What hope for jobs in the future? Which professions are likely to survive an era when robots and artificial intelligence will be taking over so many tasks?
The jobs of doctors, accountants, some engineers and even teachers are under threat from robotisation. Robots will diagnose your maladies. Robots will do your accounts. Robots will measure, build and construct in all areas of manufacturing. And robots are even now teaching languages online. Sometimes we’re communicating with a robot without even knowing it.
It’s estimated that 47 per cent of all current employment will be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) over the next two decades.
And yet there remain areas of employment where only a human can do the job. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has published a list of 30 occupations that will grow and expand over the next decade. Most of these are “hands-on” professions where the unique ministrations of a human being remain irreplaceable.
Although doctor-robots can diagnose illnesses – a robot already exists that can diagnose cancer faster than a human doctor – we will always need the human interaction of a real doctor (and, even more, a real nurse). Nursing, according to the American predictions, is one of the professions that will survive robotisation.
Therapists, healthcare workers and special needs teachers will always be in demand. Caring for the elderly will remain a vital job. Many creative jobs will also survive. And, although the futurologists don’t specifically predict this, I would suggest that the pastoral profession of the clergy will never be supplanted by a robot.
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