive vehicles, provide first aid and hopefully salute. In fact, the world’s militaries are in such an arms race to develop wrinkly robots that a British intelligence expert has predicted that by 2025 the US forces will have more robot soldiers than humans.

And again, this is all happening now, not 25 years from now. Who knows what the job market might look like then. We may not even be the smartest creatures on the planet.

Have you ever heard of the “singularity”? It’s a term used by futurists to describe a potentially catastrophic point where machine intelligence reaches and possibly surpasses human intelligence. They can control us. They can kill us. No wonder Mr. Musk says that A.I. “it is potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons.”

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But is it really so terrible? Fear of technology is as old as the Luddites, the machine-smashing British textile workers of the early 1800s. Usually the fear turns out to be exaggerated.

The rise of the automobile, to cite the obvious example, certainly eliminated most manure shovels. But it created millions of jobs to replace them, not just for Detroit assembly-line workers, but also for suburban construction workers, Big Mac shoulders and actors who performed “Greased Lightnin'” on “Grease” tours. This is the process of creative destruction in a nutshell.

But artificial intelligence is different, says Martin Ford, author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Machine learning not only gives us new machines to replace old machines, but also pushes people from one industry to another. Rather, it gives us new machines to replace us, machines that can follow us into virtually any new industry we enter.

What Will Happen When Robots Take Over Jobs

Since Mr. Ford’s book sent me down this rabbit hole in the first place, and I contacted him to see if he was worried about his children: Tristan, 22, Colin, 17, and Elaine, 10.

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The most vulnerable jobs in the robot economy are those that involve predictable and repetitive tasks, regardless of how much training they require, he said. “A lot of knowledge-based work is really mundane — sitting at a computer and running the same application over and over again, whether it’s a report or some kind of quantitative analysis,” he said.

Professions that rely on creative thinking enjoy some protection (Mr. Ford’s oldest son is a graduate student studying biomedical engineering). He also does work that emphasizes empathy and interpersonal communication (his youngest son wants to be a psychologist).

Even so, the ability to think creatively may not provide ultimate salvation. Mr. Ford said he was concerned in May when Google’s AlphaGo software beat a 19-year-old Chinese champion at Go, considered the world’s most difficult board game.

“If you talk to the best Go players, even they can’t explain what they’re doing,” Mr. Ford. “They will describe it as ‘feeling’. It moves in the realm of intuition. And yet a computer can prove that it can outperform everyone else in the world.”

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Looking for a silver lining, I spent the afternoon poring over TED talks with catchy titles like “Are Droids Taking Our Jobs?”

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