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) (287)
42.21%
Creative manual jobs (e.g gardening) (61)
8.97%
Jobs with pattern recognition (e.g driving) (200)
29.41%
Knowledge-intensive jobs (e.g. lawyers) (30)
4.41%
All of the above (73)
10.74%
None - no job can be fully automated (29)
4.26%
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ecolier
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
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She-Ra
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(Original post by ltsmith)
no. no one will ever trust a robot to perform surgery or to diagnose illness/trauma.
It would be so heartless in terms of communication and there are studies to show that how the diagnosis/prognosis is communication can have a positive or detrimental effect on the patient.

There doing trials on the moment on robots that administer chemotherapy which limits the amount of nursing time.... I think it's just so sad. In a care setting you need actually need care and tenderness that only a human can give.

(Original post by DoritoEvie)
Oh hey, I just wrote an essay on this topic. All of the above. Inevitably.
That's really interesting, why do you feel it's inevitable?
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Lancaster University Guest Lecturer
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#23
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(Original post by itsismael)
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.
But you also need people making these robots...is it just about changing the skills we are trained for?
Much talk about a third revolution, the digital printing revolution, are we just in the middle of it and what will happen to capitalism as we used to know it?
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CoolCavy
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The manufacture side of design might become more automated but the start of the design process never can be as you can't replicate creativity with a robot.
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StriderHort
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#25
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(Original post by Acsel)
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.

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.
'Gardening' is a funny one, although lots of people call stuff gardening, it's pretty much a professional role like plumber or electrician and requires a LOT of skills. It's mainly a knowledge/decision making role so the main limiting factor for automation is most likely AI development/cost. (not that people won't be still working on it)

The real ones who are getting it in the neck are the grounds maintenance, farm labour and nursery workers...they're the ones with the highly repetitive roles and automation is making great strides there, I've had tours of some seriously impressive robotic facilities and feel it's not so much cost as the fact that well designed automation can complete tasks with a speed and accuracy people simply can't match. As you say, robot mowers are a big thing in development, closely linked to battery development, adoption of batteries by local authorities for green work is my main uni topic so ill be away to talk to all the councils and manufacturers and i suspect a desire to develop and move to robotics will come up more than once.

I suppose automation is a large reason I returned to uni, I worked in grounds maintenance toting a mower or strimmer of some sort and enjoyed it fine, but the progression is crap and you're very aware of national cutbacks and a push for efficiency, so i've returned to uni in an attempt to transition from a mostly physical worker to a knowledge worker and get ahead of the curve of skilled VD unskilled.
Last edited by StriderHort; 3 weeks ago
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winterscoming
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#26
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A man walks up to a construction site foreman in the street.
He says "This is outrageous! If it wasn't for your digger, ten men with shovels could be doing that job!"
The foreman replies "And if it wasn't for your shovels, 100 men with teaspoons could be doing this job."



Computers are good at anything whereby outcomes can be defined in un-ambiguous objective terms, many of today's jobs are indeed easily measurable in entirely objective terms because they are wholly prescriptive - for example, a lot of clerical jobs are all about administration and following rules so it's easy to imagine a scenario where all of those are replaced entirely by automated processes. However, this completely ignores the fact that humans need to be involved in the first place before the automated process can ever exist because they're the ones who invent the rules.

Automation has been happening for a long time and usually resulted in better efficiency, accuracy, reliability, safety, cost-saving and human assistance but has never managed to replace humans altogether - the humans have simply moved from being the ones who are doing the work to those who create, control, maintain and monitor the automated systems. Fewer humans are needed to control an automated system, but that just means we can increase productivity by having the same number of humans being able to get a lot more done by delegating all the real work to the automated system.

Of course, we could easily imagine some kind of dystopian future where an AI becomes so smart that it replaces all human leadership, control and decision making, but I can't really imagine humans would either want or accept such a scenario - one thing we know is absolutely true about humanity is that people desire control (at least over their own lives if nothing else), so barring the Skynet/Terminator scenario, humanity itself is always going to be making sure that it is in control of its creations, with computers merely doing the work as well as providing input/feedback which help its controller/leader make better-informed decisions.


Realistically I'd imagine humans are likely to be increasingly involved in jobs based in the process of creating and maintaining automated systems as well as analysing the information made available by those systems to make decisions. For example, the construction site foreman of the future could still exist, except s/he is more likely to be an engineer and architect who takes the time to understand what needs to be built, monitors the construction systems in case something needs to be adapted, knowing how to modify and program the system so that they can get the job done properly and on time.
Last edited by winterscoming; 3 weeks ago
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Acsel
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#27
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
The manufacture side of design might become more automated but the start of the design process never can be as you can't replicate creativity with a robot.
We can't yet, but that's not to say AI cannot be advanced enough to a point where it can be truly creative.

In some cases, I think the pure design stage can be broken down into a set of steps or rules. If a design is good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, some of those things can be quantified. Lexus' AI car advert is an example of that. We might not be there yet, but I don't think it'll stay that way forever. I just think an AIs creative process will be very different to a humans.
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by Acsel)
We can't yet, but that's not to say AI cannot be advanced enough to a point where it can be truly creative.

In some cases, I think the pure design stage can be broken down into a set of steps or rules. If a design is good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, some of those things can be quantified. Lexus' AI car advert is an example of that. We might not be there yet, but I don't think it'll stay that way forever. I just think an AIs creative process will be very different to a humans.
I suppose, I just don't think robots can be creative because if it's robots being creative I think it loses the meaning of creativity, only humans can be purely creative , also design work is a lot avabo inteeractivng with a client and being sensitive to their needs something which I think a robot would struggle to do and if I was a client I would sooner interact with a human, I think manual things are at a lot more risk of automation than the creative sector
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Acsel
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#29
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
I suppose, I just don't think robots can be creative because if it's robots being creative I think it loses the meaning of creativity, only humans can be purely creative , also design work is a lot avabo inteeractivng with a client and being sensitive to their needs something which I think a robot would struggle to do and if I was a client I would sooner interact with a human, I think manual things are at a lot more risk of automation than the creative sector
I think that depends on whether the "meaning of creativity" is something that needs to be valued. For example compare a packaging design to a piece of art. Packaging is functional, whereas art is purely creative. As we are now, AI can sort of do that functional side of creative where the value is more in the end product fulfilling a purpose, but less so the purposeless artistic side of things.

