Is your job at risk from automation?

Technology is evolving faster than at any time in history, and if we’re not yet quite living in a sci-fi version of ‘the future’, we’re certainly staring at a new frontier that is being driven by automation, data intelligence and technological advancements.

And while progress should never be halted, we’re in serious danger of putting ourselves out of jobs – data driven intelligence is delivering digital transformation for all sectors and will eliminate various existing jobs between this decade and the next.

Many jobs humans do today which are slow and filled with errors, will be replaced by intelligent systems, whether in form of robots or computerised devices – will your job be one of them?

What are the top 10 jobs at risk from automation?

Digital transformation is an inevitable strategic objective, and it’s happening now across all sectors – from self-service checkouts to automated bookkeeping systems.

Research from Pairview Training Services has identified the top 10 jobs most at risk from automation, and they are:

  • Insurance Underwriters 99%
  • Telemarketers 99%
  • Cashiers 97%
  • Office Clerks 96%
  • Accountant and Auditors 94%
  • Retail Sales-Person 92%
  • Security Guards 84%
  • HR Assistant 90%
  • Pharmacy Technicians 92%
  • Waiters & Waitresses 94%

As you can see from the list, automation is putting jobs at every level and in every sector at risk. So what will this mean for the future?

A jobless future?

Amazon Go, a queue-less, checkout-less store that has opened in Seattle, is a recent example of how automation is evolving, and set to change everything, that is at once exciting and terrifying.

The idea behind the store is that there are no checkouts and no queues, you simply scan your phone as you walk in, pick up what you want and leave the store without paying. Your phone is then automatically billed once you leave the store. Here’s how it works:

This added convenience obviously comes at a cost – there are no checkout staff and, if not now, then in the near future, there’ll be no shelf-stackers as this will be another job that will be relatively straightforward to replace with robots. And that means millions of jobs will simply be wiped from existence, jobs that are traditionally done by young and/or unskilled workers. So what will they then do for a living?

It’s not just the young and unskilled that need to worry though, as professional roles also feature highly in the list above – so what are tomorrow’s accountants and auditors meant to do when their jobs become automated?

And as driverless car technology improves, there’ll be no need for truck drivers, delivery drivers or taxi drivers – so what will they do?

The end game for pioneers in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) is to actually do themselves out of a job, and we already have robots that can essentially build and transform themselves, albeit in a very rudimentary way.

So what will we do when the robots take all our jobs, other than meekly sit around and wait for Boston Dynamics’ legion of terrifying robots to come and wipe us out?

Do we halt progress, or do we legislate for it before we get to the point where it stops being helpful and begins to take over? Technology should always push forward, until it becomes to the detriment of the vast majority of us being able to live a fulfilled and prosperous life.

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