There’s a secret revolution happening that few people are talking about: the rise of the machines!
This doesn’t mean robots with plungers will break down your door and exterminate you. But they are after your job!
As many as 47% of all jobs are at high risk of automation in the next 20 years, according to a major study by Oxford University researchers, Michael Osborne and Carl Frey.
Robots will be able to do our jobs for free. They won’t make mistakes. And they won't take sick days (unless they get a virus).
But this is all decades in the future, right? Think again. This revolution is already firmly upon us.
Jobs that are routine, repetitive and predictable are at the highest risk. For example, Opticians check around 50,000 eyes on average in their career. But Kaggle have built an algorithm that can check millions of eyes in just a few minutes.
J.P. Morgan recently launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine that analyses financial deals. The machine now does in seconds what previously consumed 360,000 hours of their lawyers’ time annually.
Perhaps the most visible example is Checkout Operators, who are already rapidly being replaced by self-service machines in supermarkets. Equally, Google’s self-drive cars have already racked up more than 10 million miles of fuel efficient, accident free testing as truck and taxi drivers around the world can only watch on nervously.
The University of Oxford findings demonstrate that there is a strong correlation between two aspects of a job and its risk of automation: the amount of creativity and innovation required, and the amount of human interaction and understanding needed.
So what can be done about the rise of robots? Well, as the Borg like to remind us: resistance is futile!
It's our responsibility as educators to prepare young people to thrive in life after school and to guide them in making informed decisions about their future. Young people therefore need to become far more aware of the risks posed by automation and the new opportunities presented by the future world of work.
It's for this reason that our Panjango Trumps game includes a ‘Robot Risk’ category to help young people learn about how the world of work will change as a result of automation - and understand that some of the jobs that may not be around in the future.
Our Future Jobs trumps game explores 50 weird and wonderful jobs of the future including Rewilder, Memory Surgeon, Virtual Sportsperson, Antibiotic Engineer, Vertical Farmer and Meat Grower!
Panjango Online then empowers young people to develop skills relevant for the 21st century that will allow them to compete with the robots. These include critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. Robots will find it difficult to replicate these skills as it is these abilities that make us human. The world no longer needs automatons to operate basic machinery and complete repetitive tasks. The world needs creative young people who are able to get out into the world, see a problem and solve it.
The future doesn’t have to belong to the robots. If we ensure the next generation are properly equipped for a brave new (and uncertain) world then the rise of the robots has the potential to make human life easier and better.
We can embrace the change and allow the machines to take care of the mundane and physically demanding tasks so we are free to focus on what is most important to us as humans: educating each other, caring for each other, entertaining each other and focusing our ingenuity on tackling the problems we face as a society.
Let’s work together to make sure the next generation are equipped with the knowledge and 21st century skills needed to make that happen.