Published in The Business News on August 7th, 2023
Maybe. Technology does have a way of making some jobs obsolete and we’ve heard plenty of people talking (ie. complaining) about the potential to lose their job to a robot. Should they/you be worried? Well, if a robot can make your employer more money than you can, then the robot is the obvious choice. And that’s really what it comes down to. Money. It’s always money. We can consider a couple of the many factors that come into play here:
Many companies use technology answers to replace humans when human safety is a concern. The company probably cares about your wellbeing, but they definitely care about their insurance costs and general liability. Whether it’s the job that’s not safe or your lackadaisical approach to safety policies, the robot isn’t going to sue anyone when their arm is ripped off, and that spells piece of mind to an employer.
If you want to keep the robots out, start with a little self-preservation. Know and follow all safety guidelines and give some thought to what else could go wrong. If there is no safety problem, there will be no investment to fix a safety problem.
That said, if your job is just genuinely unsafe, it probably should be replaced by a robot. That or you need to sign a waiver stating that you accept the possibility of death in your pursuit of money and/or adrenaline. In that case, choices have been made. God speed.
Efficiency and Accuracy
People are capable of amazing things. People are also capable of laziness, apathy, and unimaginable stupidity. The “amazing things” crowd is not concerned about being replaced by a robot. As a matter of fact, those amazing folks probably invented the robot. The other group, the one that doesn’t take any pride in what they do and are more than happy to let their employer pay extra for their poor quality… those are the complainers. For those folks, someone or something is always coming for them and their job. The simple reason is that they know they can be replaced.
Spend less time being the victim and focus on being a good employee. Take pride in the job or earn your salary. If you care so little about your job that you’re content to do it poorly, go find a new job that you can be passionate about. Or welcome your robot replacement. Up to you.
Something to remember is that these aren’t movie robots. The Terminator isn’t really coming for Sarah Connor or your job. Today’s robots are human programmed and controlled machines. And they are darn expensive. Either be the reason that your employer isn’t considering an investment in robots or be the person who programs and controls the robot. It’s never too late to learn a skill when you have a strong work ethic. Rodney Dangerfield got no respect in comedy until he was 46. Prior to that he was in sales.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere lately. Just yesterday, we took a picture of me at my desk. Then used AI-enhanced Adobe PhotoShop to give me a James Bond tuxedo and place me on the top of a mountain, with comically large sunglasses. We did that in seconds, by typing commands. Microsoft, Adobe and, of course, ChatGPT are all charging forward with AI and it’s going to make an impact on staffing.
But let me ask you this: Did the invention of the automobile replace jobs? Mobile phones? The Internet? Technology always has and always will replace human jobs. It will also create human jobs. 100-years ago we had switchboard operators, but no IT people. Today, there are over three-million IT people in the United States.
Just like robots, AI is not what we see in the movies. Nothing is self-aware and there is no Matrix. AI is basically a database, accessible by humans for answering questions, automating tasks, learning, and creating. AI will replace someone’s job, but it has created many jobs. If you are worried about it, learn to use it or find a way to be better than it.
In most cases, technologies are not created with the sole purpose of stealing jobs. Technology is created to make money. The reason people pay for technology is because it solves problems and makes lives/business easier. So, if you are the problem and/or are making someone’s life or business harder, is it technology taking your job or is it you giving it away?