Beep it and weep: a full 47 percent of jobs in America are in danger of being “computerized.”
What does that mean? Of the 702 (!) occupation types that Oxford researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne surveyed, nearly half of them are at risk of being fully automated. Instead of being done by human hands, these gigs could go to the machines.
“The automation of these occupations is made possible by big data and advanced sensors,” the authors write, “giving robots enhanced senses and dexterity, allowing them to perform a broader scope of non-routine manual tasks.”
You don’t have to search far for an example: Google’s driverless car could soon displace the 1.6 million truck drivers in the United States.
Who else is in danger? More than you’d expect: Service jobs like fast food counter attendants and medical transcriptionists are also in the high-risk category, though it’s this field that’s had the most job growth over the past few decades.
It’s a historic trend, Frey and Osborne say:
Nineteenth-century manufacturing technologies largely substituted for skilled labour in jobs, such as weaving and the production of tools, by simplifying the tasks involved. Next, the computer revolution of the twentieth century caused a hollowing-out of middle-income jobs. The next generation of computers will mainly substitute low-income, low-skill workers over the next decades.
So what jobs aren’t going to be computerized? Ones that require creative intelligence, like science and engineering, or those that demand social intelligence, as in health care, the arts, and education.