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Bad News, Men: Robots Are Coming for Your Jobs, Specifically

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.

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 

(Photo Credit: David Blackwell./Flickr )

Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, of the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology and Machine Learning Research Group, respectively, examined 700 occupations and evaluated them to determine which were at risk for automation.

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Their conclusion? Forty-seven percent of jobs, as they exist today, will likely be performed by robots in the coming years – but jobs typically held by men are much more likely to be automated than those held by women.

“The skills exhibited by the coming wave of intelligent machines are better suited to occupations currently dominated by men,” explains Jerry Kaplan at The Atlantic. “Many of the jobs held by men involve perception and manipulation, often in conjunction with physical exertion, such as swinging a hammer or trimming trees. The latest mobile robots combine advanced-sensory systems with dexterous manipulators to successfully perform these sorts of tasks.”

Even less physical jobs won’t be safe. Kaplan notes that even “more cerebral male-dominated professions” like commodity trader (77 percent male, according to PayScale’s Career Research Center) are susceptible to replacement by robots – or at least, by ever more sophisticated software programs that can make judgment calls better than humans.

Jobs that are heavily female-dominated, on the other hand – e.g. registered nurse (88 percent female) or nanny (99 percent female) – might be safe.

“…[W]omen typically work in more chaotic, unstructured environments, where the ability to read people’s emotions and intentions are critical to success,” Kaplan writes. “If your job involves distracting a patient while delivering an injection, guessing whether a crying baby wants a bottle or a diaper change, or expressing sympathy to calm an irate customer, you needn’t worry that a robot will take your job, at least for the foreseeable future.”

The gender wage gap is due in large part to the fact that women are more likely to choose professions that give back to the world, while men are more likely to choose work that’s well-compensated. Replacing workers who do high-paying, potentially easier-to-automate jobs with robots is no one’s idea of gender equality, however.

Tell Us What You Think

Have you lost your job as a result of automation? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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Lol
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Lol

I already have to fix robots, granted Ive used and read about robots with some extent of self repair…I think I’m fairly safe. My only issue with the idea is that if you have experience with the technology you know that when things start going wrong with a robot…THEY GO VERY WRONG! It maybe in our future but there’s a lot of work to be done before your safe letting a robot trim trees or more your lawn folks. your only as good as your tool, a tool is only as good as the person holding it. Most of these… Read more »

Sam
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Sam

Always someone defending a ineffective president that is all about himself!

Priscilla
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Priscilla

Why are jobs that are ‘easier-to-automate’ being ‘well-compensated’?
The need for ‘chaotic, unstructured environment’ workers should naturally lead to higher pay, right?
The answer is somewhere between subconscious perceptions – and conscious intents – of HR/hiring managers.
Thank you.

Epifany4u
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Epifany4u

It’s always been my argument in political debates where people blame the President for lost jobs that the impact of technology on the job market is often overlooked. Sure, certain policies have had a negative impact and corporate decisions to send jobs oversees definitely impacts the job market. But the hundreds of thousands of jobs eliminated due to the advancement of technology (with very little to no protest or resistance from the workforce, by the way) is by far the biggest reason for the employment environment we are seeing today…And unfortunately, as the article states, it’s only going to get… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

As always, they take an article someone else wrote, and give a vague synopsis by overstating the obvious. Why not come up with something original for once, or at least cite the sources you’re plagiarizing?

Kapil
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Kapil

This is purely insane feminist shit. 10 min of my life wasted.

Nelson Eulalio
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Nelson Eulalio

Lets no forget that for every ATM machine we see a job was cancelled. Every boom gate in a shopping center replaced am employee. Every snack machine replaced an employee. And I am no talking about the machines in factories and printing, that have replaced millions of positions…

The Robots will just walk and do a bit more decisions but the technology is already there taking people jobs for the sake of a more optimised society that in reality benefits only the business owners to have more production with less (people) cost. 🙁

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