Do you think some jobs will be taken over by robots in the future? Why or why not? Is this good or bad for human beings if the take-over happens?
The question of whether robots will take some of the jobs performed by humans in the future is a matter of when rather than if. One need not to look further than the manufacturing industry to see the impact on technology on human labor. It is hard to believe the job of putting lids on containers such as toothpastes and canned food used to be performed by people. Currently, there is immense automation of the manufacturing industry to the point where there only a handful of employees in the manufacturing plants. A good example is the Coca-Cola Company that produces soft drinks and water. Initially, the work of creating the bottles, filling the bottles with soft drinks, sorting the different bottles into specific categories, labeling the bottles, packaging the bottles and washing the used bottles was performed by people. However, with the rapid automation of the industry, all these jobs are done by robots that are even capable of detecting errors such as when a bottle is not made well. There are only a handful of employees in the plant who use fork lifts to ferry packaged drinks and water to the trucks. While automation of the manufacturing sector was somewhat predictable, people are becoming increasingly concerned by the ability of machines or robots to infiltrate other professions or fields.
According to Gray (2017) experts predict that robots could be competing with mathematicians in forty-three years, take over as surgeons by 2053 and Al computers churning out New Yorks Times bestselling novels by 2049. This is a genuine concern as such occupations involve a lot of human ingenuity, accuracy, reasoning, as well as, creative and critical reckoning. Two hundred years ago when doctors performed surgeries without using anesthetics and people died from outbreaks such as consumption and chicken pox, it would have been hard to imagine that robots would take over as surgeons. Currently robots are capable of guiding surgeries in form of speech and will soon be able to perform physical surgeries; a task that was only entrusted to humans after immense training.
The existence of computers capable of performing vast amounts of calculations at the same time and making predictions means that Mathematicians stand the risk of being rendered incapable of performing calculations accurately and fast enough. Moreover, since there are numerous court reports and rulings that lawyers or advocates are not capable of memorizing and using in courts to argue cases, it is vastly claimed that robots will be capable of amassing all the rulings, reports and arguments and use them in court to argue their cases effectively. Such profound abilities by robots are what make the automation of labor quite imminent. Since humans are not capable of retaining all the information in their various fields of work or occupations and utilize it in making decisions and performing tasks, robots are seen as more efficient alternatives capable of using all the information to make decisions and carry out tasks. However, humans are quick to assert that “technology is inDo you think some jobs will be taken over by robots in the future?tended to complement, rather than replace, human expertise as Adam Smith states (Gray, 2017, N. p).
This means that robots will indeed exist in various workplaces, but only in the capacity of complementary labor rather than primary labor. Human labor will still not only form an integral part but also most of workforce in various fields of work. This point is reiterated by the double checking or monitoring of work done by robots or machines by humans. The machines that are entrusted to manufacture commodities in various industries and offer services such as folding clothes and answering telephones are always under the supervision of human employees to ensure that they do not falter or render bad services. Moreover, such robots require the input of humans in their performance through regular maintenance. Thus, robots are not capable of fully replacing humans in the workforce.Do you think some jobs will be taken over by robots in the future?
A significant argument put forward by Gray is the fact that humans will still care that certain jobs are done by humans rather than robots (Gray, 2017, N. p). A good example is the work of a preacher or a minister in church. People will be less inclined to listen to a robot minister in the place of a human minister. Such kind of mistrust in terms of work performance or delivery of service by robots is what will extend to other occupations, especially those that require immense human intellect, reasoning, as well as, creative and critical thinking such as medicine, journalism, teaching, accounting and engineering among others. Thus, it can be argued that robots will not supplant humans fully in the workforce based on the inability of humans to fully trust robots or machines to deliver services, make just decisions and perform tasks competently. However, as stated above, the matter of robots replacing humans in the workforce is a question of when rather than if. It is a game of time rather than possibility. Humans have the power and capability to delay the take-over due to their ingenuity and economic crisis concerns as a result of massive unemployment. The take-over by robots will most certainly have dire consequences, especially on the global economy which is not a good thing. Thus, automation though unavoidable is being delayed as much as possible by humans themselves so as to ensure that people are not rendered jobless by better performing and less costly robots. Otherwise, most of jobs performed by humans will be taken over by robots.
Gray, Richard. “How Long Will It Take For Your Job To Be Automated?.” Bbc.Com, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20170619-how-long-will-it-take-for-your-job-to-be-automated.