Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

Attack of the (Job) Killer Robots!

The biggest threat to U.S. workers isn’t immigrants or China or human at all. The biggest threat to U.S. workers is, without a doubt, automation. Watch out landfill workers, WALL-E is coming for your job. But it’s not just landfill workers whose jobs will be replaced by robots; robots could take over 38% of U.S. jobs within the next 15 years. Two-thirds of Americans recognize that the majority of jobs currently done by humans will be done by robots in the near future, but 80% believe their job is safe. We are not ready for this massive change on the horizon. Tech leaders, however, are brain-storming different ideas to deal with the exponential rise in unemployment that will inevitably result from the coming automation boom. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates suggested that companies pay taxes on their robots to make up for lost income tax. eBay president and CEO Devin Wenig urges employers to retrain their employees to prepare them for the jobs that will still be around. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes advocate for universal basic income, which is when the government would start paying people salaries even if they don’t work. What do you believe the solution to the coming automation boom should be? Is there one viable solution? Do you believe your job will ever be replaced by a robot? How do you plan to be prepared for the new robot-run economy?

6 Responses to Attack of the (Job) Killer Robots!

  • I can understand what you mean when the articles talk about how robots are taking over human jobs, especially processes that can be automated. I see it at fast food ordering kiosks, bank tellers no longer needed, and self-checkout at grocery stores. However, I feel confident that my job and future jobs will not be replaced by robots. There are certain jobs that require human interaction and connections that robots do not have. My first job coming out of college will require a lot of communication between other humans, business writing, and some travel, all activities that I am confident I will always be better than a robot in. To combat the robot trend, I feel confident that I chose the right major in MIS because it is a business degree with some aspects of STEM, fields that the articles mentioned were growing in importance. And who knows, I may even end up being a manager of a team looking to automate processes through the use of robots!

  • The articles talk about how robots will eliminate the low skill jobs, but they omit the fact that the automation robot will create jobs at the same time. Base on the history of the technology development, new technology most of the time create more jobs than it eliminates. The invention of the telephone eliminated most of the letter delivery jobs, but with the ability to communicate with long distances, businesses could go a lot further than before. Same thing happened after the invention of computers, there were a lot of people lost their jobs because there was no need to have a group of people to do the calculation, but the computers create a new era of computing. There are a lot of cases suggest that technology will increase the net number of the jobs. Specifically, in this case, the automation robots free the human race from repetitive and tedious production tasks, and at the same time create a lot of jobs relates to robot design, manufacturing, maintenance, and etc. More importantly, humankind as whole will has more time or resources to focus on other areas with the help of robots. I am really optimistic on the emerge of automated robots.

  • I do not think my job will ever be replaced by robots. After working as an IT audit intern this past summer, it would be very difficult to have robots doing our job. We had to travel to client sites, request evidence and then analyze the evidence. I do not see robots taking over jobs that require an intellectual background. As Josh mentioned, computers have already taken over for bank tellers (ATMs) and grocery store checkout clerks (self checkout).

  • I agree that robot will take place many jobs originally done by human, but i also believe the application of such technology will bring new job opportunities. Robots help improve the working efficiency and accuracy, also save the labor cost. From my perspective, it may not effect me much, since the course and skills i’ve learned are the combination of technology and business. With the popularity of working robots, there will be a transformation from traditional operated business to tech-operated business. The progress need people who understand both technology and business to manage. And more and more job related to new technology will come, it is a good choice to improve oneself with tech-related hard skills.

  • I agree that robots will take over many human jobs And I do believe there will be new jobs that will be created. However, the part I am concerned that is there enough opportunities for the people who lost their jobs due to robots. According to the article “These Will Be The Top Jobs In 2025 (And The Skills You’ll Need To Get Them)” in Melina Ghuman’s post (MIS Careers Rising) that there is about “5 million jobs will be lost due to automation by 2020 and the number will keep growing.” And the most secure jobs are all require certain skills. I wonder what would people who lost their jobs do if they do not have those skills to keep up with the change. I do not see my job can be replaced by robots since the job I do require significant communication between business and IT. It requires to work with a variety of people and knowledge both about business and technology. I do not see robots can do that yet.

  • I think it’s hard to predict how quickly robots might start creating a net negative for employment numbers, but it will happen sooner than we may want to believe. Certainly the need for humans to work particular jobs in certain industries will shrink, as efficiency from the use of robotics increases. And we’re generally okay with that in areas like manufacturing and agriculture, where the jobs are not valued by the college educated. It will be staved off longer in jobs that are more reliant on strategy, interpretation, and other currently unique traits of the living and breathing. As our lives become more digital, with software getting smarter and data-driven solutions replacing instinct and research, and the technology becomes even more integrated, the tasks we think are safe for us will be automated as well. Especially with the development of artificial intelligence. The learning curve of AI is exponential and with a few breakthroughs, the digital brains will surpass our organic ones in intelligence. Then all bets are off! Do I think movies like The Terminator and The Matrix are harbingers of robotic apocalypse? No. But we as MIS students are being trained to help facilitate technological solution-making and integration. Some executive along the way will want that process to be more efficient. And after determining humans are expensive and cannot work 24 hours a day, we might be part of the project that tries to automate our own jobs, ultimately leading to our obsolescence. My point is it is hard to predict when it will happen. But it sure seems inevitable. And as long as robots produce enough resources to support the population, maybe it’s not the worst thing…

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