‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ A question that young people hear all the time. However, you or your child’s dream job may not even be a possibility, and instead of striving a dream job, it will be snatched from them by a robot.
Many jobs have already been taken from us as many manufacturing and factory workers are being replaced by more efficient, effective and overall cheaper robots. It is expected that robots will take around 40% of our existing jobs and even up to 60% of jobs in parts of rural or regional Australia. At the rate that automation is taking jobs it is estimated that 3 million jobs will be lost in the next 15 years. As we make these robots smarter they will be able to overtake more jobs, meaning that the future of your job may not be secure. Robots are capable of taking jobs from agricultural farmers, any vehicle driving professions, healthcare professions, manufacturing and factory work, and even many white-collar office jobs are now being taken. This leaves only the complex jobs that require a lot of creativity, that can be achieved by humans. However, it seems that the jobs that are immune to automation are on an ever-shortening list. Although thousands of jobs are estimated to be lost, everyone will be affected from the progression of automation in many different ways.
As a young student, I fear that I am studying for a job that may be exclusively performed by robots in the future. Leaving me with only the jobs that robots cannot do. Moreover, this may be the case with many students. How would you feel if you or your own child was in this situation?
The most important thing when working for a certain profession is that you are passionate about it and that you are happy with the workspace. It’s disheartening to think that your own job that you studied and worked towards could be stripped away from you by an emotionless robot or a computer program.
If Australia is going to go down this road of automation for its benefits towards certain businesses, then I believe we also should be able to embrace this change while prioritising the interests of future generations. The people of society who are guiding Australia into the future of automation must be sure that young generations are prepared to let robots take these jobs. Oliver Grey from Fast Brick Robotics said, “Young people shouldn’t fear robots or automated processes, but they should certainly be aware of how these things are likely to shape the future.” Ultimately, we must assure that young people are our first priority and that they are willing to take the jobs that are left over. We must assure that there will be a sufficient supply of jobs opening as this change occurs.
We work to support a quality of life; we could use robots to improve our quality of life. As we can utilise them to take boring chores and house work out of our everyday life. We have already seen this with the creations of vacuuming and pool cleaning robots, which we use to allow us to have more free time, furthermore giving us a higher quality of life. This is one of the benefits of automation and an alternative place that robots may take in the future opposed to our jobs.
If we are going to advance our technology as fast as we are, we must make sure that there is a job left for us that we feel as though we are passionate for. Assuring that in the long term, we are happy with what we do for work.