The idea of robots doing all of our jobs is one that’s been explored in countless movies, books and TV shows. From Disney’s Wall-E to the more sinister I, Robot, it’s a subject that’s both exciting, but overwhelmingly scary at the same time. Possibilities open up a wild amount when you consider how much you could do if your job were automated: you could write that book, decorate the house, or just catch up on some sleep. However, where’s the money going to come from? Who’ll be in charge of the robots? We’re on a long road to an unknown destination, and there’s a lot for politicians, business owners and engineers to discuss. For now, here are a few reasons why job automation should be exciting – not scary.
You probably won’t lose your job
Automation is happening in many industries already – and there have not been any global redundancies as a result. Instead, it’s helping businesses become more helpful, more innovative, and more successful. By automating admin tasks and repetitive, mind-numbing jobs, people can get on with jobs that only a human brain can figure out. Just look at marketing automation: it’s clearing up time so that advertisers can carry on with the creative side of the business, and leave the posting and scheduling down to software.
Likewise, where jobs are being aided by automation, it’s giving people the chance to do more in their roles. Your time is being wasted on boring, dull tasks: instead, you can work on ways to add value to the company and create worthwhile efforts that have an impact on your customers and colleagues.
You’ll have new opportunities opened up
As more of these repetitive jobs get taken over by robots, you’ll have the chance to retrain as something more skilled, and take on more responsibilities. This will then filter down through universities and schools, until children only ever set their sights high. Then, as some jobs get automated, new ones will spring up in their place.
We’ll need people to manage these AI bodies, robots and programs. We’ll need people to invent them and update them, and see what industry they can help with next. This is known as ‘creative destruction’: we must realize that we’ll lose some of the older jobs, but accept that new, more exciting careers will open up in front of us. Plus, as more jobs open up, you’ll be able to work on the cutting edge of innovation, giving you a unique perspective on how the future could look.
Nobody knows for sure just what the job market will look like in the future, but it’s very likely that the more repetitive manual jobs will be lost, while more exciting, valuable jobs will be made available.
You’ll be able to focus on personal development
As robots take over low paying jobs, humans will be promoted to higher paying roles. Businesses won’t need to pay robots, so, hypothetically, salaries will be bumped around the company. If this happens, there will be even more money in the economy, meaning recessions and austerity can come to an end.
If this happens, then people can work fewer hours, but for more money. Then you’ll be able to spend your life doing what you enjoy, rather than just to make a living. This is something that a lot of stressed, overworked people have been crying out for, for years. And, instead of waiting until you’re 70 to retire and do personal things, you’ll be able to do them while you’re still young.
Although many people find themselves feeling scared about the future of job automation, there really is nothing to be worried about. Robots cannot do every job there is, and it’s likely you’ll see a better work-life balance, and better pay, in the future too. What are your thoughts on job automation? Let us know in the comments.