Artificial intelligence, robots, drones, and advanced automation will probably put most humans out of a job in 20 years time – at least that’s what many futurists think. Here’s what we gather so far:

A few technology jobs will be spared

As it goes, setting up a website, or a landing page does not take intricate amount of coding. Infact, services out there today offer to do all those in a couple of minutes. Even as you are reading this right now, services like this are getting perfected. Soon, the need for coders or developers will be a thing of the past.

Needless to say, 20 years from now – most (probably not all) jobs in tech will be automated. What might probably stay on – design and product roles.

Fully automated restaurants, factories (and more)

Today, one simply needs to walk into a neighbourhood McDonalds and meet the competition for their restaurant job. It has a giant screen, vibrant colours, and even stands pretty still.  While it can only take orders for now, some restaurants in China have already introduced robot chefs and waiters.

Robot chefs taking over the world, starting from the kitchen (source: FT)

Similarly, factories in developed countries around the world have steadily replaced workers with robotic helpers over the past many years. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as insatiable global demand for high tech electronics need to be met by – speed, accuracy and cost efficiency, which is only possible with automation and robotics.

Therefore, it shouldn’t seem too far-fetched that restaurants and factories (and many more consumer facing businesses) are already fully self-operational in 20 years. If that happens, even the general manager’s job in the factory might not be spared.

Teachers no longer teach in a class

Schools- they might probably still exist, but in smaller numbers. Online classes are not uncommon these days, so in two decades, it could be perfectly possible that the role of teachers might be relegated to only content creation. Teachers will be recording videos of their lectures or conducting lectures via live streaming.

Of course, all things considered – education could perhaps be much cheaper (due to competition) in the future, as it becomes increasingly privatised globally. It’s quite possible too that being a popular teacher doesn’t mean you’re overpaid, thus sponsorship deals might be a common place.

Offices will have bots managing finance & accounting, administration and secretarial responsibilities

Amazon’s Alexa: she may not smile, or have long legs, but she can play your favourite tunes!

What do we expect our offices to be in two decades? Well, we do not have kind words. Blockchain technology would probably play a big role in wiping out finance and accounting roles to begin with. Companies of the future will probably run their own finance and accounting activities on their private blockchain platform, eliminating the need for quarterly audits. Regulators too would be able to access information when granted permission to the blockchain platform.

In addition, personal digital assistants (similar to Siri or Alexa) will be replacing office administrators and secretaries. If Siri and Alexa can already shop on your behalf, play music, and talk to you – who’s to say what they can do 20 years from now? Definitely a lot more!

Conclusion

The future may definitely see structural unemployment for many segments of society, leaving perhaps largely manual labor (trash collection, construction, etc) and management duties to capable humans. There’s no doubt that robotics and automation will be increasingly adopted due to continuous emphasis on speed, accuracy, quality and lower costs.

This may lead to a chilling conclusion that robots and AI could be the new middle class.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at hello@mworks.asia.

 

ad