Poll- Can Your Job Be Replaced by a Robot, Overseas Person etc?

Hey guys running another poll.

Can your job be replaced either of the following

If you write no can you please write your occupation

Poll Options

  • 24
    Robot (Not A.I)
  • 128
    Offshore person
  • 54
    All of above
  • 347
    No

Comments

  • +6 votes

    Software improvements and evolution is rapidly taking over the need for teams of Engineering designers and drafters but they will always need checkers, reviewers and managers in the industry. We will adapt and change focus to work around it.

    Where we used to have 5 local engineers undertaking a design, it evolved to 1 local lead and 5-10 offshore resources but now with new developments in automated design software, I expect we'll no longer need the day-to-day resources but upskill people to manage and verify the outputs instead.

    No for Engineering (Civil/Structural/MEP).

    • +3 votes

      Same industry as an project manager. A robot can't run a client design meeting and Skype, while it is a useful tool, isn't a substitute for face-to-face client meetings. Likewise, if there are issues on site you can't send a robot or mobilise an off-shore person to react and redesign.

      • +1 vote

        ^ 100% this. People do business with people. Sales roles, client liaison, project management - all roles that, whilst can be automated, are much less likely to be simply for the fact that people like to have someone to hold accountable (read: yell at) when things inevitably don't meet expectations.

        Think about it - you don't get angry at the ATM when it isn't working, you get angry at "the Bank", meaning the people who work there that are responsible for making the machine work.

        • +1 vote

          The counter argument to this is that when an automated system makes a mistake, it can be taught / programmed / learn not to make the same mistake in a similar scenario in the future.

          Contrast that with human decision making, where the same stupid decisions are made again and again due to an individual's inability to learn from experience, protection of their own ego, failure to see the bigger picture, hold sufficient data in their memory for active recall etc.

          If a system can learn from the full spectrum of human experience and apply that knowledge progressively over a period of time that exceeds the life span of most humans, that knowledge is going to be infinitely better than a single person's perspective at a given moment in time.

          If we can can get out of our own way, I can see control over decisions such as the best way to deal with climate change being handed over to systems to inform policy decisions rather than the political expediency of the day.

          • +1 vote

            @Nomadesque: Every job could be performed by a sufficiently advanced android. But OP is asking about non-AI robots and offshoring.

            •  

              @Scrooge McDuck: I think it's almost inevitable that, barring some cosmological event beyond our control, the human race will be the engineer of its own extinction.

              Whether we hand over control of decision making around problems that we can't tackle as a species and then we're eventually deemed obsolete by the automated systems we've created, or whether we allow those problems to kill us because we refuse to hand over decision making to automation, our end is virtually guaranteed one way or another.

              I figure we will probably buy more time for ourselves if we hand over the decision making.

              Hopefully by the time the automated systems wipe us out they recognise us as god-like beings by virtue of bringing about their creation and decide that uploading our collective consciousness to the cloud and the destroying our physical waste-producing forms would be better than completely erasing us from existence.

              Edit: In response to your edit, OP wanted to add AI to the poll but wasn't able to. For this reason I think it's relevant to discuss.

              • +3 votes

                @Nomadesque: That's a very pessimistic outlook. Another alternative is that humans evolve into technologically enhanced cyborgs.

                •  

                  @Scrooge McDuck: I'm guessing you don't mean "evolve" in the strict naturalist sense of the word, as I'm fairly sure it's physically impossible for carbon based lifeforms to naturally evolve into anything other than more refined carbon based lifeforms.

                  It also seems like a fairly expensive and time consuming way to go about things. Instead of creating an entity outside of ourselves we instead have to upgrade every human being on the planet to do the same thing as an advanced AI could do independently.

        •  

          I disagree completely with the ATM part.. the amount of times I've come across one where someone has punched the ATM or smashed the fascia, screen/ vandal glass etc…

      • +2 votes

        We used to think the same way with the stock market, trading transaction used to be face to face, but we know this is no longer the case, it's mostly just bots trading with other bots.

