An Important warning about your disappearing career / Job / Work / Future AKA incoming robotic automation
Disclaimer: I don’t fully understand all the implications, but I think it’s important enough to warn you now. Automation is happening at a pace much quicker than many of you think. That has an enormous effect on your life choices.
Automation will take over many many jobs in the near future. This is not a problem for the “next” generation to worry about. It’s happening now. Examples of industries facing significant levels of automation soon are:
Logistics GPS, machine vision, and AI will soon transform this enormous industry. The changes will affect taxis, truckers, pizza delivery, post offices, etc.
Retail Retail chains of the future will be like large vending machines that you can walk within. Warehouse automation is already here. You’ve already used ATM and self-checkouts. Combine the two, and you have the core components of automated retail.
Food - Fast food chains with their simple menus and deep pockets are the first to mass automate, but others will follow soon.
Financial A large amount of trading [stocks, bonds, currencies, etc] is already done through automated systems.
Medicine The demand for health care support staff such as nurses, sonographers, radiologist, blood work [Phlebotomists], pharmacists will be driven down by robots easily. Taking blood samples, delivering medicine, taking and analyzing patterns in ultrasounds/xrays, etc can be automated to a large degree. Even the doctor is not safe. The combination of image recognition, big data, and simple question/answer can handle many of the routine checkups that eat up a doctor’s day leaving him/her to deal with more complex cases. The doctor’s role won’t disappear, but the
demand will be sharply reduced.doctor to patient ratio will shrink.
Textile / clothing - There are primitive robots that do simple sowing jobs, but it won’t be too long until they handle complex tasks.
Resource extraction - Mining, logging, commercial fishing and other dangerous high paying work will be drastically reduced. Industry can avoid tragic accidents and high payouts by automating. There are large machines that cut, chop, and load entire trees. AI will remove the drivers from the equation.
Maintenance - This will take a long time to fully automate but the number of jobs will decrease significantly as robots perform the vast majority of routine monitoring/inspection eg looking for problems along a railroad.
Translation - With the rise of AI and big data research, Baidu will make that a possibility in five years. Western tech firms project similar time frames.
Filming / Media production - Parts of this industry will be wiped out thanks to drones. Cameraman, sound crew, lighting crew will be gone eventually. Video editors will still be around but aided by robots.
What should I do?
The quick answer: this chart appears consistent with other studies on the subject. Pick one of the areas on the right.
I would like you tell you that your government will provide you security [eg guaranteed basic income], but gambling is dangerous. So, I advise you to pick a career path with the following traits:
Skills that are broadly useful - not just domain specific.
This allows you to spread your risk. Should your job be automated, you can retool quickly.
Solve changing and custom problems - not routine repetitive tasks.
● Repair [avoid things like consumer electronics and focus on costlier items]
● STEM [science, technology, engineering, math]
● Programming [is threatened by offshoring though]
● teach [is threatened by online delivery eg Khan academy and in the far future - 10-20 years, AI trained question/answer sites]
● medical [is still threatened by automation though]
Require a human touch
● personal care
● physical rehabilitation
● certain types of physical instruction [fitness, dance, music]
● religious extremist [eg preacher…please don’t]
● artist [but will you starve to death?..]
Here is a chart of high growth areas that appear to be less affected by automation
Cannot be off-shored easily
You must adapt now. Failure to do so has severe consequences. Don’t be this guy.
Even highly trained, highly intelligent, highly paid dermatologists, oncologists, etc are not safe from automation. It is a curse and a blessing. I feel awful for medical professionals. Yet, this is a real benefit to humanity that many people can look forward to much lower health care costs and early detection and hopefully, successful treatment of an assortment of medical conditions.
@psylee123 I am excited about the potential of mass automation but also very worried. Asians are drawn to accounting, finance, and other categories that will be very affected by automation tech. I think Asians in East Asia as a group will benefit from the drive towards automation thanks to their culture and government. I am worried about the fate of South East and South Asians because the advantage of cheap labor is drawing to an end. China “lucked out” in a sense by being the last major power to industrialize in such a manner. What worries me about the Asians in the West is that this culture is far more winner takes all and I see more destruction [people losing their livelihoods with no recourse] than creation [new jobs, distributing the wealth] during the transition period. We already saw this with the occupy wall street movement, which is a reaction to decades of siphoning the wealth of the middle class to enrich the top 1%.
Yup, most of the jobs in America will be gone, and we get all our stuff from Asia, we’re already there right now! Everything at this point is just a slow decline, usually from old institutions like accounting, finance, healthcare, etc. It won’t be all that bad though if all Asians unite and work together making a self sufficient economy.
@psylee123 I think the distinction here is that unlike long haul truck drivers they’re constantly picking up and dropping off passengers and many accidents can happen. I expect those jobs to be automated away too…eventually.
Bus drivers? lol.
Yet another chart. Each horizontal bar represents a job. A higher proportion of black means the more likely it will be automated.
Although I agree with most of this, but I’d say medicine is a grey area of viable career choice. Don’t be stupid and go into a dead specialty like cardio-thoracic surgery, diagnostic radiology, or even Anesthesia; you will work your butt off while not having the same job security and comparable salaries as the following specialties. However anything involving trauma, primary care, or research heavy specialties like Neurosurgery and Neurology will be beneficial for years to come as they require genuine critical thinking abilities and are considered frontier fields. Furthermore, psychiatry and fertility medicine are going to become hot as there is and will be more and more demand for mental care and fertility care.
Personally, if you’re more of an adrenaline junkie like me, go into surgery that require some time spent in trauma.
If you’re more of a family guy or have loads of hobbies, go into primary care, emergency medicine (36 hr per week, pretty damn cushy), or psychiatry.
@psylee123 Yup. It’s a very serious problem and there are no easy solutions. Would be ironic to see capitalist greed driving automation to the extremes and with it, the death of their own markets lol. Socialists/communists/hippies win by just sitting around.
Ok, cool, I agree with mot of the post, just not sure about government guaranteeing your security. I mean they’re trying to raise the age to collect social security which is a complete scam, because it’s like I worked for your ass for 35 years, now you upped it to 37? WTF?
But yea, it’ll be interesting to see people consume these products when no one has a job. How will they pay quarters in that vending machine right?