A Sane Look At “Robotification”

Click for a larger view. It’s worth looking at. But a little difficult to understand. It shows which jobs are most at risk in the near term from AI/Automation.

“Will robots take all the jobs” is no longer the question. Sane, smarter people are asking “when and how much at a time will this happen and what will it look like really?”

I hope it’s the most extreme possible outcome: all jobs taken by robots and AI. That way, people can relax, develop themselves and realize their inherent value, which has nothing to do with their jobs.

The most well-respected private think tank has weighed in. Their findings are interesting.

McKinsey published a report dousing any near term panic that all jobs will evaporate immediately. Bottom line: yeah, it’s going to happen. But it’s going to be slow-goin’. Not because of resistance, but the implications decision makers must wade through, cost effectiveness being among them.

For example, it’s rare, the report explains, where robots replace people entirely. Usually, with existing technology, “robots” (which here includes software and other kinds of automation) only replace limited functions within a job. Usually, such efficiency-gains don’t eliminate people, they increase people productivity, freeing them from mundane, repetitive tasks.

The report also says it’s going to be a while before wide-spread job replacement. A long while. Like at least 25 years maybe. Meantime, there’s time to improvise and adapt, like humanity always has.

The world is getting better and so is humanity. There’s time to balance automation with the need for people to earn a living. That will make fundamental change so much easier.

And that’s why I argue against negative arguments for fundamental change. They are not as powerful as compelling positive ones. Because a lot of people don’t see the cause for panic. McKinsey seems to be saying as much. Read the report for yourself.

And yes, I know. “Robotification” it’s not a word…

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