        • +1 vote

          It'll be a long time before a robot can visit site and figure out how to run new structure, pipework and services through an existing 100 year old factory. Until then I'm pretty safe.

    • +1 vote

      I work in engineering design. Over the last 20 years I've seen loads of offshoring, but it rarely works well. It can work when expats are embedded in the overseas team to ensure output but that negates the cost saving. I've only seen one company that's implemented offshore design with some success - and it took them a long time and a lot of effort to get there. Engineering design needs constant input from all disciplines and you all really need to be in the same location - communication is so hard.

      I agree that we will adapt - and we have. As offshoring has increased, local demand for resources has hardly diminished, pay has risen and skill shortages are a constant worry when times are good - like right about now.

    • +1 vote

      Ditto. Building software isn't the hard part. Wrangling stakeholders to keep on the right path, testing with customers, understanding that the product is still aligned to the vision…good luck doing that with a mechanised replacement.

      That said, the idea of sending a T-1000 after some of my stakeholders is appealing.

      Edit: Product manager

  • +2 votes

    If you put No can you please write your occupation

  • +39 votes

    Aren't most of us just robots when at work?

  •  

    construction management

    •  

      skype from OS?
      .

    • +1 vote

      Contract Administration could be done by AI with the right technology though. Variation creation, assessment, document version checking, etc

      • +2 votes

        We had overseas architect for a 5 star hotel refurbishment.
        Let's just say it doesn't work like expected. QC was a disaster that leads to disputes and remediation works cost a big sum.
        Contractor won't swallow it and litigation just gonna push further delays that costs hotel 10s of thousands for every day.

        And, that's just having an overseas architect.
        Now try having PM/CM/CA run by skype or robots. It's gonna be headless chooks all over the place.

        There's no 100% smooth sailing even on a cookie-cutter project. Unless you close both eyes and pay blindly.

        •  

          I am in the same industry and in theory AI and robots could do everything but I doubt tech is developed enough in the next 100 years to stop human building and the move to automation is extremely slow.

          •  

            @abuch47: If all the humans (clients / builders / consultants / subcontractors) did the right thing all the time, there would be no need for our roles.

            Because we as humans make errors, provide incomplete information, and need regular reminding, there will be a continual need for our services.

            • +1 vote

              @movieman: Im saying robots can replace manual labour and automation can replace management. so client=build but as I said we are at least 100 years from that. AI and automation is moving very slowly. They had machines building cars in the 70s yet half a century later it still requires a bunch of people at every station. Even computer side the pickup is slow, cad, cnc, bim its all happening yet requires fairly specialised education to create anything with it. everything is still a dumb process rather than an intelligent self learning and adapting.

    • +1 vote

      Probably not your job, but did u see the video about 5G, where construction equipment can now be managed by people halfway around the world to control cranes, bulldozers, digging machines at construction sites?

      •  

        No i haven't, but do you think it's cheaper?

        I can see that happening on dangerous sites just to mitigate risks. That's all.

        •  

          Maybe not worth it in short term, but you never know .
          As the process goes: Standardize, automate, then outsource.

          •  

            @ssa02: R.O.V we use them quite a lot, It's been done it where tasks are specific goal orientated, we are trailing some of the technology in extremely hazardous locations, for the sole purpose of not placing people in a position of potential harm, actual robots that can navigate objects and obtain a target objective, however what they can't get right I'll say ATM is situational awareness be It changes in weather, materials shifting, other objects or other accidents etc. there's always a Darwin Award candidate. Long way to go

            We already have a swag of machine learning via a few large tech companies which is quite impressive but once again ask the question correctly you obtain right answer, frame the question in a slightly different way and it can struggle.

            What will come first is the visual processing we can take a reading from anything just by looking at it, like head up display the device records the data and sends it back.

            Outsourcing has become expensive what was seen as a significant saving was soon lost in building infrastructure to accomodate the network, but then as others have mentioned you end up back at square one because the work isn't to standard or expectation so the rework costs you more.

            Everyone is out looking for silver bullets to get ahead reduce waste increase investor returns and we have lost a lot of focus on just getting things right first time and making sure everyone goes home safe. its actually the cheaper concept.

