Farming – and more – with robots

I was intrigued to come across this video clip of a lettuce thinning robot at work.

I’ve written before about the many low-level jobs that are being automated out of existence.  In these pages we’ve already looked at machines making burgers, juice smoothies and other fast-food products.  After viewing the above video, I did a YouTube search and found many other video clips about robots in farming.  Most are still experimental, but it looks like in a decade or two, many of the low-level jobs in that field will have been replaced by machines.

Nor is farm work the only area under threat.  The Atlantic reported recently:

A new paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne calculated the odds of “computerization” for the 600+ jobs that the BLS tracks. They range from 96% automatable (office secretaries) to 0.9% (registered nurses). Here are the ten fastest-growing jobs and the odds that robots and software eat them:

  1. Personal care aides: 74%
  2. Registered nurses: 0.9%
  3. Retail salespersons: 92%
  4. Combined food prep & serving workers: 92%
  5. Home health aides: 39%
  6. Physician assistant: 9%
  7. Secretaries and admin assistants: 96%
  8. Customer service representatives: 55%
  9. Janitors and cleaners: 66%
  10. Construction workers: 71%

These ten occupations account for 3.85 million projected jobs in the next ten years, or 25 percent of the decade’s projected job haul. And six of them are at least two-thirds automatable, based on researchers’ projections of current computing power.

There’s more at the link.

Something to think about when planning your kids’ educations . . . or what you might want to do when you retire.  Many part- and full-time jobs we take for granted today probably won’t be there in future.



  1. The people currently working as food prep and serving workers had best consider this as they agitate for higher wages and stage their little strikes and pickets of their employers. Those who are the most replaceable might want to consider improving their skills and showing more gratitude instead of copping attitudes and making demands.

  2. One of the stories we graybeards tell the kids at work was how "back in the day" we used to give a document to the secretary and we'd go through a cycle of correct and retype. Eventually, we reached a point where the number of new random errors equaled the number being removed and you declared it DONE. Now, because documents can be perfected, we try to do so. That leads to us spending more time on every document we do, and we're required to do more documents every year.

    Nobody thinks we've actually saved any money by automating the secretary's job.

  3. Robots in farming, eh? I can see it now:

    In a world of starvation and sickness, one man must provide sustenance to the people. That man is…Robo-Boer

    Robo-Boer: Coming 2020.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *