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)
  • 129
    Offshore person
  • 54
    All of above
  • 348
    No

Comments

    •  

      Yer keep increasing their wages eg India now gets paid more than Aussie developers, hence why countries like Philippines now start to get used more. Eventually it'll be cheaper here and we can outsource to other countries lol

    • -1 vote

      Not if you want to be competitive as a market leader. Offshore resources aren't just about financial economy but capacity & efficiency as well. You can ramp up resources considerably overnight when required then back down again when done.

      If I need another 10 senior engineers to tackle a design problem, say reticulation of utility services in a 3D model, I can have them ready & available following morning and demobilise soon as task complete no longer need them. You can't do that locally. It'll also be significantly cheaper project cost.

      • +1 vote

        You can with contractors, who can be fired at any moment for any reason

        • -1 vote

          A) Not cost effective thereby defying the overall point.
          B) Doesn't resolve the capacity issue, there just aren't enough of them around in the industry here.

      • +1 vote

        We should automate you, failing to resource that badly is pretty abysmal. Also there's a serious risk if you're picking the cheapest 10 engineers of getting crap out and now you need those 10 expensive engineers to fix the problem.

        Rarely does off shoring the way you're describing go well.

        •  

          We've been offshoring design for a decade now, as have all our competitors. Everything from bridges to train stations to highways to airports and more have been designed offshore and built successfully over the years. It's not a relatively new concept.

    •  

      Yes, add value where they can't. Problem is, many people are in a job that was invented decades ago and has a predetermined set of rules. If you are making food, driving, processing information etc, it is a matter of time before robots take the job. If the job doesn't require a good understanding of local issues and doesn't require thinking outside the square: offshore.

  • +3 votes

    robot repairman.

  • +1 vote

    I think the issue is the people deciding who can be replaced won't ask the people doing the job now, they will ask the people/robot programmers hoping to be the replacements.
    It might (and the evidence from business process outsourcing, will) result in dramatically lower quality of work, and poorer results. But by then the decision is made, and the jobs are gone. A few essential jobs might come back, but the cost savings will have been spent on shareholder dividends and executive pay.

    I think this means you need to be prepared for dislocation, to move to other employers, and keep your resume polished, and your qualifications etc. up to date.

    • +2 votes

      This has been the case in the large financial services organisations (banks, insurers, etc.) over the last decade. For example, one had a senior management statistic and target: head count - which was only included the ones onshore. Indians, Chinese, Filipinos didn't rate a head count.

      Procedural jobs like administration - making payments subject to certain rules, basic accounting made sense, but then they tried to outsource more complex and nebulous work such as analytics and data science to the same BPOs and it became counterproductive.

      • +4 votes

        Similar in telco. Headcount declined by 80% in the last 20 years.
        The problem is the the outsourcing continues after it becomes counter productive.
        If you can measure the 50% cost reduction, but the customer's annoyance at an off shore call centre is uncosted, the outsourcing wins. Did the large customer just pick another supplier in the RFP because they have a local call centre? Probably not, but it may have added weight to their decision.
        And what about if everyone does it?
        I hate IVR telephone systems, but the market gives me no way to respond to that cost cutting move.

        The idea that businesses won't outsource functions because it may turn out to be unproductive is wishful thinking, IMO. The move to AI and robots/machinery will follow the same path.

  • +17 votes

    Some people I work with could be replaced by a couple of sand bags.

  •  

    no, customer service.

    • +2 votes

      Payment kiosks

      • +2 votes

        Probably depends on the type of customer service. Some places will retain customer service staff to address customer queries/complaints that are a bit more complex than what they'd put on a button on a kiosk.

    • +1 vote

      Unless you're doing something fairly complicated, customer service is absolutely on the chopping block. Heck, how many CS jobs have been lost to something as simple as telephone button/voice prompts?

  • +1 vote

    No but I've seen robot close up a keyhole appendectomy in 8 seconds flat.

    I am thoroughly impressed and I'll move aside when the time comes.

    •  

      yea but does it know to look for necrosis and hence will need to do a peritoneal washout?

      • +1 vote

        Of course. How do you think we screen for surface malignancies? (I'm sure it can be programmed for necrosis too).

        We use scanners as adjunct to visual inspection. (Or at least I hope we all do).

        •  

          from memory though will this improve outcomes

          i think the robotic assisted technologies for urological procedure have had no benefit proven in clinical studies over humans from what i remmember
          iguess it depends on what sort of surgery like TURP, or complete resection i sneeded, TNM stage etc

          • +1 vote

            @funnysht: It may not have better outcomes (yet) but if it doesn't require the same space as human surgeons do, nor the same time.

