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How will automation impact the engineering field?

I am exploring in the area of engineering and I am very afraid that automation will result in the unemployment of many laborers in the near future. Therefore, I am asking for an educated guess on the extent that automation will impact not only the working class, but specifically our beloved engineers

#engineering #automation #future

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Brian’s Answer

Brandon, thanks for the question. Indeed, automation will have a big impact on engineering. Any task or activity that is redundant or repetitive is apt for automation. With that said, the really hard tasks that require creativity and innovation will likely NOT be automated. That's where engineers can add value that machines and AI cannot -- pulling seemingly disparate ideas together and creating new products and services. Also, creative thinking is needed in "red teaming" or being diabolical in how services or products function to harden and secure them. So, while automation will do away with some jobs and functions, it will free those with the passion to create, innovate, and disrupt.

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Steve’s Answer

Hi Brandon, Currently I am helping to establish automation within my company. Automation is definitely going to have a big impact on how people work in the future. Similar to how automated checkout impacted the jobs of cashiers in retail stores, we will see the same within the corporate setting. Companies will continue to need workers, but the jobs will change and the level of skills will remain important. For instance, some of the people who used to perform processes are being trained to build the automation. My view is automation will free people up to perform jobs that require judgement and creativity and move away from jobs that are processing related. I think engineers will continue to be important and likely to grow as the world becomes increasing technology connected. Steve
Thank you comment icon Brandon, thanks for the question. Indeed, automation will have a big impact on engineering. Any task or activity that is redundant or repetitive is apt for automation. With that said, the really hard tasks that require creativity and innovation will likely NOT be automated. That's where engineers can add value that machines and AI cannot -- pulling seemingly disparate ideas together and creating new products and services. Also, creative thinking is needed in "red teaming" or being diabolical in how services or products function to harden and secure them. So, while automation will do away with some jobs and functions, it will free those with the passion to create, innovate, and disrupt. Brian Newman
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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Brandon L. I see that you posted this question a little while ago so I hope my answer to you (or others who may read this response) is still helpful.

Thanks for this question from a "beloved" engineer :). The beauty of this discipline that I have been a part of since I graduated with an engineering degree many years ago, is it's agility and flexibility. To echo some of the answers already provided, I haven't seen an instance where automation overshadows creativity. The creativity and innovation capacity that engineers bring to a business, a project and/or a problem is a key driver to how or if automation can be a complement or a competitor.

In many instances, automation can serve to be a complement to work that people do because it can move repetitive tasks out of the way to make space for new ideas and implementation of those new ideas. My educated guess is that while automation will continue, there will be many spaces where it will be useful (and necessary) to help with technological growth.

Hope you find this answer helpful!
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Ani’s Answer

Based on the advent of computers and especially pathbreaking technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Drones, etc., some of the work/tasks in the traditional engineering fields will be automated. If you are interested in traditional engineering field like Mechanical, Civil, Chemical, etc., it still makes sense to pursue those career paths, but keep in mind that it would be helpful to keep yourself updates on the above path-breaking technologies and also learn computer programming skills. A combination of traditional engineering knowledge combined with computer/programming skills would make yourself a desirable candidate when you start looking for jobs.

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