The future is finally here. Inventions that were once sci-fi creations are real things that you can find pretty much anywhere these days.
Want a flying robot drone? You can buy them for under a grand.
Fancy a palm-sized computer containing all knowledge? Chances are you’re reading on one right now.
Yet amongst all these interesting innovations, there are some high-tech creations you can’t buy. In fact, you might not be able to buy anything, as they could soon put you out of a job.
They’re robots, but they’re not the Johnny Fives and C3POs you grew up watching on the silver screen. These robots are multimillion-dollar creations whose sole purpose is to replace human workers.
Why? For one, robots don’t need health benefits or sleep. They’re more efficient than human workers and don’t complain. Best of all (from a business point-of-view), you don’t need to pay them. You only need to keep them powered on and well maintained.
Robots and advanced computer programs are replacing human workers at an alarming rate. Adidas is about to start manufacturing their sneakers using shoemaking robots in Germany. Foxconn plans on replacing 30,000 workers with smart phone-making robots. My local Chase Bank even replaced two of their tellers with “advanced ATMs.”
Every business is currently thinking about how to install automation in their workplace. While it’ll save them a bundle in the long run, it won’t benefit you, the employee, in the slightest. In fact, it could put you out of a job.
Here’s how to avoid that.
Do something creative.
Robots will replace low-skilled workers like cashiers, warehouse workers, and delivery people. Robots and AI cannot write a thought-provoking blog post, act in a play, or design an eye-catching logo. If you work in the creative field and have a liberal arts background, keep working hard and doing what you do. Machines won’t be able to do it any time soon.
Find a position or trade that robots can’t replace.
A Roomba is nice and all, but it’ll never be able to do the work of your hardworking cleaning person. Smart electric grids are efficient and can help save you money, but you’ll need an electrician to fix and maintain them. There are all sorts of jobs requiring real human workers to do real human things. Until a house can clean itself or an electrical grid can lay its own wires, people working in these and other trades won’t have to fret.
Become an engineer and build robots or artificial intelligence programs.
Until robots and programs can build themselves, companies will need hardworking engineers and programmers to make them. Tech companies everywhere are hiring oodles of programmers to work on artificial intelligence software. Manufacturers are willing to spend top dollar on engineers to help them build custom automating robots. If you have these skills or acquire them in the next few years, you could find yourself in a lucrative position that can’t be automated.
Keep up with the latest automation trends. technology, and legislation.
Drone technology seems to be improving by the day, but swarms of delivery drones aren’t ready to replace UPS. Federal, state, and local governments are currently examining laws surrounding these drones and how they could interfere with their surroundings. If you pay close attention to science and technology news, you’ll be able to catch developments in AI and automation technologies before they become commonplace. This could, in fact, buy you time before your job becomes replaced by a machine.
Should you worry about getting replaced by a robot? Yes, but it shouldn’t keep you up at night. Consider the work you do and how current and/or future technology would be able to do it without you. If existing technology could replace your day-to-day tasks, then consider a career change or learning a new irreplaceable skill.
If your current position can’t logically be automated for a while, you should still keep learning. The more educated and skilled you are, the more valuable you’ll be as a worker. Until robots learn to do everything, of course.