Robots have been taking jobs from humans for decades now, replacing bank tellers with ATMs, cashiers with self-checkout machines, and factory workers with mechanized assembly lines. The fear, of course, is that the bots will grow so intelligent -- and low-maintenance from a management perspective -- that they'll replace us altogether. In a recent New York Times column, Neil Irwin explains why that might not be as likely as some naysayers predict. Why? For one thing, robots don't have a lot of common sense.
The robots are coming, and they're going to scoop up some, most, or hardly any of our jobs, depending on which expert you're listening to and which data they're using. What a potential automated takeover would mean for mankind is up for debate, but recent research shows that it's probably mankind, and not womankind, that needs to worry. If robots do take over our jobs, Oxford researchers say, they'll come for the ones that are most often done by men.
Robots are coming for (some of) our jobs. The question is, how many of our jobs can we expect to lose to automation, how soon will it happen – and most importantly, what will happen to us, the humble humans who are used to trading labor for cash, and cash for the things we need to survive?