Over the last decade there’s been a growing fear for the future of employment, this is due to development in technology. Artificial intelligence, robots and machine learning systems are becoming a popular resource for companies. Although some seem concerned at the risk of their jobs becoming automated, it isn’t something to majorly worry about. We don’t know for certain what the outcome will be. Various researchers have predicted different outcomes, some of which vary massively from the next. The predictions for change in the future can’t be accurately determined, but it’s worth knowing what could change in the future.
Technology has progressed over the years but there are limits to its capabilities!
The reality is, jobs may be lost to automation but new jobs are being created from these changes too. In the last 16 years 3 million jobs have been created in the UK, with the rate of growth expected to increase. 50% of these jobs are in the private sector, including the highly skilled roles of designers, developers and dentists. Other industries positively affected are those roles in media, engineering and hospitality.
Should you be worried?
Some jobs will never be automated because they require a certain level of human connection and interaction, such as nurses and doctors, hairdressers, makeup artists, and writers. The creative industry requires the touch of a human, can you imagine music made by a robot? It would lack artistic quality and an emotive connection. Teachers will also be safe from automation, AI will simply support teachers in the classroom instead of taking over, this has already been reported in classrooms through its use of tablets. The roles which are least likely to be subject to automation are those requiring skills of creative and social intelligence, and physical dexterity.
Young people and low-skilled employees will be affected the most because the jobs most likely to be automated tend to be in low-skilled sectors such as food prep, cleaning and labouring. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! It doesn’t mean you will be unemployed, it means that things will change within your role. Some tasks may be susceptible to automation, which for you means revising your role and understanding what can be done by you and what can’t. Automation could make your life easier and give you more time to spend on more valuable personal projects.
Jobs that may be at risk:
- Receptionists and information clerks
Employees should never fear their role in the workplace because humans will always require work to complete. Jonathan Gershuny, a professor of sociology and director of The Centre of Time Use says in his research that we need work for various reasons, for “a time structure, a social context, a purpose in life.”
The global job market is set to change, some roles are already changing, for example fast food restaurant Mcdonald’s use tablets for their customers to order their food more efficiently, allowing the staff to get orders prepared quicker because cashiers aren’t as necessary anymore. If your job is at risk of automation, don’t think the worst, think about how it may change your working life for the better. You can focus on other projects and gain new skills!