As we are now, I'd agree. AI is not in a position to interact with customers, determine their needs, interpret feedback, etc. But given a sufficient amount of time, we will get there. It's not going to happen soon and we're really not close to the sort of thing you'd see in science fiction. But it's not totally unattainable.

With regards to actually interacting with humans vs robots, I think that's something people would get used to. Human like robots will become a thing and at some point it'll be difficult to tell the difference. But equally there's an argument that robots have no need to be human. We could build them in any shapre we like and it makes sense to go for the one that's most efficient.

I do agree though, manual tasks are far more likely to be automated than creative tasks. In part because manual tasks are very linear, and in part because there's so much more demand for it. Even if we were in a position to automate either, autonomous vehicles makes far more sense than autonomous artists.
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Dunno, don't particularly care.
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#31
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#31
(Original post by itsismael)
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.
I agree with you, however, some people also argue that robots can only replace tasks, but not jobs, no humans. For examples, the ATMs are everywhere, but the banks are still hiring people to provide quality service for their customers, in order to grab more market share from their competitors.

It is also claimed that some jobs, such as receptionists and telemarketers, will disappear as technology evolves. We might not be able to stop the evolution of robots and AI, but we are able to prepare and choose our future career path.
Last edited by Lancaster University Guest Lecturer; 3 weeks ago
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#32
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#32
(Original post by Profesh)
Anyone who didn't answer "All of the above" is in for a rude awakening twenty-odd years from now.
If all the jobs would be replaced by robots/AI, what do we humans do? :rolleyes:
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jameswhughes
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(Original post by Lancaster University Guest Lecturer)
I agree with you, however, some people also argue that robots can only replace tasks, but not jobs, no humans. For examples, the ATMs are everywhere, but the banks are still hiring people to provide quality service for their customers, in order to grab more market share from their competitors.

It is also claimed that some jobs, such as receptionists and telemarketers, will disappear as technology evolves. We might not be able to stop the evolotion of robots and AI, but we are able to prepare and choose our future career path.
I'm not sure about that, look at the number of bank branch closures recently - everything can be done over the internet now so there's no need for staff or a physical prescence.
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Doonesbury
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(Original post by Lancaster University Guest Lecturer)
If all the jobs would be replaced by robots/AI, what do we humans do? :rolleyes:
Go to Nice and put our trotters up.

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She-Ra
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Go to Nice and put our trotters up.

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How jolly lovely......

I like working though

Stimulating work is healthy, it's good to keep active and connecting with people regularly is super important.

I'm not saying that wouldn't happen in Nice, but given that humans are these days moving less and making unhealthy decisions I'd worry that not having a routine would make it much worse.
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(Original post by She-Ra)
How jolly lovely......

I like working though

Stimulating work is healthy, it's good to keep active and connecting with people regularly is super important.

I'm not saying that wouldn't happen in Nice, but given that humans are these days moving less and making unhealthy decisions I'd worry that not having a routine would make it much worse.
But I mean, there wouldn't be any limitation on who can be an artist, scientist, philosopher, etc etc because we'd be in post scarcity. idk maybe "work" in our modern sense will disappear but other things will take over.
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She-Ra
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(Original post by itsismael)
But I mean, there wouldn't be any limitation on who can be an artist, scientist, philosopher, etc etc because we'd be in post scarcity. idk maybe "work" in our modern sense will disappear but other things will take over.
I agree, we've always evolved.... there would be a new phase of work culture that would develop and if robots were doing the majority of manual roles then that would ultimately save money and maybe that money could be reinvested in roles and services that really do require humans.
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(Original post by itsismael)
But I mean, there wouldn't be any limitation on who can be an artist, scientist, philosopher, etc etc because we'd be in post scarcity. idk maybe "work" in our modern sense will disappear but other things will take over.
So how will the future of work be like?
(Original post by She-Ra)
I agree, we've always evolved.... there would be a new phase of work culture that would develop and if robots were doing the majority of manual roles then that would ultimately save money and maybe that money could be reinvested in roles and services that really do require humans.
Will no one want to do any manual job? does this mean that we will see an era where manual jobs are deemed less worthy? Or will the meaning of manual jobs change?
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(Original post by jameswhughes)
I'm not sure about that, look at the number of bank branch closures recently - everything can be done over the internet now so there's no need for staff or a physical prescence.
Is there not? maybe for younger generations but will older people need that 'human touch'?

Do you think there will be any cultural difference across countries, especially in realtion to how people prefer transacting? there is research that show that some cultures still prefer to do face-to-face deals in business
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(Original post by Lancaster University Guest Lecturer)
Is there not? maybe for younger generations but will older people need that 'human touch'?

Do you think there will be any cultural difference across countries, especially in realtion to how people prefer transacting? there is research that show that some cultures still prefer to do face-to-face deals in business
Some people might like to speak to a human, but most of us prefer lower costs. It's the same with travel agents, ticket offices, airports, Argos - all these things can be done more efficiently with automation and computers, and private businesses can't afford to pay staff to stand around all day just because someone might occasionally want to ask a question.

Automation might come around more gradually in other countries, but it will likely affect everywhere, after all every business wants to save/make more money.
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