12 Jobs That Will Be Done By Robots in the Future

A man moves his finger toward SVH (Servo Electric 5 Finger Gripping Hand) automated hand made by Schunk during the 2014 IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots in Madrid on November 19, 2014. The conference theme "Humans and Robots Face-to-Face" confirms the growing interest in the field of human-humanoid interaction and cooperation, especially during daily life activities in real environments. Photo by Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images.

As the topic of hundreds of science fiction movies and books, robots are among the more advanced types of computer systems. As robotics technology continues to evolve, some people watch in amazement and others have some degree of fear. In 2011, the world watched “Watson” compete on Jeopardy against the champion Ken Jennings, answering trivia questions with super-human proficiency and accuracy.

While many people are excited to see where robotics technology will take us, others are not so optimistic. Some members of society are afraid of the robotics field evolving, with fears ranging from job security concerns to safety concerns, like those surrounding killer robots.

A survey published in Open Democracy last year found that “across the board, 55% of Americans opposed autonomous weapons (nearly 40% were “strongly opposed,”) and a majority (53%) expressed support for the new ban campaign [to stop killer robots].”

Now, we’re probably not going to see a real life Skynet (at least not anytime soon), but many of the concerns people have surrounding these new technologies are very real.

Just as some jobs from the past — like a lot of manufacturing jobs — have been replaced by machinery, it’s highly probable that more jobs will be replaced by technology in the future. A 2013 Oxford University Study estimated that 47% of U.S. jobs are at risk of becoming automated.

Using that same Oxford Study, we found out which jobs have the highest probability of being replaced by automated technology. To evaluate each job, Oxford compared over 700 jobs across various education, experience, and pay levels. It then evaluated the physical, mental, and emotional requirements a worker needs to complete the job’s associated tasks. It even went as far as to measure skill components, such the job’s negotiation and persuasion skill requirements, and the level of human care each of the jobs requires.

Each of the positions on this list have a high probability (0.99) of being automated in the future. The number included alongside each job position is the most recent employment estimate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs that will likely be replaced by automated technology

  1. Telemarketers — 231,900
  2. Title examiners, abstractors, and searchers — 53,640
  3. Hand sewers — 5,700
  4. Mathematical technicians — 1,080
  5. Insurance underwriters –106,300
  6. Watch repairers — 2,840
  7. Cargo and freight agents — 73,760
  8. Tax preparers — 67,810
  9. Photographic process workers and processing machine operators — 37,130
  10. New account clerks — 56,990
  11. Library technicians — 95,980
  12. Data entry keyers — 207,660

The jobs in the chart below (among others) also have a high probability (greater than 0.95) of being replaced by automated technology in the future.

Jobs that will be replaced by technology

Graphic by Erika Rawes//data from Oxford Martin School

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