  •  

    If all you create is emails and meetings - it can be done from anywhere. Not as effective, but cheaper and sometimes that’s all it takes to lose your job.

    • +1 vote

      not as effective….yet

      given learning algorithms and AI,
      it wouldn't be a far stretch to say it couldn't be surpassed eventually

      once you open pandora's box…..

  • +5 votes

    Any job can theoretically be replaced by a robot, if it's sufficiently advanced. But it's those jobs that consist mostly (or entirely) of repetitive, programmable tasks that are at most risk, i.e. cashiers, truck drivers, translators, and accountants.

    • +12 votes

      That's what I told my psychiatrist, as I laid their on the thinking couch, and he reassuringly told me "Please restart Windows".

  • +11 votes

    Automation has really damaged the middle class, AI will kill of what's left of the middle class and kill of white collar jobs, resulting in only certain low paying jobs remaining that are too expensive for automation and AI, for the time being.

    If anyone thinks their job is safe from automation and AI, ask yourself this, can you work harder and for long hours for less than the cost and maintenance costs of AI and automation?

    Robots creating a wages and employment 'death spiral' warns IMF

    Australia has a high rate of casual work and many jobs face automation threats: OECD

    Rise of the machines: How artificial intelligence will reshape our lives

    Mining has always provided a good income:
    Aussies have eyes on world's first fully autonomous underground gold mine in Africa's Mali

    Google search over the past year:
    ai automation jobs site:www.abc.net.au

    • +3 votes

      can you work harder and for long hours for less than the cost and maintenance costs of AI and automation?

      What if your job is maintaining the robots?

    • +17 votes

      Once upon a time, making a fire was a big deal and probably a highly celebrated skill and/or job.

      We have replaced that with a lighter. Firemakers probably had this discussion (I'm guessing not on an internet forum).

      We probably had the same discussion when we discovered buffalos could pull a plough.

      I'm sure some will be "victim" to progress but the future will see robots the same way we see a lighter.

  • +3 votes

    Hey op,
    Could you please add AI to the poll?

    • +3 votes

      sorry can-t it won;t let me—must be ozbargain's AI intervening to keep low profile to take over in the future like skynet, only it'll be bargainet

      • +2 votes

        I never did trust system, it was always asking the weirdest questions on Sundays, me thinks it was harvesting data on us.

        • +2 votes

          don't worry it'll be like Y2K if they try to take over- deciding whether to you bargainet or bargainnet
          they'll go into syntax error.

    • +1 vote

      Could it be that…

      …you're the only ozbargainer and every other user thus far has been AI?

      •  

        Shhh!
        syntax: tshow, you are giving us away!

        •  

          I'm not an AI, no I'm not.

          I mean, I think I'm not.

          Could I? Nah, I'm almost certain. I'm most definitely not… Maybe.

          Am I?

  • +3 votes

    You should probably add the proviso "from a Western anthropocentric view of the natural world". A self-sustaining robot farm might decide that some of our perspectives are meaningless. Or human existence is an inconvenience.

    "I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords"

  • +9 votes

    professional ozbargainer?
    cant really replace me.

    •  

      have you heard of the auto coupon adder ?

    •  

      Posted deals could largely be replaced by a program. Already load of sites that gather pricing data eg camelcamelcamel. AI could build an ebay %off store listing quicker and find historical posted items at good prices. The rest of posting is just a template (at least would have consistent posted titles…).

      The ozbargainer buyer would be harder to replace as AI would quickly work out a better way to spend money, than buying endless sd cards, graphics cards and ssds.

      • +1 vote

        I suspect the OZB system replacement will be AI agents doing the buying for us.

    • +1 vote

      cant really replace me.

      You were perma-banned and the mods had to unban you, because they couldn’t get anyone(/thing) to replace you.

  • +4 votes

    Firefighter.

    • +5 votes

      Pretty sure you could get some big ass drones to fill with water or gases and have a solid crack. But yes there is heaps of scenarios they couldn't

    • +2 votes

      You obviously haven't seen the new Fire5er 4000 Extreme.

