Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Published in

Tech Advancements Threaten Job Security

By Rachel Alper

When people talk about a robot apocalypse, they’re usually envisioning a war zone scenario in which machines become self aware and decide to revolt against humanity. This nightmare scenario is fanciful, but a much sneakier robot takeover has already begun.

Robots and artificial intelligence will hurt blue-collar workers and fundamentally change the economy. Robots that replace jobs have started to pop up everywhere. Berkeley residents may be familiar with Kiwibots, little robots that deliver food to people within a mile of the University of California Berkeley campus. This fleet is the latest in a wave of robots that aim to make certain services cheaper by eliminating the human worker. We already have self-checkout machines to replace cashiers and the prospect of self-driving cars to replace Uber, Lyft, and taxi drivers. Despite being efficient technological innovations, these machines are not necessary and will do more harm than good.

The Kiwibots and other similar robots will take over tasks that humans currently get paid to perform. A study from global consultancy McKinsey found that almost a third of the United States workforce could be replaced by 2030. This robot takeover will affect construction workers, security guards, and people who work in the food service industry, to name a few. Artificial intelligence will even take over some white collar jobs. From small startups like Kiwibot to trillion dollar corporations like Amazon, companies are realizing that robots can slash production costs. Unfortunately, these innovations come at the expense of middle class workers. In order to keep up with the changing job market, workers will need to learn new skills.

Of course, not everyone can get extra degrees easily. College is not affordable for the vast majority of Americans, and the country’s education system and job training programs are not sufficient, according to business and technology experts from a Pew Research study. We are fundamentally transforming the economy in a way that takes away large numbers of jobs without thinking about what structure will take its place. Robots can also be disruptive and dangerous for residents.

As robots become more ingrained in society, we stray further from the fantastic robot apocalypse scenario. It’s no longer us versus the robots; the robots are replacing us.

Subscribe to our news roundup! You’ll get an email every two weeks summarizing the latest issue’s articles.

Login with
Jacket ID

Comments (1)

avatar
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Melisa Coover Recent comment authors
Melisa Coover
Guest
Melisa Coover

This is an extremely well written article.

NEW technology and kiwi bots - tanya bearson copy copy
Facebook
Twitter
Email

We need to ask for your support for our amazing newspaper. We’re one of the premier student newspapers in the nation. In our 107-year history we’ve continuously pushed for excellence in journalism and education.

The most remarkable fact is this: the Jacket is entirely student-operated and is produced by a dedicated staff of over one hundred student editors, writers, photographers, illustrators, and designers on a very limited budget every week.