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Mainspring Insights: Will "robots" take my job?

We have noticed numerous articles written about the general concern that jobs will soon be replaced by robots and automation, but how much should we really be concerned?

CNN brought up an interesting point: nearly 100 years ago, the United States horse population hit an all-time high at nearly 23 million. Soon, the mass production and availability of the automobile soared. The population of horses have since steadily declined over the years. However, horses used for means aside for transportation means have stayed consistent, simply because this new technology (vehicles) could not replace their function.

This example correlates with the demand for skilled & specialized workers. Companies are seeking robotics to automate jobs that consist of mundane and repetitive tasks. These are the most practical functions for robotics technology (at current level of tech. advancement) to replace.

Those in administrative work (such as secretaries) and physical labor (construction workers, food service, security) will fall by a predicted 30% come the year 2030 (Washington Post). Though it is estimated currently that over 50% of individuals tasks could be automated (spanning various industries), it is only predicted that 5% of jobs could currently be replaced.

Another issue is cost.

Automation is still incredibly expensive to implement. Manufacturing firms have been adopting this in recent years, as clearly they are able to see the long-term benefits and cost-effectiveness of automating - however, some firms do not have the infrastructure (both physical and fiscally) to make it happen.

As for the jobs that will thrive for years to come...

Through all of the extensive research done concerning automation replacing jobs, they have unanimously concluded that artists, writers, philologists, care takers, to name a few, will have excellent job security. These jobs all have a unifying theme - skilled creativity. Occupations that utilize creativity, or just simply call for the intangible yet understandable "human element", will be here to stay.

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