Could a robot do your job? asks USA Today. If it’s routine and repetitive, then, yes.
Driverless cars, trucks and trains could replace 7 percent of the workforce. Robots are likely to replace tractor-trailer drivers, train engineers, garbage collectors, taxi drivers and bus drivers, predicts an Oxford study.
Some personal care jobs could be automated.
Carnegie-Mellon is teaching HERB, the “Home-Exploring Robot Butler,” to retrieve and deliver objects, prepare simple meals and empty a grocery bag.
At a Silicon Valley hotel, “Botlr” delivers items such as extra towels and toothbrushes to guests upon request. “Not much larger than a child and with a black bow-tie, Botlr navigates the hotel on its own but will send an alert if it encounters an obstacle.”
Hospitals are also using robots to deliver lab specimens, linens, food trays, hazardous waste and other materials, jobs that are currently done by orderlies, nurse assistants, nurses and lab technicians.
A virus-killing robot, the Xenex, is being used in hospitals to disinfect rooms. The robot — which has gotten a lot of attention due to the Ebola crisis — uses sensors to determine room size, a factor in how long to deliver the lethal ultraviolet rays needed to disinfect the room.
Fast-food restaurants haven’t invested in robots because worker pay is so low. However, as technology costs fall and the minimum wage rises, food-service companies are adopting “tablets for ordering and computerized systems for kitchens and inventory,” according to Darren Tristano, a restaurant industry consultant.
The jobs that are at low risk of automation tend to require creative intelligence, negotiation, persuasion, perception, creativity or care.
That’s why engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, Web developers, artists, lawyers, business executives, nurses and doctors are among the safest jobs.
Still, USA Today predicts 8 percent of high-skill jobs, 46 percent of middle-skill jobs and 70 percent of low-skill jobs will be automated in the next 20 years.