International Federation of Robotics‘ research shows that the number of jobs taken over by industrial robots rises by 14% annually. Moreover, 2018 findings of the World Economic Forum demonstrate that by 2025 machines will perform more task hours than humans. Furthermore, Oxford Economics‘ statistics predict that by 2030, over 20 million jobs in manufacturing could be made obsolete by robots. And while most researchers agree the global economy will flourish, it worries people. To determine if they should be, we analyzed how technology is replacing jobs.
Manufacturing is where modern technology replacing human jobs is the most obvious. Robots began replacing factory workers on the assembly line in the vehicle industry back in the 1950s. Nowadays, there’s a rise of revolutionary robots that can be programmed by just about anyone, to do just about anything. Better yet, they can complete repetitive tasks much faster, with better efficiency, and while eliminating workplace accidents. Also, this Georgetown University research shows that 55% of jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree could be replaced by automation. We touched on this when we examined how modern technology helps improve productivity.
Governments make things worse
Governments incentivize companies to hire fewer human workers by giving them tax breaks and tax write-offs if they purchase business equipment. There’s one example from mid-2015 analysts like to cite, about Changying Precision Technology Company in Dongguang city. The cell phone manufacturer decided to convert to an unmanned factory. With the government’s approval, the company cut 90% of its 650-people workforce and replaced them with a necessary number of robots. The transition showed a surge in productivity and a decrease in defects. In fact, it worked so well for them that they quickly decided on firing 40 out of the remaining 60 employees.
Transportation is another industry that displays obvious signs from technology is replacing jobs. Self-driving cars, buses, and trucks, as well as autonomous flying and floating vehicles, will soon become a reality, making transport of living begins and goods safer, easier, and faster. This carries over to resource explorations, where companies drill, mine, and extract goods with limited human assistance. Even agriculture is affected – John Deere introduced lawnmowers and tractors that can assist in driving or operate autonomously. These implementations of the technology indeed keep us safe, but undoubtedly reduce the employment of humans. Luckily, a percentage of human employees must remain to monitor systems, solve ethical problems, and sign off on major decisions that require the rationality of a real mind.
What better way to demonstrate robots replacing humans in the workplace than using the example of Amazon? Their sales and those of its online store alternatives paved the way and demonstrated the business model of storing enormous amounts of goods in one location works. Robots have already taken the tasks of tagging, packing, moving, and organizing goods in the warehouse. Soon enough, they’ll be able to load and offload goods, ship them out of the door, and track their location without human intervention.
Research shows a 50% automation replacement risk of jobs performed by workers aged 18 to 25. We believe this percentage will rise. Statistics show that this demographic performs the largest percentage of highly repetitive tasks in the United States.
Young people make up for 10% of the total workforce in the food industry in the United States, Yet, they are employed in over 30% of the food preparation and food service jobs in the country. While serving food isn’t yet automated, robot chefs can already prepare and package food delivery. One example is the Moley Robotics cooking robot. Its robot arm is highly flexible and can prepare thousands of pre-determined recipes as well as be trained to prepare new ones. It even washes the dishes afterward!
Retail and hospitality
The younger population also dominates working in retail and sales, and as clerks, phone operators, telemarketers, presenters, travel agents, cashiers, or even store managers. Technology taking over jobs is also very also evident in the hospitality industry where youthful, attractive appearance matters. For example, hotels are slowly replacing their receptionists, night auditors, wait staff, bartenders, and managers with robots or AI. Even their room service, laundry, and kitchen cleaning, and maintenance are slowly transitioning to partial or fully robot-assisted alternatives.
Data shows that sales of medicinal robots are increasing by 50% yearly. For now, robots assist doctors, anesthesiologists, and surgeons in making predictions and decisions. But shortly, medical check-ups, monitoring, medicine administering, and even minor surgical interventions will be fully automated. So far, AI has already shown incredible success in analyzing X-Rays, CT, and MRI scans. It was able to detect anomalies not apparent to humans and even identify diseases. Additionally, the speed, efficacy, and ease of use can make fetching, updating, analyzing, organizing, and displaying the medical history and information a breeze. That makes them instantly accessible to doctors and EMTs but also patients themselves.
6. Journalism and news
Automatic journalism is already on the upswing. It will fetch, analyze, cross-reference, compare, proofread, and publish articles on its own. Afterward, it’s capable of rewriting them to fit the certain tone, style, or voice of different publications. This will all but eliminate the jobs of journalists, reporters, editors, translators, secretaries, court typists, and more. Here are 2 great examples:
- An algorithm named Quakebot wrote and published a story about the 2014 California earthquake on The Los Angeles Times website only 3 minutes after the shaking ceased.
- BBC uses AI-powered technology that automatically transcribes all of its written articles into audio.
We already went over modern technologies in banking but we’ll show you a few examples that technology is replacing jobs. After data analysis, The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an 8% job decline for bank teller jobs by 2026. JPMorgan, a well-known bank, uses AI to review commercial loan agreements. Their data demonstrate that what AI can do in seconds replaces 360,000 hours of lawyers’ time in one year. Moreover, Computers almost completely replaced stock traders and stockbrokers. They can find patterns and trends in financial data faster and can buy and sell stocks at inhuman levels, and thus take advantage of momentary rises and falls.