Will you be replaced by robots or be treated like a robot at work? Watch

Poll: Will robots replace these job roles in the future?
Repetitive manual jobs (e.g factory production) (286)
42.12%
Creative manual jobs (e.g gardening) (61)
8.98%
Jobs with pattern recognition (e.g driving) (200)
29.46%
Knowledge-intensive jobs (e.g. lawyers) (30)
4.42%
All of the above (73)
10.75%
None - no job can be fully automated (29)
4.27%
This discussion is closed.
Lancaster University Guest Lecturer
  •  Official Rep
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#1
This week's poll is multiple choice

Amazon’s employees in the US have been demanding better work environment, and recently they have also started to push for unionisation.

In the UK, ambulances were called 600 times to the company sites between 2015 and 2018 due to unsafe working conditions despite healthy and safety regulations.

Amazon employees in the US feel they have been treated like robots. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, two giant online retailing platforms - Alibaba and Jingdong, have been using robots to pick up and deliver items.

It is claimed that the self-charging and wifi-equipped robots have saved 70% of manpower in Alibaba’s smart warehouse.

Some benefits of robots and automation:
  • Cheaper to employ
  • Not requiring safe and ethical workplace conditions
  • Streamlined processes, which quicken production
  • Simpler to manage (potentially eliminating the role of trade unions)


Some drawbacks:
  • Make humans obsolete (see self-service checkouts)
  • Reduce human interactions, which is vital for our health
  • Might bring on the short term high levels of unemployment
  • Can potentially take over a variety of jobs (e.g. news reporters, drivers, cashiers, etc.)



What does this mean for future employment? Are you worried about getting a job in the future?

Do you have a specific job in mind that you think might be directly affected by the use of robots or artificial intelligence?

Which roles do you think are most at risk of automation?
________________________________ ________________________________ _____________

Dr Yu Fu is a Senior Teaching Associate at Lancaster University, and she is the Programme Director for the Management & Human Resource, the Management & Organisational Behaviour, and the Management & Sociology. Her research interest lies in international HRM, particularly national cultural factors in employment. The main focus of her research is to investigate the impact of Chinese cultural values on the Western Transnational Corporations’ HR policies and practices in their Chinese subsidiaries.



Dr Lara Pecis is a Lecturer in Organisation Studies at the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology at Lancaster University Management School. She is also programme director for the Management and IT degree. Her teaching and research include the role of technologies in shaping organisations and their impact on people. She is also interested in questions of inclusion and diversity in management.
Last edited by She-Ra; 2 weeks ago
3
ANM775
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 2 weeks ago
#2
I lost my part time job 10 yrs ago to a robot [or some new "system" management put in place]

It's already happening. Jobs like in Amazon's warehouses are next on the line for automation

It will lead to a lot of unemployment. But honestly, Amazon treat their employees like absolute sh*t [i've heard a lot of bad things about them]. Unless the people they let go get evicted or starve they won't be shedding any tears about loosing that job...

Virtually All jobs imo will eventually have some computer or robot be able to do it. Some will just take much longer than others...
Last edited by ANM775; 2 weeks ago
3
Lancaster University Guest Lecturer
  •  Official Rep
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by ANM775)
I lost my part time job 10 yrs ago to a robot [or some new "system" management put in place]

It's already happening. Jobs like in Amazon's warehouses are next on the line for automation

It will lead to a lot of unemployment. But honestly, Amazon treat their employees like absolute sh*t [i've heard a lot of bad things about them]. Unless the people they let go get evicted or starve they won't be shedding any tears about loosing that job...

Virtually All jobs imo will eventually have some computer or robot be able to do it. Some will just take much longer than others...
Yes, it is already happening in many sectors (from law to manufacturing) and at different levels of automation. Would this mean trade unions will be playing an even more central role?

How can we make sure incoming managers change the current work conditions you have outlined?
0
itsismael
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#4
Report 2 weeks ago
#4
This change in automation will be a really fundamental change in society, it will replace the vast majority of jobs, and unlike the Industrial Revolution, it's highly unlikely a new kind of jobs gets created. I think it will cause a lot of unrest in the future and even rebellion. I mean once you replace your workers you still need people to buy your stuff, how can you do that if the majority of people are unemployed... Monopoly capitalism is outdoing itself, and it is only a matter of time before the contradictions manifest completely.
Last edited by itsismael; 2 weeks ago
1
ecolier
  • TSR Support Team
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#5
Report 2 weeks ago
#5
No, I make robots :mwuaha:

What do you mean they make themselves? :getmecoat:

Last edited by ecolier; 2 weeks ago
1
I AM GROOT 1
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#6
Report 2 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by ecolier)
No, I make robots :mwuaha:

What do you mean they make themselves? :getmecoat:
:afraid:
0
ecolier
  • TSR Support Team
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by I AM GROOT 1)
:afraid:
:console: DW the non-replaceable human is here (for now)
0
I AM GROOT 1
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#8
Report 2 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by ecolier)
:console: DW the non-replaceable human is here (for now)
:jumphug: can he stay
0
ecolier
  • TSR Support Team
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 2 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by I AM GROOT 1)
:jumphug: can he stay
That depends if the robots can make themselves :laugh: :rofl:

0
I AM GROOT 1
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#10
Report 2 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by ecolier)
That depends if the robots can make themselves :laugh: :rofl:
:rofl:
we gotta stop them :fight:
0
ANM775
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report 2 weeks ago
#11
(Original post by Lancaster University Guest Lecturer)
Yes, it is already happening in many sectors (from law to manufacturing) and at different levels of automation. Would this mean trade unions will be playing an even more central role?

