Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Robots Are Coming! Five Ways To Protect Your Job

Watch any old sci-fi movie, and the future is invariably depicted as a place full of helpful, hard-working robots, busying themselves with the household chores, while the humans sit around mixing cocktails and enjoying themselves. Funny, it never seemed to materialize. If anything, we all seem to be working harder than ever, tied to our smartphones and e-mail.

Finally, however, the advances in artificial intelligence are so rapid and so significant that robots may finally make their way in everyday life. Such as? Google is working hard on its driverless car. Samsung has launched a robotic vacuum. At the same time, robots and machines are quickly learning how to perform simple surgical operations, process basic legal documents, teach people how to speak a foreign language, and even write articles (although not as well as humans, I hasten to add).

In a new book called “Robot Futures,” Illah Reza Nourbakhsh, the professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, imagines a near future where whole swathes of traditional jobs are taken over by machines.  And a report this month by the McKinsey Global Institute argued that automation of knowledge work and advanced robotics were among the key disruptive technologies transforming the global economy…

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