Technology Is Killing Off These 9 Jobs – Is Yours One Of Them?
There are a great many positives to the advances technology has made over the last decade. Smartphones, tablets and robotics alike have begun to make our everyday lives easier. Finding directions to where we want was once a stressful chore, for instance, but it is now as simple as the click of a button thanks to GPS technology and the likes of Google Maps. Furthermore, communicating with someone in another language was once impossible without years of study, but now there are smartphone apps that can provide us with a helping hand.
However, there is a large price to pay for these advances in technology. As technology becomes more intelligent, executing many of the simple tasks that humans would once perform, we are beginning to see it huge losses in the job market. In fact, there are several sectors that may have completely disappeared by the turn of the decade. We look at the 9 jobs that technology is killing off. Is yours one of them?
1. Postal Workers
There were a lot of reactions to the news that Amazon were experimenting with delivery drones. Many laughed at the idea, many were amazed by it. However, one group of people who wouldn’t have been too excited about the retail giant’s concept are postal workers. Taking Amazon packages to homes and businesses around the world is one of their major responsibilities. Therefore, if their jobs were to be replaced by miniature unmanned aircrafts, it would surely put a big dent in their workforce. There is still some way to go before the technology is finessed enough for these drones to take flight though. That’s not to mention earning the co-operation of aviation administrations. It will be at least five or six years before this begins to occur.
This one might come as a surprise. Piloting an aircraft is one of the most challenging jobs that one could possibly perform. Therefore, it’s hard to imagine that they would be easily replaced by technology. It’s even harder to imagine that aircraft passengers would willingly put their trust in a piece of software at 30,000 feet above sea level. But many are predicting the plummet of piloting careers since an unmanned passenger plane performed a safe flight last summer controlled by a robot. It was developed by BAE Systems who claim “it is doing all the things a human pilot would”.
Calafia Cafe based in Palo Alto, California looks no different from the area’s other vibrant cafes upon initial glance. However, when customers sit down to order a meal there is one enormous change at this otherwise inconspicuous eatery – instead of waiters taking your order, there are tablets on every table. It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. Tablets makes the service is made quicker, they cut labour costs and they eliminate any confusion about what you want to order. There are issues to figure out — what if people claim data was lost when making an order, or if someone steals them? — but tablets could very well be served up for the restaurants of the future.
Several years ago, if you were hosting a party and needed some great music to liven up the place, you could rely on a DJ . They would always have the biggest new tunes on disc ready to go. Now, it’s far more commonplace for people to simply plug their iPod into a decent pair of speakers and hit the play button. As the likes of Apple iTunes and Spotify Premium grant us access to all the biggest music in the world (and at a fairly reasonable price) this is a practice we might even begin to see more at nightclubs. Should this be the case, DJs might well lose their jobs to technology.
Google have made a serious commitment to their self-driving cars. The idea is that humans will no longer need to take control of their vehicle, it will be able to take control for you based on an awareness of the roads and your surroundings. They have recently released a video demonstration of the technology that is very impressive to say the least. They are not expected to roll out for some time, but when they do professional drivers will surely begin to see their jobs in jeopardy. Perhaps we will only have to input our postcode into a taxi instead of telling it to a driver. Perhaps we will be able to let a bus guide us to each stop automatically.
In the world of technology, major corporations and Silicon Valley start-ups alike are competing to be the first to invent the digital currency of the future. Apple have already applied to patent iMoney, meanwhile BitCoin has been recognised by several businesses. Does this spell the beginning of the end of cashiers? If not, facial recognition technology for transactions such as the slightly creepy Uniqul might. This would allow you to simply approach a checkout and nod at a sensor to make a purchase.
7. Travel Agents
The statistics don’t look good for travel agents. Seven in ten people who book holidays now choose to do it via online outlets. What’s more: one in every ten people believe travel agents are not as well informed as bloggers or review websites like TripAdvisor. As a result, companies like Thomas Cook are reporting enormous losses for the last couple of years and have consequently cut 2500 jobs by closing 195 high street outlets. Sadly, this could be the direction that most travel agents take with their jobs quickly killed off by technology.
Prior to the internet, smartphones and social media, journalists were the only people with the power to tell a major story. They had the tools to gather information and the platform on which to share it. That time has passed. Today, if something colossal happens in the world — let’s say, a natural disaster — it will be documented on social media and blogging websites long before any journalists can arrive on the scene. People at the zone can snap photographs or shoot video on their phones and have it on Twitter in moments. This is what is known as citizen journalism, and it’s killing off the industry. As people can get their news on these platforms (and for free) circulation in the newspaper industry is crashing and TV news channels have lost at least 50,000 of their daily viewers over the last five years.
Translation technology is still in its early stages. It’s still trying to get its head around certain phrases and understand the tones of unusual accents. However, it’s a field that many of the major technology companies certainly want to have control of. In a world that is increasingly growing smaller since the advent of the internet, being able to communicate in different languages will make life easier for many people. When technology like Google Translate and iTranslate (demonstrated in this BBC news piece) do smooth out the rough edges and work at near-perfect capacity, it could spell the end of professional translators as they are replaced by smartphones and tablets.