You may have seen movies like iRobot, Blade Runner, and even Star Wars, and wondered if the future of employment looks bleak for humans. Indeed, it seems every day news stories cover the progress being made in artificial intelligence, and how more factory jobs continue to be taken by robotic workers.
But does this mean that every job will eventually be done by a robot? Well, not likely. And the following jobs are safe for the foreseeable future.
1. Any kind of mental therapist
From psychology and psychiatry, to occupational therapy and even some aspects of social work, there is one huge reason why robots cannot do these jobs right now: They’re not human.
In any kind of therapy session, you need to feel heard and understood. You need a connection with the therapist to make any kind of progress, knowing that he or she is empathetic to your issues and genuinely wants to help. And that word — genuine — is at the heart of the problem for robots. Even if they can mimic a human’s responses accurately and provide excellent advice, it will always feel programmed and unnatural. Pouring your heart out to a machine will never feel the same as conversing with a human, and that will make it almost impossible for robots to replace this role.
2. Investigative journalists
While it’s true that some aspects of journalism are being automated, the kind of work that Woodward and Bernstein did on Watergate is unlikely to be replaced by robots any time soon. Even with great advances in artificial intelligence, robots still don’t have that sense of intrigue that humans have.
Humans are naturally curious, and when it comes to journalism, people look for things that aren’t quite right. They question, probe, dig, and make connections that robots could not do without human intervention. Not only that, but the charm and personality of journalists opens doors, gets people talking, and brings facts out into the open. How many witnesses or informants will open up to a robot in a bar over a pint of beer?
3. Physicians and surgeons
Let’s face it; if you found out you were going under the knife tomorrow, how happy would you be to know a robot was performing the procedure without any kind of human involvement?
While advances in medical science have brought robots into the operating room, they are not yet at a stage of complete autonomy. They are there to help surgeons, and facilitate in complex and arduous tasks. Sometimes a surgeon can even use one remotely to operate on a patient in a different state (or even country).
However, while robots can be painstakingly accurate, they are not yet sophisticated enough to replace surgeons and doctors. If anything were to go wrong during the operation, a robot may not be programmed with the correct response to fix it. A surgeon relies on hundreds of hours of experience, and will often have to think laterally to solve a problem. Sometimes, a surgeon will even follow a gut reactions based on countless other surgeries.
Yes, a robot can make precise cuts, and administer medications exactly, but robots cannot replace the human touch that comes from a physician or surgeon. And let’s not even go into the kind of malpractice…
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