      It comes with steely abs, a steely gaze and it gyrates continuously for hours.

    • +5 votes

      Also a firefighter. We for sure are being made more obsolete. More and better fire protection systems means less fires means less jobs.
      Once they start residential sprinklers as standard for all homes our work load cuts dramatically.
      Before Grenfell London had big lay offs for firefighters over the previous decade which in part is attributable to the rise of residential sprinklers and other modern advancements.

      Theres also plenty of Firefighting drones and robots in development, our dept has a drone and robot we use for big factory jobs, at this point its pretty crappy but they will only get better.

      On the plus side for us its an industry that is notoriously slow to adapt to new technology. We only moved to using GPS about 3 years ago before that you still had to look at a UBD and just try to remember how many lefts and rights it was from the station to where the fire was

      • +2 votes

        It's slow to change because it is heavily regulated and protected.

        Imagine if we deregulate firefighters.

        First one to the fire gets paid. Plus royalties for calendar shots.

        Oh, also bonus if they fight the fire. Must not forget that.

        •  

          First one to the fire gets paid.

          As the saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun.

          Marcus Licinius Crassus was born into a wealthy Roman family between 115 and 112 BC, and acquired an enormous fortune through (in the words of Plutarch) "fire and rapine." One of his most lucrative schemes took advantage of the fact that Rome had no fire department. Crassus filled this void by creating his own brigade—500 men strong—which rushed to burning buildings at the first cry of alarm. Upon arriving at the scene, however, the fire fighters did nothing while their employer bargained over the price of their services with the distressed property owner. If Crassus could not negotiate a satisfactory price, his men simply let the structure burn to the ground, after which he offered to purchase it for a fraction of its value.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_firefighting

      • +1 vote

        Residential sprinklers for all homes? I can't see that ever happening. London had layoffs because of politicians and their budget cutting, not reduced call-outs. Structure fires are only a fraction of the role. I'm based out of Melbourne and we still rely on street directories, no sign of GPS sat-nav being implemented in coming years :( Global warming and the death of volunteerism points to secure employment for a long time to come in my eyes.

  • +1 vote

    I help create the robots, so No.

    …Unless I make them smarter :/

  • +11 votes

    I AM the offshore person who replaced someone's job. Because wages and cost of living in Silicon valley is so crazy, so the company I joined opened a small Sydney office, because especially with the low AUD right now, we're on par with/maybe even cheaper than the Dublin office. Certainly Sydney is cheaper than the Atlanta office and there's no comparison to Silicon valley. And they're not stinge-ing me by local standards: my package including stock options but not including super is 120k per year. But once you take currency exchange and everything into account that's like half the cost of a Silicon valley guy doing the same thing. Eventually the plan is to open up a Philippines office as the company continues to grow so rapidly, which would be like one quarter the cost of even Australia, but the plan at that stage would be to move me up the hierarchy to a more weighty role when that happens, I have been assured.

  • +3 votes

    Contract admin - our jobs have gone to South Africa, yet it is failing hard due to the urgency of the job and the massive time differences , language barriers and the fact people cant get them on the phone. All issues that were raised previously yet, concerns were ignored due to $$$, will definitely come back to Aus in a few years.

    •  

      Which industry?

      Construction (at least in Melbourne) appears to be on-site or in the head office.

    •  

      Yeah I've heard this happens a lot. Decisions made on the basis of cost and there is no control over the outsource company and they throw warm bodies at the problem some who apparently don't even speak English! Metrics are gamed by closing or ignoring live issues to maintain KPIs.

      •  

        Rio was the first one here to do it, and now they have reinstated it back to Aus. BHP has just completed the transition to Asia but they took years to implement and still people aren't happy. So hopefully by the time I am ready to get back into the workforce, it will come back to Aus :)

        •  

          They just did this at Optus for their network infrastructure management. Used Accenture and literally their personal do not know how to speak English (when calling Australian customers) and do not respond to emails requesting actions. This has been going on since October 18.

  • +2 votes

    Are there ways to stop offshore jobs?

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