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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"2014, A Space Reality": Computers and Robots Are Devouring Your Jobs

"Almost 47 percent of US jobs could be computerized within one or two decades, and not only manual labor jobs could be affected: a new study reveals a trend of computers taking over many cognitive tasks thanks to the availability of big data."

(Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne. The Future of Employment: 
How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerization? Oxford Martin Programme 
on the Impacts of Future Technology. September 18, 2013)

The study evaluated around 700 jobs, classifying them based on how likely they are to be computerized, from low risk occupations (recreational therapists, emergency management directors and healthcare social worker) to high risk ones (library technicians, data entry keyers and telemarketers).

The Oxford study suggests two waves of computerization, with the first substituting computers for people in logistics, transportation, administrative and office support and the second affecting jobs depending on how well engineers crack computing problems associated with human perception, creative and social intelligence.

The research further provides evidence that wages and educational attainment exhibit a strong negative relationship with an occupation’s probability of computerization.

Where will this change leave you? 

Technological advancement has always been a major driver of social change. Most agree that the key to success lies in researching to explore which jobs will become obsolete and which ones are growing -- and then preparing to pursue what’s poised to thrive.

As you might expect, the study also found that the more education you have, the less likely it is that your job will be computerized. In other words, jobs that require more education resist replacement by computers
In other words, jobs that pay more and require more education resist replacement by computers. - See more at:

It's worthwhile to know the facts:

"The availability of big data was identified as a major trend that's given engineers huge amounts of complex data to work with, which has made it possible for computers to deal with problems that, until recently, only people could handle. For instance, pattern recognition software applied to patient records, clinical trials, medical reports and journals makes it possible for computers to be used as diagnostic tools, comparing data to arrive at the best possible treatment plan."

 (Lakshmi Sandhana. "47% of US jobs Under Threat From Computerization According to Oxford Study." September 24, 2013)

The study realizes the following trends:

* Algorithmic improvements over human judgment are likely to become increasingly common.

* Improvements in sensor technology will offer enough big data to engineers to help solve problems in robotic development that previously held back the field

* Technological advances have allowed robots to take over manual labor in agriculture, construction, manufacturing as well as household and personal services such as lawn mowing, vacuuming and elderly care.

* The current trend of labor market polarization to extremely low-paying and extremely high-paying jobs will be truncated (reduced), and the demand for middle-income occupations will not continue indefinitely.

Who Is Most at Risk to Lose a Job to Computerization?

High-wage and high-skill jobs are least likely to be computerized, the study concludes. For example, science and engineering jobs that require a great deal of creative intelligence aren't susceptible to computerization.

The study says, "Most management, business, and finance occupations, which are intensive in generalist tasks requiring social intelligence, are largely confined to the low risk category. The same is true of most occupations in education, healthcare, as well as arts and media jobs."

Dentists, nutritionists, athletic trainers, podiatrists, elementary school teachers and occupational, recreational and mental health therapists all have a less than 1 percent chance of being replaced by computer software say Frey and Osborne.

The study predicts that computers will substitute people in low-wage and low-risk jobs in the near future. High risk sectors are service, sales and office administrative support. The jobs most at risk all have one thing in common: they're in occupations "mainly consisting of tasks following well-defined procedures that can easily be performed by sophisticated algorithms."

It is probably no surprise to anyone that telemarketers are the occupation with the highest probability of computerization.

According to Frey and Osborne, other jobs that face at least an 85 percent chance of being automated are low-skilled occupations such as retail sales, but also high-paying positions now held by accountants, auditors, budget analysts, technical writers and insurance adjusters, among others.

Sectors particularly affected are service, sales and office administrative support - See more at:
There are three attributes (“engineering bottlenecks”) that make a job less likely to be computerized. First, perception and manipulation (i.e., finger/manual dexterity, the ability to work in cramped/awkward positions, etc.). Second, creative intelligences (i.e., originality, fine arts, etc.) and third, social intelligence (i.e., social perceptiveness, negotiation, persuasion, and assisting and caring for others). - See more at:
The three attributes (“engineering bottlenecks”) that make a job less likely to be 
computerized ... 

First, perception and manipulation (i.e., finger/manual dexterity, the ability to work in cramped/awkward positions, etc.). 

Second, creative intelligences (i.e., originality, fine arts, etc.) and 

Third, social intelligence.

Computerization, jobs and the future: Research views on technology’s effects - See more at:
(Dante Perez. "Computerization, Jobs and the Future: Research Views on Technology’s Effects. February 24, 2014)

The Oxford team says: "Our findings thus imply that as technology races ahead, low-skill workers will reallocate to tasks that are non-susceptible to computerization -- i.e., tasks requiring creative and social intelligence. For workers to win the race, however, they will have to acquire creative and social skills.

Think About It

How important is building creative and social skills? If you want a secure job in the future, the answer is "very."  These are skills that complement software applications. They are skills that not only help a person acquire employment but also guarantee that person's employment longevity. The following represents important important, employable job skills:

Basic      Critical Thinking       Personal Qualities
Reading      Learning       Responsible
Writing      Thinking Creatively       Self Confidence
Math      Reasoning       Self Control
Oral Communication      Decision Making       Social Skills
Listening      Problem Solving       Honesty
     Organizing       Integrity
     Planning      Adaptable and Flexible
     Team Spirit
     Punctual and Efficient
     Self Directed
     Good Work Attitude
     Well Groomed

     Self Motivated

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