The inevitable technological progress brings about specific changes to the outlook of our jobs and the economy in general. Such tectonic changes surely cause a lot of turmoil and uncertainty, especially in the economy. It is only natural to think that, when faced with the unknown, we must be prepared for the worst. The worst, in this case, is the prediction that, with the rise of intelligent machines and automation systems, human labor is going to be made redundant, resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs across the industry.
How is the AI affecting our jobs?
We must highlight the fact that the advent of artificial intelligence and automation is going to affect us all on multiple levels, and not all that will come from it is positive. The purpose of these ‘intelligent’ systems is to perform specific functions more quickly and precisely than the human workforce could ever do. On the surface, this seems like a great thing, however, automating these jobs means that the people who have performed them so far will have nothing more to do and would have to go straight to the unemployment register.
The future of blue collar jobs in the face of AI
The estimations say that the blue collar workers are going to take the first hit. All jobs that include manual labor are going to be performed by machines, thus reducing the need for actual workers. Even though we can see the examples of it even today, the full extent of automation is still relatively unknown, as we are only beginning to grasp its potential.
If we take an example of a fruit processing plant, we can see that the quality assessment is still performed by the human workforce. With the rise of intelligent machines, we can have robots scanning the fruit and separating the good ones from the bad and in that way the robots will completely take over this and other similar processes.
The future of white collar jobs in the face of AI
If we take for a second that only the blue collar jobs are destined to be taken over by intelligent systems, white collar jobs appear to be out of harm’s way, right? Well, not necessarily. One of the premier examples of a white collar job is that of a teacher. The first thing that comes to mind is that a robot can never employ empathy, proper context and all other human traits that every teacher needs to possess. This might not be entirely true. A school in Finland has already had the privilege to employ humanoid robots as language teachers. Elias, as it is called, is a robot that can recognize the students’ language level and structure its questions accordingly. It has infinite patience and will never get bored with repeating something. Also, it won’t ridicule students for their mistakes and will correct them in a friendly way.
Although artificial intelligence and automation appear to be knocking at our doors, ready to enter our everyday lives, we are still far from being substituted by robots and will always remain to guide and control them.