Robots at work

In car manufacturing plants around the world, an important part of the template has already been replaced by automated mechanical arms. (Getty)

Will robots substitute us in our jobs? What will future jobs be like?

The development of machines and technology makes life easier for us at home: the washing machine washes our clothes and the dishwasher washes the dishes while we lie on the sofa for a while …

Something similar happens at work: machines, robots or mechanical arms save time and effort. However, the effect is very different: people become less necessary in the workplace.

At home, machines and robots mean less domestic work. On the contrary, in the work environment they suppose fewer jobs for people.

They call it the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new way of producing that is a consequence of technological disruption: the impact of new technologies on the labor market.

Given this situation, there is still much debate and many studies try to predict the impact of technological development on employment.

The possibility that robots end up replacing people has caused great alarm, but it is becoming less clear that technological development ends with the current work.

On the contrary, what can happen is that the jobs that people do change: they will no longer be so physical and mechanical, but they will require trained personnel.

Automate work

The first radical change is that many of the tasks that people now perform end up being automated, that is, performed by machines instead of people. This would make human labor force unnecessary.

According to a study by the University of Oxford, one of the most prestigious in the world, up to 47% of the tasks that are done in jobs in the United States could be automated in the next 10 or 20 years.

It does not mean that jobs will be lost, but that the tasks that humans will do can easily be replaced by machines.

New jobs for a new world

Despite the risk of automation in some jobs, there are many jobs that will hardly disappear: those that require human intelligence, creativity or personal contact.

In addition, the reliance on new technologies will require people who know how to manage and innovate with these technologies.

Thus, technological disruption will not only make humans dispensable in some tasks, but will require trained people who know how to manipulate these technologies.

Is the technological development good or bad?  That technological development radically changes the labor market does not have to be negative. Maybe it is desirable that some professions disappear: routine jobs that do not motivate people and that do not contribute any personal and professional development.

The automation of employment can be a good thing if it is done to reduce social costs and problems of unemployment: if the machines do mechanical, repetitive and monotonous work, people can engage in more rewarding jobs with which to contribute to society.

Translated by Chaplin’s Languages | Find out more in Junior Report | Castellano | Català | English

 

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