Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Any day now, if you are still working, there’s a good chance a robot will do your job. Really? – you’re saying to yourself. Artificial intelligence (AI) is coming and there’s not much we can do to stop it (maybe pulling the plug or removing the batteries?).

If your job involves making simple decisions and repetitive tasks, a robot may be doing it in two to three years. They (I’m using pronouns to talk about robots…what does that tell you) will do payroll, review contracts, copy data to storage and handle simple insurance claims. They are already building cars so what did you expect? You just have to hope motor vehicle departments are not staffed by robots. On second thought, robots don’t need coffee breaks and have no incentive to slow down in order to convince supervisors that the job cannot be done any faster. Bring on the bots!

The upside, if you want to look up, is that AI has the potential to greatly enhance the lives of those of us whose work involves a lot of human interaction and judgement. We can continue to interact with other humans while robots reduce the drudgery of repetitive tasks (now we’re back to payroll and basic computer tasks). Imagine how much more productive you could be if you didn’t have update software, organize files, and make breakfast. AI will in fact add new jobs as more people will need to get involved in programming the robots to add more capabilities. Lots of job openings for bot wranglers coming soon.

The other promising factor is that when push comes to shove, humans prefer humans. It’s very unlikely that any of us will want to meet with a robotic therapist, CPA or dentist. Deep down, we crave human interaction even though there are an awful lot of humans who are just plain awful. Most of us would still opt for the human interaction over the robotic one.

So what do you do if your job is threatened by AI? Start thinking about moving into careers that call for skills such as selling, negotiating, strategic thinking, and creative design. And soon. Those bots are persistent. They don’t know how to behave any other way.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept and at BoomSpeak. He's written a mystery novel, Head Above Water which can be purchased on Amazon here. You can also visit his author page here.

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