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Should I be worried about technology and robots potentially taking over some jobs?

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It's no lie that technology has always been advancing forward and improving, but should I be worried about it in terms of getting a job in the future? Do you think it'll be harder for the future generation when they're ready to start working? How should we avoid this if it becomes a problem? And what job sector do you think will be affected? and which ones will not be affected? Feel free to explore other areas as well. #technology #job #japan #employment #robots

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Tolga’s Answer

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Hi Anudari,


Having worked in technology for 10 years now, I certainly think that some jobs are particularly more effective when they are automated. Automation lowers costs for the firm and consumers, helps fuel innovation (by allowing firms to focus more of their investments to R&D rather than manufacturing) and creates more output.


The western world has been gradually moving from agrarian to manufacturing to now a service based economy. I think that the industry with the biggest potential to its survival in the western world are manufacturing based roles. If it is highly repetitive, manual in nature with little opportunity for "judgement calls" then I would say it is highly likely that automation will eventually replace those workers. I think while this is distressing to people who have made their careers around manufacturing, ultimately its good for society as a whole as more brain power can be dedicated to roles that technology, so far, hasn't been able to fill. I think future generations should strive for at least a 4 year undergraduate degree if not combined with a master's. Further, we value original thought, creativity, and making tough decisions. These are not skills that technology is very adept at, so as long as you train yourself to have those traits, you can have a fulfilling and well paying career.

Definitely some interesting points, and thank you for your response. But, what happens to do the people who used to work those jobs before it became automated? wouldn't their pension be affected? Anudari A. Translate
Yes, unfortunately they definitely could. If a company is looking to reduce its costs (which most companies are), they will either outsource manufacturing jobs overseas where labor costs are lower, or will invest in automation, letting go of their factory/manufacturing workers. It is one of the reasons why the US auto industry has been moving its manufacturing overseas and increasingly automating most assembly. I think the only manufacturing jobs that are unlikely to be affected are those that require expertise or those that gain a brand advantage due to them being handmade (e.g. luxury watches (Rolex) being a prime example) Tolga Cengiz Translate
That is why people are starting to look at other models such as Basic Guaranteed Income (worth googling) Prashad Lodhia Translate
It's really unfortunate that it has come to this for these individuals, and we really do need some sort of support for them. Thank you for replying back to my additional questions. Anudari A. Translate
Interesting Prashad, I've never heard of Basic Guaranteed Income, I'll definitely look into it. Thanks for your input! Anudari A. Translate
We need to realise though that it is no longer an option not to learn anymore. When the world changed from horse and carriage to cars the carriage makers had to retrain. There are a lot of new jobs emerging that didn't exist before - for example solar panel installers. So now more than ever before it is important to learn a skill and also be willing to move where the work is. Prashad Lodhia Translate
Absolutely agree with Prashad and frictional unemployment is nothing new. While it is distressing in the short term to those who have built their careers around a certain skill, in the long run, the move towards automation is better for the society as a whole, even if it hurts some employees. The world is ruthless, it's important to recognize these trends and improve to stay ahead. Tolga Cengiz Translate
Thanks everyone! From what I've understood from this conversation is that it's all about adapting and being prepared because change is imminent. Anudari A. Translate
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Prashad’s Answer

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Anything that you can define and describe in a model can potentially be automated. Especially if it is repetitive.


Creative thinking is one of the areas where I think automation is a long way off.
I spend most of my time getting people to agree on the way forward for a company department. This involves mediating between people and being able to help them decide which direction to go in.
I am fully confident that I will be able to do this job for the next 40 years.

I agree, creative thinking is unique and complicated enough that robots have yet to acquire this skill yet. But, it's still worrying that robots and automation are gradually taking over. Have you heard of the chatbot introduced by Microsoft? It's a teen robot that could read tweets on twitter and respond to them but was recently removed due to some issues it caused. Here's a link to the article about it http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-deletes-racist-genocidal-tweets-from-ai-chatbot-tay-2016-3?r=UK&IR=T Anudari A. Translate
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Harold’s Answer

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I started my career before the invention of electronic calculators. Through the years I have had to teach myself to use calculators, then computers, then programing, networking, data acquisition and logging, remote anaylsis and control, robotics, machine intelligence. Things are changing fast, jobs will be eliminated but you will do well if you keep aware of the changes and are constantly learning. In may later years I became mostly a consultant. Make sure along the way you polish you social skills, there will always be a demand for people that are able to help other people develop new job and life skills.

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Chris’s Answer

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There is a possibility of jobs being automated. The adoption rate of 'total' automation is slower in my opinion then often discussed. It is a reality jobs will be automated, this will allow for newer roles that automation cannot yet do. One of the most important fields of thinking moving forward I believe is creativity. Automation often is designed for certain tasks and parameters. While the human mind has the benefit of creative thinking, problem solving, and innovation. Hence the ability to creatively think and differentiate can serve well in this instance.

In addition, to worry about the future will lead to dread and fear. While it is prudent to be aware of the future and understand our world is changing, if you fear change it will rule you. We cannot predict what will be, only understand what is now. Make decisions with the best information and understanding you have now, and move forward. If you make a mistake, thats ok, we all do. Life is a continual journey of mistakes and learning, with slivers of success throughout.

Enjoy the little things.

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Rick’s Answer

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Well in short yes, however it will be a long process that will require many years of integration.

By the stage of complete robot domination, there will be new jobs created because there will be a requirement and need to learn the technology that the robots are built upon. To refine and redesign. This requirement for ongoing improvement and maintainence of the robots will bring forth a new breed of engineer and fields in the industry

Rick recommends the following next steps:

  • Get an I.T. degree
  • Do not stress
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