Automation, as explained in many academic literature and news articles, is a struggle between machine and man. In this case, the machine is positioned to win and many people are looking forward to the medal ceremony event. Today, workplace automation is fast transforming from fictional science to a business fact. The expected changes are believed to be more distinctive than just a choice between a robot and human. In recent research, more than 2,000 work activities were examined in various industries across the US economy. The research made various discoveries which highlight the potential of automation in each sector, and provides technical indications to the various occupations with high chances of being operated by machines.

1. The fact that something has the potential to be automated does not guarantee that it will be

Technical feasibility is paramount for automation. However, there are additional factors that contribute to developing an imperative business case. They include the cost of deploying and developing the software and hardware necessary for automation, as well as the demand, and supply of labor. Technically, replacing human cooks who earn $10 an hour may not make business sense. This is because it is a costly venture which may not give a return on investment yield. Many patients prefer being attended to by a human nurse as compared to a robot when they regain consciousness after surgery. This can be attributed to social and regulatory factors.

2. Some physical jobs have high chances of being automated

Employees in the US spent at most a fifth of their workplace time operating machines or doing physical duties in a calculable environment where adjustments are expected. Three-quarters of those duties can be automated with current technology, and fit well in food service and manufacturing. That makes these sectors among the most susceptible to automation. Robots are presently doing repetitive tasks which include product packaging and assembly on factory floors. Various restaurants are utilizing robotic servers and self-service ordering.

The fact that more than one-third of workers in the US spend their time handling and compiling data makes it ready for automation. Automation of data activities is likely to affect financial and retail services, industries, and insurance. Even though this will not render employees jobless, their roles are bound to change. For instance, 90% of a mortgage broker's time is spent processing applications. This amount of time should otherwise be spent advising customers.

Automation is not only set to affect entry-level data handling and compilation jobs. High-paying jobs will be affected as well. Individuals who earn more than $200,000 annually spend a good amount of time processing data. Automation of these activities can save companies time and money. In general, the relationship between automation and wages is quite variable.

3. Robots cannot make Beds

It is difficult to automate activities that depend on physical movement and operating machines. These include collecting garbage in public places, operating cranes at construction sites, and making beds in bedrooms. Automating the making of beds proves difficult, because guests may leave clothing and pillows in different areas making it difficult for the robot to perfect the activity. Technological advancements and continued research are set to enhance robot performance in various physically unchangeable environments.

4. Dentistry and Teaching

Some of the most difficult to automate activities are those that involve developing and managing people. These hold a 9% automation chance. An 18% automation potential has been relegated to activities that involve expertise, planning, and the making of decisions. Creative work holds an 18 % potential while interacting with stakeholders, customers, and suppliers hold a 20% potential. In these activities, age and experience are of paramount importance. They can be as assorted as menu creation, drafting of promotional materials, software coding, and advising customers on various issues such as their most suited dress color. Less than 30% of registered nurses’ jobs can be automated.

This percentage is far less for dental hygienists, ranging at 13%. Education is probably the least susceptible sector to automation. Teaching involves intricate interactions and profound expertise with other people. Machines are currently not able to match these expectations. They may change the way people do jobs, but are not about to overtake humans. Technical automation feasibility can be best analyzed by looking at occupations, the amount of time spent on various activities, and their automation potential in relation to current technology and its ability to accommodate it to exclusive work activities. Generally, only 5% of activities can be automated through adapting current technology. Nevertheless, current technologies can automate 45% of the duties workers get paid for, through all occupations. In addition, 60% of every occupation can have 30% of their work duties automated.

5. Occupational therapists

Occupational therapists help individuals improve their ability to perform various tasks in their working and living environments. They work with people who are developmentally, physically, mentally or emotionally challenged. These activities require a human interaction that machines are not able to offer. This activity holds a 0.3% potential of being automated.

6. Physician and Surgeon

This profession holds a 0.4% potential of getting automated. While there are various surgical assistant robots, surgery is a very sensitive procedure. A medical robot is likely to malfunction and may not be in a position to make concrete decisions in the event of an emergency. What's more, risking a patient's life by using a machine can result in many legal issues.

7. Law and Politics

As much as the behavioral characteristics of many politicians may make them appear like robots, it is evident that robots will never replace politicians. The leadership responsibilities associated with politics cannot be overtaken by machines. It is obvious that computers cannot make new laws; nor can they make judicial decisions. Both law and judicial responsibilities require human interaction.

8. Sports

The world is filled with a myriad of sports enthusiasts who either love participating in sports or watching others play. This is a clear indication of how much sport relies on human participation. Imagine sitting in a stadium filled with robots. How entertaining would it be? Probably not at all. People are not as drawn to the sport as they are to the player’s prowess, tricks, and artistic representation. Machines are not able to replicate such compelling passion.

As technology evolves so does technical feasibility. More focus has been directed on the technologies which are available today through this analysis. Nevertheless, continued research indicates that technological advancements are imminent. There has been notable technological transformation recently, which includes machines that are capable of matching human ability to obtain natural language.

In the coming years, it is anticipated that automation susceptible activities will rise. Major changes are bound to happen in various organizations as a result of automation. It is up to managers now to establish how automation can change their companies, identify ways to get value from it, and understand the costs that come with substituting human labor with robots. There will be need to understand the difficulties involved in adapting business procedures to new technology. Increasing productivity, improving quality, speed, safety, and a higher output may bear major benefits as opposed to cutting down labor costs.

As much as technology advances, there are various activities and jobs that will never become obsolete. Human interaction is paramount in different day to day activities. Many individuals currently pursuing their studies should not be afraid of missing opportunities because of  robots. The above jobs are a clear indication that humans remain crucial in interactive jobs.

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Oprettet 6 september, 2017

NickGolding

Entrepreneur & Creator

Nick is the Entrepreneur Correspondent for Freelancer.com. He is based in Sydney, NYC, & London. His life consists of frequent flyer points.

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