We’ve all seen movies about robots taking over the earth, appliances turning on humans, and computers having a mind of their own. Well, according a new report by MYOB, that might actually be a reality pretty soon.
According to MYOB’s new report in its Future of Business series, Surviving the Singularity, advances in technology will make many of the jobs we do, the businesses we run and the ways we interact obsolete, in as little as ten years time.
MYOB Chief Technology Officer Simon Raik-Allen says that as leading Artificial Intelligence experts, scientists and theorists around the world are highlighting the dangers of uncontrolled technological development, it is important for people to think about how technology may change their future.
“Recently Professor Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gatesand Steve Wozniak have all issued stark warnings about where technology might lead in the future – especially with the rise of autonomous, weaponised drones and robots,” he says.
“But regardless of how the technology is applied, the point at we give machines the capacity to learn and create on their own the moment we are no longer the dominant species on the planet.”
Mr Raik-Allen says the changes we might see are likely to be closer than everyone expects.
“The world probably won’t end up going the way of the Terminator series, but if you are in business, developing your career or even thinking about what job you might have in the future, it makes sense to start planning now for the highly automated world that is quickly evolving.”
The future of work
The next wave of technology will have a profound effect on the numbers and types of jobs available. According to research from Oxford University, nearly half of the US workforce is in danger of losing their jobs to robots in the next 20 years.
With self-service checkouts and robots being used to manufacture and check things on the assembly line, we’ve already started seeing the effects of automation in some areas. Technology is evolving so quickly, that in the future humans will have to compete harder than ever to secure their jobs
Jobs facing extinction
According to MYOB’s report, some of the jobs that are likely to be replaced by software automation over the next decade, include manufacturing and processing roles, telemarketers, auditors, bank tellers, travel agents, retail salespersons, technical writers, real estate agents and word processors.
Other jobs that could be extinct by 2034 include:
- Social media experts
- Print journalists
- Assembly line workers
- Postmen and women
- Data analysts
- Middle managers
New jobs to arise
If your job is facing extinction, it’s not necessarily time to panic — MYOB also predicts the rise of automated technology will create new job opportunities like these in the future.
A bot lobbyist will be able to take charge of virtual army of real social media accounts to support a client’s PR and marketing campaigns.
Big data doctor
A new area of medical specialisation could include doctors who provide treatment recommendations based on a patient’s biographic profile and personal data.
As crowd funding websites like Kickstarter become increasingly popular, it is likely we’ll see a whole industry grow up around managing, promoting and curating the ideas pitched by fundraisers.
Other jobs include future currency speculators, productivity counsellors and school counsellors who have a firm view of opportunities of the future.
Things to look out for
Yes, killer robots! According to a recent study almost one in five Al experts believe technology will one day pose a threat to humanity. Super-smart machines already prescribe personalised treatments for cancer patients, write sports reports and even beat human players in video games. It’s only a matter of time before they turn.
The internet of things
The Internet of Things is being developed around increased machine-to-machine communication. As chips and sensors become embedded in everyday objects, they will be able to share information and interact with our digital devices.
Some of the world’s leading car manufacturers are already testing this technology out. There are two different types of self-driving cars: semi-autonomous and fully autonomous. A fully autonomous vehicle that can drive completely by itself without a driver is set to debut in 2019.
Drones are become more and more a part of our lives, the military, police and emergency services are already using them. In the future, not only will drones be buzzing around in the sky but they’ll also be in most people’s homes. In fact, NASA predicts they’ll be in every homes in five or 10 years time.
British start-up artificial intelligence company, DeepMind was bought by Google for $400 million in 2014. One of the company’s projects is the creation of a computer that will be so intelligent it will be capable of programming itself. The computer is based on the human brain and would enhance it’s intuitive decision making skills and predictive ability.
IBM Artificial Intelligence software called Watson, has been developed to understand and use human language, using advanced language processing and automated reasoning and machine learning techniques. The computer is so smart it beat humans in the general knowledge TV quiz Jeopardy in 2011.
Preparing for the future
With automated system becoming increasingly sophisticated and likely to take over so many roles in the future, it’s important that local businesses prepare for what lies ahead. If you are in business, taking these simple steps will help you get prepared for the future!
Digitise your business
If you haven’t already, get online and create a business website and automate as many manual processes as you can. Unfortunately in this day and age it’s very hard for a business to survive if they’re not online for the world to see.
Service is key
The customer is always right. It’s very important in this day and age that your business focuses on the customer and their experience. Be sure you understand why your customers like to interact with your business and what keeps them coming back. When robots eventually do take over, human contact will become more and more valuable and sought-after, and that’s what customers are likely to look for.
To make sure your business stands out in the automated world, you need to focus and leverage your interactions with other companies. Create relationships and partnerships now that will enable you to pool your resources as the automated world evolves.
Do you think your job will still be around in 20 years time, or do you think it’s time to start calling yourself a ‘big data doctor’? Have your say in the comments below!