Pick a work sector, anyone, most will be affected in some degree by automation with resultant job losses.
How this will affect you will largely be determined by your age. At school or just leaving choose your career wisely, retirement in your sights you may not be overly affected, not overly! In the middle of your working life? It will depend on what career you are in and how fast they are automating it.
Every magazine or news feed you look at now days seems to include some company featuring a brand new way of automating their business which will save countless amounts of money on staffing costs. Good thing that, yes? For who? Think about the following for a minute.
“In order for someone to buy your service or product they need to have money. In order to have money they need to have a job!”
Let’s look at a few industries that most people today would not have even begun to imagine could be dehumanised.
The local pub. Maybe not your village local but it is not impossible to find a pub in the major cities where you push a button and a robotic arm appears and pours your drink. Place your glass on a gadget and it fills your glass with your favourite ale from the bottom? I don’t know about you but chatting up a stainless steel robotic arm is not high on my list of things to do at a pub. Good news for the publican he can get rid of his staff? Right?
The building industry. Not possible one would think? You need actual people to put one brick on top of another? Afraid not, there is now a machine that prints your house. More good news for the industry.. no more bricklayers?
Banking. Probably one of the more obvious and frustrating people-less sectors. Have you tried putting your money into one of those machines? Try telling it about the problems you are having with your direct debit payments or any other personal banking issue you may have. Then think of all the money the banks are saving by replacing humans with machines.
Train drivers, truck drivers, taxi drivers 5G internet is coming fast which will speed up the arrival of driverless cars and trucks. At the time of writing some trains are have been driverless for years. This is all good yes? No human error, fewer accidents and lower costs with no wages to pay?
Shops. Already here, less and less human-operated tills and more of the self scanners every day. One big retailer who shall remain anonymous has even rolled out outlets that have little or no human employees. Little robots run around stocking the shelves and an app on your phone records your shopping and takes the money out your account when you leave the store. Brilliant, no human mistakes and no wage bill except for the fellow who has to oil all the joints of the robots running around the place.
Manufacturing and Production lines Henry Ford started it all with his cost-reducing production line of the Model T. Perhaps even he didn’t foresee how many employees the future assembly plants would NOT need. Imagine how many Health and Safety people industry would no longer need? After all who cares if a Robot trips over a box some other robot left in the way? If a manufacturing process is repetitive it will not need a human to do it.
Customer services Ok going to stick my neck out on this one.. what customers to service? However, should you still have some customers this industry is just about automated already? Maybe having call centres outside the country you live in has paved the way for acceptance on this one?
Insurance brokers When was the last time, if you under 50, you renewed your insurance by actually speaking to someone?
Sales Chatbots are here to stay and they never sleep or want a toilet break or a salary if you think about it. Goodbye, costly salesmen.
Delivery This one is a no brainer. A robot will load the driverless vehicle, or drone, which will deliver to you at a time convenient to you. You being the only human element in the whole delivery process. So there go more pesky expensive humans who want a salary to work.
Restaurants. Not possible to automate the food industry I hear people say? Well yes. Google it. Like the building industry, food printing is here to stay. I kid you not.
The list is unfortunately endless but what all this money-saving automation are forgetting… who will be able to afford take advantage of your super-efficient business?!
It is not all doom and gloom, apparently. Someone has to keep the ever more complicated digital World, we will find ourselves in, working. Cybersecurity will be the new Police force, 5G internet speed will create many more jobs as everything becomes connected to everything else which brings this full circle…
Think very very carefully about your choice of career!
Every cloud has a silver lining, even if your silver lining is on top of your head. It is still entirely possible to learn to earn even in a rapidly changing autonomous world.