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Report claims that robots and AI systems will eliminate 6% of US jobs by 2021

By midian182
Sep 14, 2016
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  1. Technology is advancing at an incredibly rapid pace. For most of us, robots and artificial intelligence systems are welcomed with open arms – something that can often make our lives easier. But the concern that they could replace human jobs has long been an issue. According to a new report from market research company Forrester, bots and AIs will have eliminated 6 percent of all US jobs by 2021.

    Digital assistants such as Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri don't yet have the human-like intelligence seen in AIs from the movies, but they are getting smarter all the time. And with the rise of chatbots that can deal with customer inquiries, self-driving vehicles breaking into the logistics and taxi markets, and more robots replacing humans in manufacturing fields, many jobs are threatened by the advancement of machines.

    “By 2021 a disruptive tidal wave will begin. Solutions powered by AI/cognitive technology will displace jobs, with the biggest impact felt in transportation, logistics, customer service and consumer services,” said Forrester’s Brian Hopkins in the report.

    It’s not just call center staff, factory/warehouse workers, and drivers that face being replaced by a machine. Several fast food outlets are automating their ordering process, a result of rising labor costs and, according to a recent survey, millennials' hatred of interacting with people.

    Carl’s Jnr. CEO Andy Puzder told Business Insider: "Millennials like not seeing people [...] I've been inside restaurants where we've installed ordering kiosks [...] and I've actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there's a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody."

    Forrester sees a future where many aspects of our lives are delegated to virtual assistants. The company believes it will reach a point where the machines are smart enough to make some of our decisions for us.

    “The doorbell rings, and it’s the delivery of a new pair of running shoes, in the right style, color, and size, just as you needed to replace your old ones. And here’s the kicker: you didn’t order them. Your intelligent agent did.”

    While that 6 percent figure may look daunting, the increased number of automated systems will see new jobs created. Humans will be needed to build and maintain these systems – at least until another robot can do it.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2016
  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 382   +339

    As if the rich would ever pass up the opportunity to get richer.

    Cant wait to see how this works out in the US. Automation is going to kill off what remains of the middle class.

    Also, I highly doubt that their "intelligent assistant" will ever really catch on. Much like other silicon valley projects, that kind of thing wont fly in the rest of the world. Last thing I want is some "assistant" buying me **** I dont need. I dont even let smart appliances into my house, why on earth would I let some robot decide when I need new shoes?
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,682   +788

    I would dispute any concept that AI will decimate the middle class, but it will, as it has, continue to kill off lower class jobs that are primarily labor intensive. It is also doubtful that they will successfully replace service oriented jobs that are more intensive in people to people work. There will most certainly be a backlash to that one. Instead of fighting the inevitable changes, we need to embrace better education and re-education of workers that are displaced. These AI based machines are still going to need to be installed, maintained, serviced and replaced which does not lend itself to more AI based equipment. On the flip side, more AI replacements for TOP positions might be welcome, especially if they could be programed to never lie, cheat, steal or succumb to corruption. Judging by the current candidates, the leader of the land might be a great start!
     
  4. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,665   +312

    Where is Adam Selene when you really need him..
     
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,754   +1,107

    This whole 'displaced job' thing has happened many times already. electricity, manufacturing plants, cars, computers etc... every time technology displaces jobs the jobs created are better than the jobs lost. And it doesn't make people poor and get rid of the middle class - it makes everyone better off.

    in 2025 someone will go into an ER with chest pain and an AI will diagnose them based off millions of previous patients symptoms and similarities. You won't need to see that cardiologist with 30 years exp, you have a machine with thousands of times more experience than that. And it'll be available to EVERYONE. Not just the rich lawyer you can afford the best Dr. The machine can be duplicated and put in every hospital - available to everyone.
    The lower and middle class will be far better off - just like they were every other time technology has displaced jobs. The reason we can't completely understand it now is because we haven't thought of all the new jobs that'll be created. Back when the computer was invented they thought there's no reason your average person would ever own one. Just look at the jobs computers created....

    But if you were the maker of White-Out... you're out of a job... sorry.
     
    wiyosaya likes this.
  6. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 340   +133

    Everyone here should I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (if you haven't already). The entire book is basically one thought experiment on what robots will look like, and how humans will use and interact with them as they advance - but organized as a loose collection of short stories.

    Not saying that it is going to be 100% this, but I don't think it is going to be all that different either.
     
    texrat likes this.
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,045   +276

    Well said! It happens every time. Doom and gloom is forecast because of supposed job loss, then new, better, and more jobs are created.
     
  8. texrat

    texrat TS Rookie

    If anything, they're lowballing that estimate
     
  9. texrat

    texrat TS Rookie

    That was true in slower times where it was impractical to replace many manual labor positions, but we're in a new era now where the old rules no longer apply. Toll booth lobs are all but eliminated; next will be large numbers of service staff across industries but largely in the restaurant business. Watch.
     
  10. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Booster Posts: 136   +51

    As a welder/fabricator/laborer I can guarantee a robot will never replace me. I already go faster than the robotic welders. **** robots, I've seen all of the terminator movies so I know how to win.
     
    wiyosaya and Raoul Duke like this.
  11. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,953   +162

    Same fears the naive had about the cotton gin\tractors. 90% of America no longer toils in the field... How about we all use 1 hand to create more jobs? Fear fear fear?
     
  12. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,045   +276

    That is because there are welding jobs that robots cannot do, thus, people like you are still indispensable.
     
  13. Gumpngreen

    Gumpngreen TS Rookie

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