When most of us think of robotics and potential job replacement, we think about robots stepping in to take over mundane, repetitive or unskilled jobs. But when the Pew Center issued a report entitled “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs,” it forced many to think beyond those narrow confines.
Forty-eight percent of the experts canvassed as part of Pew’s research said they see a potential for robots and digital agents to displace significant numbers of not only blue-collar, but white-collar workers by 2025. Many of those experts raised concerns about a resulting problem of “masses of people who are effectively unemployable.”
Surely those experts believe that creative types like writers, artists, filmmakers/videographers, advertising and public relations professionals will be unaffected by these changes. Creativity is not something that a machine can manifest. Or is it?
Digital agents are already moving into the writing game. The Associated Press (AP) recently announced that “robot journalists” will soon be covering college sports. No, there won’t be C-3POs sitting court-side, observing and reporting. But, weaving together the stats of a game, there will be “full-text game stories” generated by machines as soon as a game is over, then put up on the AP wire. Interestingly, fewer errors are expected to be made by the machines than by human reporters.
In fact, robotic writers— and all robots —don’t have to do their jobs perfectly. They only have to do their jobs slightly better than humans to make job replacement cost-effective.
It’s all about economics.
Maybe some jobs will no longer exist for humans. But won’t there be new ones created to replace them? Won’t we need a whole new wave of technicians to keep the robots going? Or will there be repair robots to handle those jobs?
It’s a little mind-bending to think of the brave new world those experts predict will dawn 10 years from now. One creative type who has thought this through and presented it in an entertaining format is CPG Grey. The mysterious Grey enjoys a lot of YouTube fans for his work on this topic alone (4 million plus), but prefers to remain hidden from all who search for information about him on the Web. Usually, we don’t put a spotlight on content published by sources without readily-available credentials, but CPG Grey has done such a good job of explaining and extrapolating from the Pew research, that we think it’s worth a look at “Humans Need Not Apply.”
What’s your vision of tomorrow’s workforce? How do you think advertising and public relations will operate in the future? What do you see as the role you will play?