This fascinating article explores the very real issue of the rise of robotic technology and how it will affect the job market in coming years and decades. I feel the content rambles a bit, and fails to properly summarize, but it’s great stuff overall.
Here’s my summary of the current jobs situation, within the context of the article linked above:
- The jobs that have left aren’t coming back. Whether they’ve been automated to robotics or absorbed overseas, there is little reason for them to return here
- The idea that we’re somehow going to elect someone to get all the jobs back is class-baiting based on ignorance
- Automation is replacing the need for humans in many industries. From self-checkout kiosks at Walmart, to automated gas pumps, to EZ-Pass toll systems, the goal is the same. Have computers and robots do as much of the work as possible.
- This trend will only increase, not decrease. The exceptions will be that in high luxury services there will be an “elite” form of the service where real people take care of you
- The easier it is for a robot or a computer to do your job the sooner your job will be replaced
- For a long time certain high-cognition jobs will be safe, such as brain surgery, or programming, or high-end services like consulting
- Ironically, the arts and research areas will become more human-based than ever, as the STEM disciplines will have areas where computers can dominate en masse.
- Creativity will be the last bastion of humanity, with it taking the longest for computers to replace
In short, if you’re a parent with young children in 2012, or you plan to be soon, start planning for a world in which computers and robots do most of the work. Prepare your children.
And if you’re an investor, start looking at business models that will emerge from this new reality. Hint: creativity will be king.
1 Remember that the Matrix was based on humans vs. machines in a very “normal” kind of way, i.e. it all started with robots taking human jobs