Self-driving cars are supposedly going to take the road by storm in the near future, so it won’t be much of a surprise if we don’t really need drivers anymore. Instead, you would just call an Uber on your app, and a driverless car would pick you up. How weird would that be?
Even the builders of the robots themselves might not have job security! While computers will almost certainly continue to advance and thrive in the future, where we get our labor from will probably change. Since it seems like everyone nowadays is going to school to become a programmer, the industry might become so saturated that companies will start hiring workers in other countries to do these jobs, since they can generally get away with paying them lower wages.
Hard-copy newspapers are on the way out given that everything is online these days. That means that newspaper delivery people probably won’t exist in the near future, which is weird to think about! We’ll be telling our grandkids about how back in the day, newspapers used to be in print and there was even someone to go around delivering them door-to-door!
When you think about how convenient the self-checkout line is at the grocery store, then this makes a lot of sense. It goes quicker and you don’t have to have awkward small-talk with the poor cashier who probably really just wants to go home. Grocery stores will like this option because the more people that get through the line, the more money they make.
Fine-dining restaurants probably aren’t about to lose their waiters anytime soon, but servers in quick-service and fast-food settings are already on the way out. Concepts like conveyor-belt sushi and ordering from an iPad have grown in popularity recently. Pretty soon, you’ll just sit down at your table and tell a device what you want to eat without ever interacting with another person.
Like the case of baristas and cashiers, pretty much any job that involves doing things that can be automated is going to be extinct at some point in the future. It’s really just a matter of when the cost of utilizing robots becomes cheaper than the cost of human labor.
The internet has created so much convenience for the average person, including the ability to make your own travel arrangements. However, that convenience also puts travel agents out of the job. Although, some will probably still be around for booking the more expensive, less-traveled excursions.
Word processing seems like it was only really needed in your grandma’s younger days, but lo and behold, it’s still around...albeit not for long. The number of people working at word processors reportedly decreased by 54 percent between 2002 and 2012, and it’s just going down from there. This isn’t too surprising, considering automated transcription software has made this process a lot more efficient.
Again, anything that can be automated will be automated in the future, and data entry is a prime example of that. But on the bright side, at least new college grads will be able to find something more intellectually stimulating than monotonous data entry? One would hope, anyway!
Nowadays it seems like if you call any business, it’s likely that you’ll get an automated message giving you a menu to choose from. While this is great for people with social anxiety who hate talking to strangers on the phone, it also puts receptionists out of the job. Not to mention, it’s kind of frustrating talking to a robot when you have an out-of-the-ordinary question that you know the robot won’t be able to answer.
Although social media is a fairly recent phenomenon, it’s become so important for businesses to utilize that pretty much every job posting now requires some level of social-media expertise. That coupled with the fact that kids today are experts in social media means that there will be less and less need to hire someone just to manage a company’s social media handles.
Telemarketers might seem annoying now, but think about how it’ll be in the future when you’re sitting down to a nice dinner with your significant other and the phone rings. You reluctantly answer it, only to hear a monotonous robotic voice on the other end that clearly has no feelings and no friends of its own. Depressing, isn’t it?
Currently, librarians make a decent living, and they are more helpful than most internet library search engines in existence. They are always very resourceful, especially if you’re a college student researching for a paper. Unfortunately, librarians will likely be on their way out in the future, considering libraries in general are going the online route, especially at universities.
It’s not unlikely that robots will completely replace certain types of work in the near future, baristas being one of them. There have already been cafes popping up across the world where a robotic arm serves you your latte, no questions asked. No more chatting with your barista, but you would (hopefully) get a perfect cup of coffee every time.
It might be hard for robots to replace hard-hitting journalists or poets, for example, but they might very well be poised to take over the world of content writing, technical writing or news writing. Any type of writing that can be cheaply automated and configured via an algorithm can and will certainly be done by robots in the future.
[Managing editor's note: Yeah, I'm good with this one. Writers are a pain!]