Robot overlords don’t seem to scare us, majority think jobs are safe from automation

20 Apr 2015

A new employee sentiment poll shows nearly two-thirds of workers don’t believe robots can replace them, despite research indicating otherwise.

Nearly half of all jobs in the US could be automated within 20 years, according to an Oxford University study a couple of years back. However, 63pc of those surveyed by Monster recently don’t think robots will ever be able to their job.

“Though computers and robots are replacing some jobs, there are certain things they cannot replace,” said Monster’s Joanie Courtney.

“Emotional intelligence and soft skills are essential in today’s economy and, furthermore, crucial to the development of future technologies and careers. As certain fields become outmoded, just as many have in the past, it’s important to focus on building sectors that open up entire new professions  

“Additionally, as the Oxford study advises, workers who fear losing their jobs to automation should work on strengthening their creative and social skills to safeguard their necessity in the workforce.”

The study polled 3,800 workers and asked just one question, “When do you think automation (i.e., computers, robots) will be able to do your entire job?”

Interestingly, 12pc of respondents claimed robots can already replace them, with German respondents the most wary of robot encroachment in the workplace.

This is a topic of significant concern, in the US in particular. The Luddite Fallacy – a term given to 19th-century British textile manufacturers who campaigned against labour-saving technology – has often been used to discredit those who fear mass automation.

The argument being that for every job lost to robots another is gained elsewhere.

However, as the world digests more and more mobile technology, as it relies to larger and larger degrees on computers, and as it lives huge portions of its life online, perhaps this really is the dawn of the robots.

Well, not according to those surveyed by Monster…

Automated workers image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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