World News

Why Robots Are Not Taking Your Jobs

The widespread fear of a robot uprising is not only wrong but is preventing us from obtaining better working conditions. 

Our fears of automation are based on three factors: machines will perform tasks more efficiently, machine learning will enable artificial intelligence (AI) to make decisive choices more effectively, and technology companies will sell software and algorithms to replace inefficient individuals with faster machines.


These fears aren’t without reason, but the biggest technology opportunities have always augmented the production of humans rather than replaced it. In 2020, new technological breakthroughs will continue this trend. Augmentation technology will combine machine productivity with human empathy to make cooperation more natural. AI and machine learning will enable teams of people to learn significantly faster. Individuals’ skill gaps will be filled by technology, helping them succeed in more valuable, reconfigured jobs that meet real needs. 

We have already automated many regular duties in the workplace, so most of what workers get paid for are interactions such as communicating, problem-solving in teams, and learning what users value. These tasks will be improved, not replaced by technology. For instance, Superhuman, an email service, provides workers with additional features like insights from social networks, follow-up reminders, scheduled messages and read statuses aside from offering absurd email speed. 

Superhuman is a blend of clever human design, software extensions, and a 30-minute onboarding by a real person who personalizes Superhuman’s interface to suit a customer’s email needs. 

In medicine, startups like PathAI used skilled pathologists to train their algorithms that then utilized machine-learning methods to improve the precision of clinical diagnoses and thus implement personalized medication. 

Software-as-a-service company Medallia, entering 2020 on a strong trajectory, uses the experience and resourcefulness of customer-support employees to enhance its AI, enabling the AI to make smart, effective suggestions to workers in real-time. 

Technology is not like gravity as it does what the humans who design and deploy want it to do. We have a chance to reconfigure the human values we want our technology to embody. The challenge for the next decade won’t be developing efficient technology we can pair up with humans, but correct the misconception that technology is going to harm our opportunities.

Categories: World News

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