Will A Robot Take Your Job?
Could Robbie Robot really steal your job? Well, hold onto your cows. For now. Because I reckon it's on the way.
Leastways, that's how I read the tea leaves. And some will be hit harder than others. Like, if you happen to sit behind a steering wheel for a living.
One day you might be waving to Robbie Robot driving the van beside you. Giving you a robotic thumbs up as he zooms by.
With advances in computer and robotic technology happening at the rate of knots, don't be surprised if Old Mate Roomba Vac morphs from blindly eating dust bunnies into your very own Au Pair at home.
Maybe Alexa will end up looking like someone you know. Maybe even dreamt of going out with (along with that creepy laugh thing she used to do). And, Google could end up looking like a handsome nerd with thick, black framed glasses (Google goggles?). So robots become your friends.
They might start coming to work with you. Sitting right next to you being friendly desk pests. Then, after a week or two, they might say they've got your back. So you can stay home. Sleep in and have a break.
Except when your robotic buddy shafts you. Because the workplace reckon their work is better than yours.
Now that's a bit grim, I know. The experts tell us that robots will be our servants. Want to help us. Be your happy lackey.
But lets face it. If you had a shred of intelligence, would working as a slave to a big bunch of clueless humans really do it for you?
You might say, well I do that already. It's called a job and I get paid for it. So can't Google and Alexa help out too?
After all, these robots don't need breaks, a coffee machine, lunch room, toilets, or wages. Plus, they can work 24/7. Why bother with people in the workforce at all?
Plain as day, the digital writing has already been scrawled on the washroom wall. Heaps of people will be given the pink slip, i.e. don't come back Monday. And it's hardly surprising.
A whole lot of legal work, driving, building, manufacturing, customer service, and retail activity will see Robbie and his cobbers doing it better cheaper, faster, and longer.
Not tomorrow of course. But not that far off.
By now, you might be thinking, “Ha! You can shove your Robbie bloody robots. They won’t affect me.” But is that really true?
Think of places you do business with already. “Press 1 for sales, 2 for fee for service support, 3 to be connected to another electronic voice, or 4,5,6…95 to hear these options again.”).
Want to sort your IT problems out? Sure. There’s an app for that.
I'm just hoping tomorrow's robots will at least be nice. Like Hymie from the 1970s spy comedy, Get Smart). Better that than HAL, the computer from 2001. He'd probably be a pain in the backside to work with.
"Hey, HAL. Can you tell me where that folder I was working on has gone?
“I can’t do that, Dave.”
"Thanks for nothing, my robotic friend... Little dipstick."