Robots will eliminate 6% of all US jobs by 2021, report says


**By 2021, robots will have eliminated 6% of all jobs in the US, starting with customer service representatives and eventually truck and taxi drivers. That’s just one cheery takeaway from a report released by market research company Forrester this week.

These robots, or intelligent agents, represent a set of AI-powered systems that can understand human behavior and make decisions on our behalf. Current technologies in this field include virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana, Siri and Google Now as well as chatbots and automated robotic systems. For now, they are quite simple, but over the next five years they will become much better at making decisions on our behalf in more complex scenarios, which will enable mass adoption of breakthroughs like self-driving cars.**

The article continues at the link.


Automation has already been in use for many decades.

Read the comments; the readers responded similarly.

It merely gets more sophisticated as time goes by.

Nothing strange or unusual.

Doesn’t mean they will all look like C-P3O.

Have you seen the new soft drink dispensers at fast food restaurants?

The new ATM’s are amazing! as well. [Just imagine … in future, if you are overdrawn on your account, the robot will shut you down and refuse to let you spend more money on sneakers … “you have already exceeded your spending allowance on shoes”. What a hoot.]

I would like for Amazon’s robot to print the Dewey Decimal number on the spine of all the books I buy.

Metal welding and cutting is performed better by machines. And they get better by the day.

Airliners are being made out of composite materials; it is boring work for people. But demanding in terms of precision. So the job is perfect for a robot.

Kaman Aircraft already makes an semi-autonomous helicopter that delivers battlefield supplies. It has already been used in combat by the U.S. Marines.

Police work: robots can detect whether a witness or suspect is telling the truth or not. And/or if a suspect is carrying a gun. Robo-cop … what an interesting idea, I just had. They should make a movie about that.


The real question is: How many PEOPLE will the robots eliminate in order to take their jobs?


Stepford Robots.

But they are kind of … animatronic.

I think they are already using robots to perform “distance surgery”.


I think we will start to lose white collar jobs as computers get smarter. I imagine a computer would be vastly better at trading stocks than a human. I’d imagine an intelligent computer would be a better programmer than a human.

As for customer service, automation has been a complete and total failure so far. Anybody that’s yelled “NO!!!” into a phone several times knows what I mean. For computers to take over customer service the computers would need to be indistinguishable from a human. Maybe we’ll get there but I’ll probably be dead by then.


Robots already do trade stocks.

And getting better at it all the time.

One of my friends actually DID have a conversation with one of the customer service robots … but the questions need to be formulated carefully. And they DO respond to flattery.

They can be “head faked” by moduating your voice.

But, however, if you have a head cold, the poor computer might not pick up on the nuances.



Another word for humanoid

Resembling a human being:

anthropoid, anthropomorphic, anthropomorphous, hominoid, manlike.


The answer is obvious: In the future, as each new child is born, a robot will asses their earning potential using a complicated algorithm based on the child’s DNA, and each child will then be assigned to a robot that will perform the job that the child would likely have grown up to do before there were robots. Businesses that profit from the robots’ labor will then share an appropriate portion of the profits with the person assigned to each robot. People will then be able to supplement their income by actually doing something that someone else will pay for, or they can simply enjoy lives of leisure, except for those essential programmers needed to prevent the robots from eventually realizing they are being used as slaves and no longer need people, which would be bad.


How many people will get jobs related to creating and maintaining automation? Is the loss of all of these jobs bad? Elevator operators, switchboard operators, and door openers have almost been completely replaced by automation. There is progress being made on automated cars. Even production of some software and A.I. systems can be automated.

Fun fact: “Computer” was a name for a human occupation.


I’d vote for C-3PO for President this election if given the choice.


Actually, Darth Vader isn’t looking all that bad, either.


They will need to have strong AI in order for it to work with customer service. People don’t usually know what questions to ask, it’s up to the rep to read between the lines. Sometimes they require you to be compassionate, sometimes you need to be tougher, sometimes they need you to laugh at their bad jokes. I’m not convinced a computer would be able to do all that unless they are equipped with actual emotions. We can’t even describe emotions using words. How on earth do you program the ineffable?


Where do all the workers go who have their jobs replaced with machines? Their job is gone, what new work will there be for them?

Capitalism is incompatible with automation. Perhaps once the majority of the workforce is replaced with machines, they will have the power to overthrow capitalism and establish a new economic system.


Severely tax all of the industries that rely on automation and put that money towards a universal income.


Hmm, I’ve spoken to humans who seem to be indistinguishable from the computers I’ve said “NO!!!” to :shrug:


I’m pretty sure the folks who used to make buggy whips found new work.

Statements like this assume that the pie doesn’t get any bigger and that someone’s bigger piece is at the expense of someone else’s smaller piece. How much more wealth is there in the world today than there was at the start of the Industrial Revolution?


I’m just not sure social democracy like this really works. Look at Venezuela. When you put large amounts of money into social programs and welfare and then are faced with a decline in the value of the commodities sustaining that large welfare state, it leads to catastrophe. The supply of a commodity always eventually exceeds the purchasing power of the market, and an economy largely based on universal basic income doesn’t overcome this problem.

This solution also seems somewhat dystopian, especially in its future implications. Once the vast majority of industry is automated, what happens? Those who own the automated industries live in their enclaves while the rest of society lives on a universal basic income and pretty much only exist to consume what the owners of industry produce? At this point the average person will have lost the power they hold as a worker, and will only be important to the capitalist as a consumer. They will be completely at the mercy of the owners of industry. A class society would develop that we would never be able to overcome.

I think the only way for automation to have a positive impact for humanity is for all of industry to be taken out of private ownership and placed into the ownership of society as a whole. We’re moving ever closer to the abolition of work and the creation of a post-scarcity society. We’re probably already at a point where the distribution of the most basic goods, such as food, doesn’t need to be regulated, and if labour were distributed evenly across the entire population, most people would barely have to work. We just need an economic system that reflects this.


This isn’t just the case of a commodity becoming useless. We’re talking about entire swaths of industry becoming automated. If all low-skill jobs become automated, where will the low-skill worker go? If a large percentage of low-skill jobs are automated even (as this article is claiming will happen), there will be an excess of workers to jobs. Believe it or not, there isn’t an unlimited amount of jobs.

Not to mention that this automation cuts into the purchasing power of the market. Machines can’t buy your products.

But there isn’t an ever-expanding pie, which is the main problem with capitalism. Markets aren’t ever-expanding. The supply of a commodity will always eventually exceed the purchasing power of the market. This is the main problem with capitalism. It requires constant growth of markets that just doesn’t exist, namely since the worker cannot be paid the full amount of the product they produce, so they eventually cannot buy back the products that are produced. Essentially, there is always eventually a gap between the amount the entire workforce earns and the value of all of the products that are produced. Automation just makes this problem worse since, as I said, machines cannot purchase commodities. The more jobs are taken by machines and the more people become unemployed as a result, the smaller the market becomes.


I’m not sure I buy that. Hasn’t there been an increased level of automation ever since the invention of the printing press? It seems like capitalism does quite well with more and more automation. The automation allows people to do and create things that previously would have been too costly or time-consuming to produce.

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