Lifetime learning, continued training and retraining throughout our lives are key to staying ahead

Robots are getting very good at a whole bunch of jobs and tasks, but there are still many categories in which humans perform better.

And, perhaps more importantly, robots and other forms of automation can aid in the creation of new and better jobs for humans. As a result, while we do expect that some jobs will disappear, other jobs will be created and some existing jobs will become more valuable. Workers, for their part, have to be strategic and aim for the jobs least likely to be overtaken by robots or other increasingly skilled machines. They have to commit to a lifetime of practicing and updating their skills.

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Safe jobs in 21st century are among bottlenecks to automation

Creativity, social intelligence, and the ability to interact with complex objects and environments are the areas we should be focusing upon. These three areas where humans have a distinct advantage over machines are key to job creation, where humans can beat machines.

  1. Creative endeavors: These include creative writing, entrepreneurship, and scientific discovery. These can be highly paid and rewarding jobs. There is no better time to be an entrepreneur, as you can use technology to leverage your invention.
  2. Social interactions: Robots do not have the kinds of emotional intelligence that humans have. Motivated people who are sensitive to the needs of others make great managers, leaders, salespeople, negotiators, caretakers, nurses, and teachers. Consider, for example, the idea of a robot giving a half-time pep talk to a high school football team. That would not be inspiring. Recent research makes clear that social skills are increasingly in demand.
  3. Physical dexterity and mobility: If you have ever seen a robot try to pick up a pencil you see how clumsy and slow they are, compared to a human child. Humans have millennia of experience hiking mountains, swimming lakes, and dancing—practice that gives them extraordinary agility and physical dexterity.

The digital age is set to cause more upheaval than previous technological revolutions because change is happening faster than ever before and is fundamentally altering the way we live and work. Technology is now enabling not just the automation of repetitive but also cognitive tasks involving subtle and non-routine judgment. Through Robotics, big data, the digitization of industries and the Internet of Things the nature of occupations and whole industries is changing and also the dynamics of economic growth.

We should equip workers to engage with developing technologies, so they’re able to benefit from them, and focus on those bottlenecks still faced by automation. Giving people those skills could help them find jobs that aren’t readily replaceable by technology, but also help them to develop new technologies and push innovation further.​

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Places that have specialized in creative work are most likely to prosper in the 21st century

The chance of finding yourself replaced by a robot varies depending on where you work, the field you work in, and how much you earn (factors that are obviously linked).

35% of UK jobs are at risk of being automated over the next two decades. According to Oxford University, in the years ahead, millions of jobs in sectors such as accounting and auditing will be replaced with machines that can so the same tasks much more cheaply and effectively than human workers – without requiring salaries, holidays or sick pay – while administrators, paralegals and bank clerks will also be hit hard.

Across the whole UK, jobs paying less than £30,000 ($48,000) are nearly five times more likely to be lost to automation than jobs paying over £100,000 ($159,000). The finer points of how automation will affect the workplace: jobs in administrative support, transportation, sales and services, construction, and manufacturing as among the most high-risk from technology.

Meanwhile, jobs in sectors like financial services, senior management, engineering, law, science, education, and the arts and media are at the least risk of being roboticized. That broadly echoes and reflects where automated systems are at now: great at repetitive drudgery, not so much at creative thought and people skills.

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We need to help people develop skills that machines are still relatively bad at, such as creativity, empathy and problem-solving. And cities that maintain their ability to shift workers into new employment opportunities resulting from technological change will prove the most resilient.

The answer to the new and growing workforce of robots is not to slow the pace of technological progress, but to speed up our institutions so that entrepreneurs, managers and workers alike can thrive. When it comes to the real-life race against the machine, we have no time to lose. Either we can rise to the challenge of automation, and radically overhaul our education, training and skills system, or wage a losing battle trying to compete.

What are your thoughts on this? let us know in the comments below.


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3 thoughts on “Lifetime learning, continued training and retraining throughout our lives are key to staying ahead

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  1. George Mastragelopoulos This collection is about Google Home/Assistant, not Chrome. Kindly post your query on Chrome community or collection.

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