Here’s a fun fact: one day, your job will be replaced by a machine, regardless of how complicated or nuanced it is. This might not happen in the next few months or years, but anything you do (yes, you!) will one day be done faster, better, and cheaper by a machine or an algorithm.
Why? For one, machines don’t require the same level of care and benefits that you currently enjoy. Machines also work well past working hours for a lot less money (just the cost of upkeep and electricity). They don’t complain, produce comparable results in a shorter turnaround, and comply with 100% of all orders given to them.
This is awesome for business owners and rich executives looking to reduce overhead. Paying a one-time fee for a bot or program to replace paid workers will inevitably save oodles of cash. For humans, however, it means catastrophic job loss, displacement, and potential poverty. There are ways to circumvent all the nastiness from automation in the work force, but no one’s in any rush to put these failsafe plans into actions.
In the meantime, you should be worried about losing your job to robots. How worried should you be? That’s what one study wanted to find out. What they discovered could give you an idea on how much time you have left before you’re out of work for good.
What jobs and tasks will be automated in the next 40 years?
The study polled AI experts on when they thought robots and programs would be able to perform to a handful of jobs and tasks better than humans. The above lines represent the range of answers, with the dot representing the median (middle) response. For instance, robots will likely be able to fold laundry better than humans between the next two and fourteen years, with the median response being six years. So, sometime in the next fourteen years (though likely well before that), you’ll probably start seeing robots at your nearest laundromat.
What about the next 200 years?
According to the same polled audience, robots will take over all human jobs sometime in the next 200+ years, with the median response being around 120+ years from now. The last item on the above chart is interesting, as a robot recently beat the world’s best Go champion in a Google-sponsored even. So, perhaps an bestselling robot author isn’t too far behind?
Should you worry?
Absolutely. You should definitely take a look at all the ways your job could automated in the next decade-plus. You should also consider other, less replicable fields, too. Check out the rest of the report while you’re at it. Though it uses opinions from AI experts rather than hard scientific data for each field, it’s still interesting to see how the automators-in-charge see the job market performing as we continue to lose more positions to their creations.