Will a robot take your job? Find out here

3 Jun 2015

Admit it, we all fear robots replacing us in work, relegating us to mere assistants, greasing our robotic employers’ wheels. Until smaller machines replace us for that role. But how susceptible is your profession to automation?

We’re so enthralled by what has yet to come that there are already projects investigating how to eradicate future mobile network traffic jams, encountered as our as-yet-non-existent (yet surely cloud-connected) smart cars chat away to each other on our seamless, stress-free drive to work.

We’re going cashless, with more and more of our thoughts and memories shared in the cloud. Our washing machines will talk to our central heating, alarms to our mobile phones.

Interconnected, uninhibited and awash with conformity, will we – at least in a professional sense – be replaced by robots?

Will a robot take your job? Depends on the job…

Well NPR, that wondrous non-profit US media source, has had a little look, with the help of some impressive Oxford research, to find out who is most in danger.

Carl Frey and Michael Osborne’s 2013 paper The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation? looks deep into what makes our jobs unique, and what opportunities there are for technological replacements.

From this, as well as nice illustrations by Naftali Beder, NPR’s team has created a great little tool to find out if you should be worried about being replaced by machines, or if you will have to engage more with them as colleagues are replaced.

Will a robot take your job? Doctors, you’re fine

For example, medical scientists can relax. You are virtually irreplaceable, which works as a wonderfully fortunate pun that I’ll keep in here. There’s a 0.5pc chance that we’ll replace House with Robot House, or Patch Adams with Software Patch Adams.

Will a robot take your job? Medical scientists can relax

Will a robot take your job? Computer programmers beware

A fine irony ensues when we consider computer programmers, the drivers of this brave new ‘smart’ world, are sitting on the precipice of safety, with a 48.1pc chance that their coding skills will be coded in a way to no longer need their skills.

This would no doubt lead to a weird Weird Science scenario, whereby computerised operatives digitally create an organic replica to show off to their friends. Admit it, we’d all like to see that.

Will a robot take your job? Programmers beware

Will a robot take your job? Cartographers… yep

A big red ‘X’ marks the spot for cartographers’ future, with less than a one-in-eight chance we need humans for this job in the future. Harsh. You can probably thank Google Maps for that.

Will a robot take your job? Cartographers for sure

Will a robot take your job? Management is safe

But fret not, decision makers, for chief executives will remain suited, booted and verbally convoluted, with very little chance of computers rising up the corporate ladder.

Will a robot take your job? Chief Executives rest easy

There are dozens of professions to pick from, so head over to NPR and find out if you should be worried.

Robot in industry 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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