Gadgets

Are Robots Really Trying To Take Our Jobs?

A few months ago, we brought you word of a web tool that would determine if your job was at risk of being taken by a robot.

Developed by news group NPR, it uses Oxford University research into the effectiveness of robotics vs humans in the workplace, taking into account traits including empathy, negotiation skills and repetition.

Many of you gave it a click, and most of you were relieved to see that the droids weren't about hand you a P45, and even those under in the "extremely likely" camp are yet to hear the clump of metallic feet... yet.

We spoke to Amelia Kallman, innovation consultant at technology group Engage Works to find out whether we should be clearing our desks of staplers and cat calendars any time soon.

What jobs are under threat from automated machines in the next 10 years?

"Repetitive, methodical and routine jobs are those most at threat from automated machines. These are the types of jobs where actions and decisions can be predicted based on previous experience."

Is this about to become a major problem for some industries?

"Although it's hard to accurately predict whether robots will prove a major problem for whole industries, there are certain sectors that are definitely more at risk from automated machines than others. For example, the financial industry could soon discover that robots can crunch numbers and make market predictions with more accuracy and reliability than humans."

What sort of human skill sets could never be replaced?

"There are jobs that robots simply cannot replace - yet. Jobs that require creativity, perception and empathy are less likely to be replaced, simply because robots are unable to think like human beings and take into consideration reactions, mood and emotion. Doctors, nurses, vets, designers and child-minders, are all examples of jobs that will remain safe - unless there are drastic advancements in robotics."

So, that BA in art history is suddenly looking like a future-proof qualification, right?

(Images: Shutterstock)