Rise of Automation, The Dawn of a New Era!
Rise of the machines!
“Automation is happening, and it will bring substantial benefits to businesses and economies worldwide, but it won’t arrive overnight.”
With developments in artificial intelligence, automation, robotics and machine learning. A new age has dawned upon humankind. An age of the machines!
There are regular reports from multiple independent sources and researches on how the rise of industrial automation would facilitate and fluctuate the job scenario across the world. One such report by a company named McKinsey&Company states that more than 45% of jobs are at the risk of being automated.
However in the past, redundancy of human jobs have often been greatly exaggerated. Technology has actually created a lot more jobs than it has wiped out. Termed as the “Luddite Fallacy”, in reference to the 19th century group of textile workers who smashed the new weaving machinery that made their skills redundant. Fact of the matter is that in the last 60 years automation has only eliminated one occupation: elevator operators.
“An actual estimate of the number of jobs that automation would actually replace by the year 2025 is 7%.” – This statistic is for the US as predicted by Forrester forecasts.
Stanford University academic Jerry Kaplan writes in Humans Need Not Apply: today, automation is “blind to the colour of your collar.”
Which Professions are at a greater risk?
While the automation apocalypse is real, it isn’t much of an apocalypse as the industrial revolution was one. As is with technological change and advancements we have to adopt and adapt in order to advance.
Whether you’re a factory worker, a legal adviser or a CEO, automation is coming for you. Now that doesn’t mean that machines would replace the human workforce entirely but certain tasks that can be classified as grunt work or repetitive has a higher chance of being automated than others says Martin ford futurist and author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future.
Hence the jobs that are most at risk are those which are on some level “routine, repetitive and predictable”.
For example, Telemarketing, has a 99% probability of automation according to The Future of Employment report; you may have already noticed an increase in irritating robocalls. Tax preparation, involving systematically processing large amounts of predictable data, also faces a 99% chance of being automated. In fact technology has already started doing our taxes. H&R Block, one of America’s largest tax preparation providers, is now using Watson, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform.
If anything automation, frees up time for people so that they may focus on other things.
“Machines are efficient. Art, design, innovation, science, exploration, and discovery are not. Automation can hence allow us humans to focus on the aspects that are most human like – Inefficiency.” As digital visionary Kevin Kelly says.
Hence jobs themselves won’t entirely vanish but rather would be redefined. Workers would thus have to acquire new skill sets to remain employed.
How industrial automation will revolutionise manufacturing.
The manufacturing industry involves completing a high volume repetitive tasks in a short time. Machines can be programmed to perform these tasks as they are efficient. One such popular trend that would soon erupt onto the production field would be “Dark factories.” Also known as “lights out” or “automatic” factories—are manufacturing facilities that do not depend on human labour to get work done. Such factories can operate without lights, heating and cooling and other “amenities” required by human workers.
For example the Changying Precision Technology Company might be the model for the future of manufacturing:-
Having eliminated 90% of its human workforce and replacing it with 60 robot arms. Productivity increased 250%, while product defects decreased by 80%. – source.
In Indian manufacturing plants such as Hundai, Maruti Suzuki, Royal Enfield, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors have increased levels of automation in its newer plants. – source.
This thus enables companies to cut down on costs and save money. Employing only a few workers to maintain and manage the machines. Some companies however even have a ‘lights out’ shift in between their human shifts to maximise on production.
Which jobs are the safest?
There are three areas where robots do not stand a chance.
- The first is one which involves genuine creativity such as being an artist, a scientist or developing a new business strategy. Humans are the best at being creative. But who’s to say that they would remain the most creative entity in the years to come?
- The second are areas where human interactions, relationships and emotional connection is most essential. Nurses, counsellors, therapists and management roles that require you to build close relationships with clients.
- The third area is jobs that are highly unpredictable. For example maintenance and ground workers called for emergencies in different locations, repairers, installers, first line supervisor of mechanics.
These areas rank the least risk of automation. According to The Future Employment. While being in a creative or people-focused industry may keep your job safe for now, it’s very hard to predict how much computers might change the working world in the future.
So how do you prepare yourself for the future?
Thus being an employee would be equivalent to putting all of your money in just one stock. A better strategy is to diversify your portfolio or in this case their career. Acquaint themselves with rising popular skills and courses.
“We’re in the midst of this huge sweeping change that is going to impact all levels of society.” – source.
In the future, we’ll all have seven or eight jobs. With the average adult working for a number of companies simultaneously rather than working for just one big corporation. These multiple jobs will demand high versatility, multiple skills and proficiency in them. Automation will only make us humans free to do what we really want to do and what we are good at. And hence will pave the way for a quality revolution.
What are your multiple skill sets? How can you gain proficiency in them? What’s your game-plan of surviving the automation apocalypse? We at Navigus can help you in answering these and much more such questions.
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