How can we make sure incoming managers change the current work conditions you have outlined?

Managers these days are very focused on targets and squeezing the most out of their workers.

I have worked a similar job to the one at Amazon in the past and it was SOUL destroying. Managers do not care. It's all about targets. Everything is timed right down to the second. They are constantly looking for new ways to squeeze more out of you too. They come round everyday telling you your "rate", telling you to hurry the f**k up ..whilst they've been sitting in their nice comfy office all day with a cup of tea. I was so sore from lifting after the first couple of weeks [delayed onset muscle soreness] that I needed to take a day off when the schedule said I was to work 6 days that week. And ofcourse that gets you an absense ...and at 3% absense Management offically launch an "investigation" into you......

The only way of getting through to them and to get them to stop treating people like machines would be to go on a mass strike or something and hit them in their pockets until it makes more sense for them to relax working conditions than miss days/weeks of profits
0
ecolier
  • TSR Support Team
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 2 weeks ago
#12
(Original post by I AM GROOT 1)
:rofl:
we gotta stop them :fight:
:shoot:

0
I AM GROOT 1
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#13
Report 2 weeks ago
#13
(Original post by ecolier)
:shoot:

:woo: we got this
0
Profesh
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 2 weeks ago
#14
Anyone who didn't answer "All of the above" is in for a rude awakening twenty-odd years from now.
4
ltsmith
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 weeks ago
#15
no. no one will ever trust a robot to perform surgery or to diagnose illness/trauma.
0
DoritoEvie
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 weeks ago
#16
Oh hey, I just wrote an essay on this topic. All of the above. Inevitably.
0
ecolier
  • TSR Support Team
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 weeks ago
#17
(Original post by ltsmith)
no. no one will ever trust a robot to perform surgery...
I would trust a robot a lot more than any human surgeon, sorry itsbrainsurgery

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_relea...-nrf042418.php

New robot for skull base surgery is very accurate and alleviates surgeon's workload

Last edited by ecolier; 2 weeks ago
1
Acsel
  • Community Assistant
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#18
Report 2 weeks ago
#18
(Original post by Lancaster University Guest Lecturer)

Some drawbacks:
  • Make humans obsolete (see self-service checkouts)
  • Reduce human interactions, which is vital for our health
  • Might bring on the short term high levels of unemployment
  • Can potentially take over a variety of jobs (e.g. news reporters, drivers, cashiers, etc.)

One could argue that these aren't necessarily applicable drawbacks. For example:

Self service checkouts making humans obsolete: Humans aren't entirely obsolete, they're just required in smaller quantities. As we are now, self service checkouts aren't reliable enough to function independently.

Reduces human interaction which is vital for health: At least with regards to the options in the poll, some of them don't require interaction. Gardening and driving for example aren't always social. And are repetitive tasks worse for your health than the lack of social interaction you'd get from working said menial job? I'd also argue for something like driving, a car driven by an AI actually increases the social aspect. Without the need to drive, you are now free to do what you like.

Short term high unemployment: Possible. But I don't think we're in a position where things just immediately jump from no robots to all robots. This sort of thing tends to happen as a staggered release. So I don't think short term high unemployment is really a risk.

Can potentially take over many jobs: By itself, this isn't really a drawback.

Realistically, we're actually a fairly long way away from robots taking over all jobs. In terms of the poll examples, we're more or less getting there with regards to factory work and driving. Factory work in particular is leading, with autonomous vehicles a close second.

Creative manual jobs are something where a robot could do it, but some people will still want that human element. The practical side of having something like a Roomba for mowing grass isn't far off, but completely autonomous robots that can do a wider variety of garden tasks like a human are somewhat a ways away.

I think knowledge intensive jobs are ideal for robotics (or more specifically for AI). But again, AI has a long way to go. In terms of regurgitating information, we're kind of nearly there. Look at something like Watson on Jeopardy. But lawyers, as an example, don't simply regurgitate information.

I think there are definitely some jobs for which you'll struggle to fully automate. Until we get to a point where robots can fix other robots, there's always going to be a human element. And even when we're advanced enough to replace most jobs with robots, I think a lot of people will still want the real human element involved. It's less about whether we can, and more about whether there's a demand to.
1
Profesh
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#19
Report 2 weeks ago
#19
(Original post by ltsmith)
no. no one will ever trust a robot to perform surgery or to diagnose illness/trauma.
I would quite happily wager £500 that twenty years from now an offshoot of Google's Deepmind program will be performing complex surgical procedures autonomously.
0
Doonesbury
  • Section Leader
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#20
Report 2 weeks ago
#20
(Original post by ecolier)
No, I make robots :mwuaha:

What do you mean they make themselves? :getmecoat:

2
X
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Lancaster University
    Postgraduate Open Day Postgraduate
    Wed, 27 Feb '19
  • Lancaster University
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 29 Jun '19
  • Lancaster University
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Sat, 13 Jul '19

Do you give blood?

Yes (64)
8.45%
I used to but I don't now (19)
2.51%
No, but I want to start (281)
37.12%
No, I am unable to (185)
24.44%
No, I chose not to (208)
27.48%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed