Beyond the Assembly Line: 7 Top Jobs Replaced By Robots

Foxconn replaces ‘60,000 factory workers with robots. It’s headlines like that that keep blue collar workers awake at night. Hell, they’re not alone. Chefs, bank tellers, customer service workers, ando others are all on the chopping block. It’s managers, professionals, and corporate executives who seem unperturbed by the prospect of their jobs replaced by robots. But when you look at the long-term outlook, we can’t avoid getting laid off forever.

Here are 7 top jobs (beyond the assembly line) being replaced by robots:

  1. Financial Analysts — Once upon a time you needed a keen eye and a knack for spotting trends to be a financial analyst. Surely this skillset could never be automated? Think again. Financial analysis software is already better at analyzing historical data than any human ever was. It won’t be long before all these jobs are replaced by robots.
  2. Journalists — Journalists once had a key role in finding a story, learning the truth, and reporting it to the people. Now most people are reporting the news themselves on social media, and it’s up to the journalists to synthesize it. Well, AI does a much better job of synthesis already. Several years ago, the Associated Press started using it to write quarterly earnings reports.
  3. Surgeons — Robotic-surgeons have been around for nearly two decades now, and performed 2 million procedures in the process. You want a steady hand for your open heart surgery, and it’s safe to say a robot would perform better 20 hours into a stressful surgery than a measly human.
  4. Pharmacists — Pill counting machines aren’t new technology, but now there are automated systems to dispense prescriptions. Some argue that replacing pharmacists with machines is the most prudent option, seeing as so many people die every year from overdoses due to human pharmacist error.
  5. Civil servants — A new report from think tank Reform brought some unpleasant news for the civil servants of Whitehall. According to their analysis, 90% of Whitehall’s 137,000 administrative staff could be replaced by “artificially intelligent chatbots,” saving taxpayers £2.6 billion a year.
  6. Lawyers — Most people turn to lawyers for legal advice, not to take them through a real court case. If you need help reviewing legal documents, you might not need to turn to a physical lawyer in the near future. Blackstone Discovery of Palo Alto has already developed software that can perform legal analysis of more than 1.5 million documents for less than $100,000.
  7. Scientists — Head on over to Oxford’s Replaced by Robot tool and type “scientist” into the search field. Atmospheric and space scientists, geoscientists, and physical scientists all have a fairly good chance of becoming obsolete over the next 20 years. NASA’s Robonaut 2 can attest to this — the machine has 5-fingered hands and way more than 6 senses to compete with human space operations. Many scientist jobs can be replaced by robots in the coming years.

The Takeaway

These 7 examples are just a few of many where robots and AI are poised to take over. Managers, professionals and others like to think their jobs won’t be replaced by robots, but they’re wrong.

You might also enjoy this post: Will The Robots Take our Jobs? (Video)

Contrary to popular belief, it would seem that no job is safe from being replaced by robots. Author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman makes a good point about this: “…everything that can be digitized is being digitized and simultaneously globalized.” Complex work is, or will one day soon, be free.

The big question is, what are you going to do about it?

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