News & Articles

Published on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Not All Jobs Can be Replaced by Robots

With technology changing and evolving at such an incredible pace, some jobs have the potential to be replaced by robots.  But not all jobs are replaceable.

A study from Oxford University shows that “47% of U.S. workers have a high probability of seeing their jobs automated over the next 20 years.”  But on a good note, 53% of U.S. jobs are not likely to be affected by automation.  A recent article on fastcompany.com listed several areas least likely to be affected:

Creatives – This category includes artists, singers, and musicians.  The creativity that goes into these creations would likely never be replaced with robotics or artificial intelligence (AI).

Hairdressers – Can you imagine trusting a robot to do your hair?  The dexterity to do anything but a buzz cut just could likely never be replaced with a robot.  They wouldn’t be as fun to talk to either…and isn’t that half the fun of getting your hair done?

Maintenance Foreman – While there is a lot of automation in production facilities, humans are still needed to provide the problem-solving skills when something goes wrong.  There will always be a need for a human to oversee the production line.  “Although machines have the ability to assemble things faster than any human, they do not possess the analytics, domain expertise, and valuable knowledge required to solve production problems,” said Mark Williams, head of product at People First, which runs a software platform to enhance human productivity.

Therapists and Social Workers – The human element in therapy or social work cannot be replaced by AI.  It’s not data driven, but rather based on empathy and understanding based on listening through human interaction.

Teachers – Again, teaching involves human interaction and people skills not able to be replicated by AI.  Although AI will likely support teachers in what they do, it could never replace it.  As Tom Pickersgill, the founder and CEO of Broadstone and AI expert, stated, “People skills, empathy, and understanding are critical for creating well rounded and emotionally confident young people–only a human can be sure to achieve this.”

Healthcare Workers – While robotics is being used to assist surgeons, it will likely never completely replace them. The same goes for doctors of any kind and nurses.  Again, it’s that ability to connect with people on an emotional level that can’t be replaced.

But what about HR?  I think it all goes back again to that human element.  While aspects of HR, such as recruiting or onboarding, can benefit from AI, the human element cannot be replaced.  Employees rely on HR as a person to go to with workplace issues.  To make good hiring decisions, we still need to interview candidates in person to asses more than just their hard skills.  And most of all, the analytical aspect of HR cannot be done by a robot.  While personnel records, benefits, etc. can be assisted by AI, HR plays a much bigger role in today’s organizations, including providing business strategy.  I don’t see HR being replaced anytime soon.

What do you think?  Has your organization seen any jobs replaced with AI or robotics?  Email me at mcorrado@aseonline.org.

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Author: Mary Corrado

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