Apropos of our earlier discussions about jobs, take a look at this video clip from ABB Robotics. It shows the 10 most popular uses for robots in industry.
It’s one of many videos from ABB Robotics on YouTube, showing many different applications for these mechanical thingumajigs.
Now look at it this way. Every single job shown above, and almost all of the ones illustrated in the company’s other videos, were not so long ago performed by human beings. All of those jobs no longer exist . . . for people.
They won’t be coming back.
What does that say about the future of ever more jobs of a similar nature? It’s no wonder the auto workers unions and similar organizations are worried. Most of their members are going to be out of a job in their traditional fields before many more years have passed. Take a look at these articles:
- Will Robots Steal Your Job? You’re highly educated. You make a lot of money. You should still be afraid.
- Foxconn begins replacing workers with robots
- The Robot Reality: Service Jobs Are Next to Go
- The Rise of Robots – and Decline of Jobs – Is Here
- 5 Jobs Where Robots Will Replace Humans
- Carmakers deploy more robots as job loss fears gain ground
I know people have been ‘scare-mongering’ for decades about the dangers of automation to human jobs. It’s no longer scare-mongering – it’s already here. China, whose population depends for employment on that country’s status as the largest manufacturer of consumer goods in the world, is no exception – its own factories are beginning to replace even low-wage assembly workers with robots, promising a social revolution. In India, as one commentator points out, “Fifteen machines would have needed 15 operators a few years ago … Now, one man can run 10 machines.”
If you have kids who are entering or will soon be entering the job market, they need to understand the implications of this revolution. What Mike Rowe refers to as ‘dirty jobs‘ will still be there, and be well-paid, because they’ve got to be done and it’s not worth the capital investment to create robots to do them. Creative, inventive occupations for the self-employed will also be there (including writing, thank Heaven!). However, many occupations popular today – including computer programming, delivery of basic health care (even extending to some surgical procedures), tax preparation, and so on – are already in decline for humans as robots and intelligent computer systems take over.