Each year, new machines are being invented or old ones get upgraded. While these have provided companies a way to make productions faster and revenues bigger, this also comes with the workers worrying that one of these days their jobs will be replaced by some new machine that can definitely work much faster and more efficiently than humans ever could.
Indeed, it is true that machines can do jobs several times faster than humans – does that mean we are going to be obsolete sometime soon?
Dr. Andrew Charlton does not think so. According to him, there is no way that we can stop automation in the workplace but this does not mean that human jobs will all be taken away.
The truth is that machines are taking the physical challenges of the tasks from humans, doing the literal hard and heavy work that humans couldn’t physically perform continuously. This allows people to do the less physically demanding aspects of the job as well as focus on other things that machines could not really do better.
There is this thing called ‘human touch’ wherein customers still prefer interaction with humans rather than talk with AI robots.
Dr. Charlton also emphasized that the actual speed of machines replacing human beings in the workplace is not as fast as workers fear. He cites statistics, saying only less than 0.5% of all jobs are lost to automation each year – that’s a small percentage compared to the new jobs created in other areas, such as service-oriented jobs.
The number is also much smaller than the loss of agricultural jobs to machines in the 1950s or the loss in factory worker jobs to robots in the 1990s.
While we fear that robots and machines might replace humans in the workplace soon, the truth is that machines could never replace human interaction. Studies have actually shown that thanks to computers and other automated devices in the workplace, workers get the job done faster and could cater to more customers than if they were doing things manually.
Instead of spending hours manually counting money, for example, bank workers are now able to use a lot of machines that not just help them count money in a faster, more accurate manner, but also allow them to focus more on serving customers in other areas, including providing financial advice.
In many retail outlets where cashless shopping options are available, store associates no longer have to spend a lot of time ringing up things on the cash register; this gives them more time to assist customers choose the best items that would best fit their preferences and styles.
Perhaps some hundreds of years from now, robots and machines would eventually replace humans in the workplace but for now, rest assured that it won’t happen in our lifetime.
So, instead of worrying about losing your job to some machine, try to learn a new skill so you can diversify your options, as well as help, improve production in some other way that machines can’t really do.