The Robots Are Coming! | Andrés Oppenheimer

Summary of: The Robots Are Coming!: The Future of Jobs in the Age of Automation
By: Andrés Oppenheimer

Introduction

Welcome to the future of jobs that comes with the Age of Automation! In Andrés Oppenheimer’s The Robots Are Coming!, we explore the rapidly changing employment landscape in various industries, such as transportation, healthcare, and banking sectors. This insightful book sheds light on the effects of automation on jobs across the globe and emphasizes the need for learning and adapting to new skills. As you dive into this summary, brace yourself for a mesmerizing journey into the world of automation and get ready to discover the tech-driven solutions that will redefine the workplace, revolutionize consumer behavior, and reshape the future of various industries.

The Robotic Revolution

Industrial robots are gradually taking over factory jobs worldwide due to their lower cost, greater productivity, and higher precision, reducing the need for human labor. China is leading in this revolution and replacing their workforce with cheaper robots, fueling a new era of manufacturing while raising questions about unemployment.

Automating the Future

The transportation industry is rapidly advancing towards automation, with autonomous vehicles and drones being developed and tested for commercial use by companies like Uber, Lyft, Amazon, DHL and Ehang. By 2025, one-third of American trucks could be automated, and self-driving taxis are being tested in various cities. These technological advancements will inevitably lead to millions of people losing their jobs, including truck drivers, delivery drivers, and taxi drivers. The sensors in self-driving cars are getting increasingly sophisticated, enabling them to be responsive to unexpected events.

The Impact of E-Commerce on Jobs

Online shopping giants like Amazon have greatly transformed the retail industry, leading to a significant loss of jobs in brick-and-mortar stores. The rise of automation, driven by the need to cut labor costs, is further compounding the situation with self-checkout systems and robots serving customers and tracking inventory. The future looks bleak for the service sector as even restaurants are being forced to implement touch-screen ordering tablets and food preparation robots in a bid to reduce labor costs. With about 12 million retail jobs in the United States currently at risk, the e-commerce revolution threatens to leave many people in unemployment.

Automation’s Impact on High-End Jobs

Automation is not just a threat to low-end jobs but also many higher-end jobs that are routinized. This includes the legal profession, where algorithmic software and even a robotic lawyer named Ross are increasingly used to perform formulaic tasks. As a result, many law jobs have been lost and others will be transformed in the near future. While this may be troubling for those in the legal profession, the bright side is that automation can make legal services more affordable for lower-income people.

Banking Automation

As modern economies move towards being cashless, banks are becoming virtual and increasingly reliant on automation. The rise of virtual banks like Schwab.com and Robinhood.com, run by sophisticated algorithms, is leading to a reduction in both physical bank branches and banking jobs. Even large investment banks like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are automating their services and replacing human analysts with algorithms. With their ability to make financial calculations and projections in just seconds, there’s a prediction that within the next decade, automation could replace between one-third and one-half of all workers in the financial sector.

The Future of Healthcare Automation

Healthcare automation is transforming the industry by providing continuous monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment through technology integrated with our smart devices. Virtual assistants like Alexa can provide precise instructions and answer health-related questions, while nano-bots can help in repairing damaged organs. Mazor robotics has already developed an automated robotic surgeon to conduct a considerable amount of spinal surgeries in the United States. These developments will transform the healthcare industry.

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