The machine revolution is coming, and it’s coming fast. Top economists and engineers are warning us that many jobs will be replaced by machines because they are cheaper to operate and more consistently reliable. According to a study by the University of Oxford, 47% of total U.S. employment is at risk because of the use of automated processes (i.e. computerized machines). A machine can break, but it can’t be hurt. It can malfunction, but it doesn’t get sick. A.I. will be able to analyze a lot more data more quickly than a conventional analyst, whether it be someone analyzing the stock market or a doctor analyzing test results. The future is uncertain, and there’s nothing we can do about that, but we can give you a heads up with our list of the top ten predicted jobs to disappear by 2050
10. Mail carrier
First on our list is one of the more self-evident jobs that will disappear. Postal carrier. The days of carrier pigeons delivering messages from one castle to the next are long gone, we had our bird revolution somewhere along the line, but these coming decades it is the typical mail carrier who has to dodge crazy dogs, and bring you the latest toy you bought yourself. With Amazon drone, self-driving cars, and e-mail, songs like “Please Mr. Postman” won’t have any meaning as people are born into a world where a delivery arrives at your door by driverless car which scans your fingertips for identification as you sign for your package on a touch screen.
Believe it or not, farmers will cease to exist in the way we think of them. Like in Christopher Nolan’s film “Interstellar”, farming will take on a more scientific approach. Due to the increase in agricultural technology, the need for manual labor will decrease as farming will require more machine operators and engineers, rather than a requiring physical strength. It’ll become a job about programming and repairing machines and performing tests to increase growth conditions.
8. Factory Worker
The job that’s probably already experiencing a significant decrease in employment is the factory worker… In the not so distant future, gone will be the days of receiving shipments and fork lifting each pallet one-by-one. Gone will be the days where humans will be responsible for piling boxes on each other, or sorting them out by eye. Robots will eventually be able to handle any tasks that involve identifying or organizing stock. They call this “lights out manufacturing” and it’s expected to be one of the major disruptions in automation.
7. Fast food worker
Another trend we’re beginning to see with McDonald’s self-serve system is the death of the fast food worker. Pretty soon you won’t be seeing young students serving your hamburgers or coffee at your favorite fast food shops. Touch screens will replace your hosts, and a robotic assembly in the back will put your burger and fries together. We think they might keep one person available, like hire models or something to stand there, or maybe have some on-staff engineer in case there’s a problem. Either way, the staff is going to see a noticeable shrinkage.
6. Retail cashier
All this stuff about the fast food worker applies to the retail cashier( and the same goes for cashiers). Companies like Wal-mart already try to reduce the number of employees they need, so we can be sure they’re going to jump on the opportunity of using computerized automation. Maybe the whole shopping experience of browsing through aisles will be replaced by going up to a giant screen that knows you by name, and can suggest items to you based on your Facebook activity and Google searches…
Just a few decades ago, it was said at Bell Labs that there were strong reasons why English would be too difficult to analyze “phoneme by phoneme, word by word” due to the different speeds at which people talk… and a few years later, the Soviets developed technology which would begin to minimize the difficulties. By today’s standard, speech recognition is an app you can download on your phone like Siri, Google Now or Cortana, or even closed captioning software.
When we imagine the logging industry, unless we’re in it we probably imagine a bunch of burly guys knocking down trees with their axes and plaid shirts yelling “Timber!” Well, we’ve done our research and it’s actually far more sophisticated than that. Traditionally considered a dangerous job, loggers will possibly be able to stay out of harm’s way by remotely controlling a machine that can cut-down and section a tree without anyone having to get near it. Paul Bunyan eat your heart out, your job might go to an engineer sipping coffee and eating doughnuts a mile away from your machines. Sounds like a job Homer Simpson could do, except the engineering part.
This one will make a lot of book people sad. Due to computers’ superior sorting abilities, and everything we’ve talked about involving self-serve systems, librarians could soon be a thing of the past. Instead of having a person recommend a book to you, there will be user-generated reviews, and instead of bringing back overdue books, you’ll be texted a notification reminding you to return it… or else. This is assuming by that point we still use paper books. Maybe they’ll be banned and you’ll be forced to upload Moby Dick to your iPad 15.
2. Travel agent
Still, every book brings you on a journey. But sometimes we like to go on our own journeys. When’s the last time you went on a trip. Today you can book your vacation online on Sunday and hit your sun spot on Monday. Travel agents used to be the friendly, helpful intermediaries between you and your slice of paradise., but now, with so many websites offering the cheapest possible deals, and like we said before, user-generated reviews telling you where to and where not to go, it’s hardly surprising that travel agents will soon be a career choice of the past.
1. Taxi Driver
The last occupation on our list shouldn’t surprise anyone. We’ve already seen how apps like Uber and Lyft have shaken the taxi industry, so we can only imagine how much further this industry gets shaken by self-driving cars. Of course, it’s not only cab drivers that will be affected: how about pizza delivery guys, bus drivers, truck drivers and the list goes on and on. Any motor vehicle requiring a manual driver is likely to be controlled from a station, or operated by artificial intelligence.
So are you prepared to report to your new machine masters? Okay okay, these jobs might not ALL be gone by 2050. Many places in the world won’t have enough money to replace their systems, and will have sufficient man-power to get things done for cheaper and faster. And certain jobs like artists, scientists, computer programmers or anything else requiring creativity will still be in demand, so if you’re not already into those kinds of fields, hopefully by 2050 you will have changed your mind.