Technological innovation has benefited humanity in innumerable ways. It has allowed us to discover other planets, replace damaged hearts, print three-dimensional objects (including bridges), and easily communicate with people all over the world.
Two areas of technology have experienced incredible growth in recent years: robotics and artificial intelligence. No longer the stuff of science fiction, both have tremendous capacity to help humanity – and to harm it.
Earlier today, Truthstream Media reported that the Bilderberg Group’s “steering committee has invited more and more entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley as well as tech heads leading changes on the Internet, in cybersecurity and the vast changes happening in technology.”
Artificial intelligence was a key topic at Bilderberg’s meeting last week.
With great power comes great responsibility, and the world of technology should not be an exception.
But it is. Killer robots are being developed by the government. As early as next year, we may see robot cops patrolling our streets. And, security robots have become an area of special interest for the robotics industry.
Even technology genius Elon Musk is concerned about artificial intelligence and said he is worried that Google’s intensified research into robotics could “produce something evil by accident.” Earlier this year, Musk, Stephen Hawking, and over 150 other artificial intelligence experts, including academics from Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and MIT, signed an open letter calling for research on the societal impacts of AI.
Musk and Hawking have both been vocal about their concerns that superhuman artificial intelligence could end the human race if deployed without serious caution.
While a takeover by nefarious robotic overlords may happen someday, there is a more imminent concern we all should be aware of and planning for: the very real possibility of machines taking our jobs.
You might think that losing your job to a machine isn’t that likely. After all, people will be needed to build and program these robots (thus providing adequate employment for programmers and engineers), right?
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Sadly, this may not be the case, because robots of the (near) future may not even NEED human input at all.
A new robot developed at UC Berkeley is an example of this developing technology. Named BRETT (Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks), the robot is not completely independent, but it does learn through trial and error, much like humans do. Lest you believe this is not anything to be concerned about, consider that most robots need programmed instructions for every little task. Not so with BRETT. If you’d like to see “him” in action, you can watch a video here.
Of course, certain professions are far more susceptible to “computerization.” NPR created a calculator based on a study by the University of Oxford that explored how vulnerable certain jobs are to robotic takeover.
|Editors and writers – only 3-6%
chance of robot replacement
According to the Daily Mail, the researchers “examined 702 jobs, picking out skills essential to roles such as creativity and dexterity, to work out whether robots could replace humans.”
Accountants, insurance underwriters, telemarketers, legal assistants, and models are the most likely to be replaced by robots, according to the study.
Jobs that require personal interaction, negotiation, and creativity are believed to be less at risk, but time will tell. Robotic nurses already exist, and although restaurant servers interact with their customers on a high level, they are already being replaced with robots.
What job is hardest for a robot to do? Mental health and substance abuse social workers (found under community and social services). This job has a 0.3 percent chance of being automated. That’s because it’s ranked high in cleverness, negotiation, and helping others. The job most likely to be done by a robot? Telemarketers. No surprise; it’s already happening.
Michael Osborne, one of the Oxford researchers, said, “I think we can almost guarantee that technology will continue to progress and will ultimately render almost all the jobs that humans do today automatable.”
If you would like to see if your occupation is at risk, you can access the calculator here: Will Your Job Be Done By A Machine?
It might be time for career reassessment and additional education for those who are most at risk of robotic replacement. While the researchers who created the calculator admit their estimates are rough and could be faulty, it would be wise to plan accordingly just in case.