            Smaller theatres and quicker procedure times = increased productivity. Shorter wait times = timelier interventions.

            Like all robotics, it is only as good as the programming/programer. I believe whatever the procedure, wether it is a pep smear or an organ transplant, it is only an eventuality that the human surgeons is removed from the equation.

            • +1 vote

              @tshow: it's gooing point you made about transplants- cardiac heart transplants you cant expect a robot to do, or renal transplants- like you need to make a judgement call about the length of the ureter or iliac artery and vein, furthermore if it is a enbloc kidneys then even harder. The surgeons usually take few hours to do the back table to set up for a renal transplant. I would find it very suprising if a robot could do all that!!And shaving the cortical fat off quite risky i thought to do it by a robot!

              • +1 vote

                @funnysht: If a robot can make micro processors, they can shave some fat.

                Our decision making skills isn't as complex as we'd like to think. Remember when we said self driving cars is a long ways away?

            •  

              @tshow: Forget robots, It's only a matter of time until women will do their own pap test (well, cervical screen)

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5900042/

    •  

      But don't you need someone to check if the robot hasn't left a pair of scissors inside the patient and proceeded to sew them up?

  •  

    Should add, is your job a dying trade. Such as mail person, printer, black Smith etc.

  • +1 vote

    As a networks admin I would say 2/3 of my role could be done remotely but the final third could not be (talking with clients, onsite scoping, implementing and responding to incidents required physical intervention).

  •  

    Stay at home dad.

  • +6 votes

    At some point in time, nearly every job may be replaced. We can't be so niave to think that it won't, no matter what the profession is.

    I'm surprised at the amount of people that voted no. Maybe they are only thinking 10-20 years down the track.

    Customer service/receptionist for example, when booking a doctors appointment, it can all be done online or through an app, no calling.

    Calling your ISP provider, voice machine straight away directing you to an actual person, it's only the beginning for now.

    • +4 votes

      While it might be a matter of time, the timing varies significantly I imagine. I suspect the oldest profession might be (one of) the longest to be replaced.

    •  

      The question wasn't about some hypothetical future though, anything is possible in a hypothetical future…

      If your job can't be replaced now then the answer to this question is no.

  • +1 vote

    Liquor sales. Unless they hire Robocop to stand near the self serve that won't be happening anytime soon

    • +2 votes

      They could do a ID scan like they do at the airport. Easy to automate that.

      If i'm not wrong Japan has cigerette/Beer vending machines where u scan ur ID.

    •  

      So the job isn't sales, it is security.

    • +2 votes

      I am really surprised you would say no. I can order booze online and have it delivered. That whole process can and will be automated. In fact there is likely to be, at some point, legislation ensuring we have records of sales of prohibited goods (alcohol). At present the best we have is someone saying "sure I checked their id".

      Look at amazon grocery stores: face id, no staff, don't even need money. Might need one security person to stop kids stealing stuff, but that won't be required for ever either once we are all tracked (which is not far off practically).

      Non-specialist retail staff don't have long. If you work in a shop, drive a vehicle or do a job with well documented procedures, the writing is on the wall.

  • +1 vote

    Yes. It already replaced us but somehow we are still required. Just waiting for the news to break that one day we are not required anymore.

  •  

    Construction Project Manager

  • +4 votes

    look what happened to Bill and Marty on KBBL with the DJ-3000

  • +3 votes

    No. Business owner.

  • +4 votes

    All jobs will be replaced by AI at some stage.

    The more interesting question is what will come after mass automation.

    Some options:

    a) Utopia. Humans are free to pursue their interests without having to worry about menial tasks (cleaning, etc).
    b) Dystopia. Enslavement of 99% of humans by (i) the owners of the most powerful military robots or (ii) the one corporation that makes all the robots.
    c) Isolation. Everyone lives in a VR world and interacts with no one.

    Plenty more other scenarios.

  • +3 votes

    This thread was created by AI.

  •  

    Not for at least a few lifetimes

  •  

    No. My job is predicting the future. Also sometimes known as management/legal. People bring me stuff and ask me to structure it so it doesn't go wrong, hence understanding the issues and predicting likely failure points. I either fix problems, or prevent problems from occurring (or at least make it so if a problem occurs we still get paid).

    A lot of the trivial stuff what I do can be automated, but that is just the boring stuff I don't like doing anyway and which adds little value so I would be hapy to outsource.

    I personally would like to retire owning several robots that can work for me in my retirement. I suspect that is where we are heading: rich people will own robots who will be rented out for jobs. Poor people will either compete for jobs or be supported by the government.

    Creativity will be important to differentiate whether an employer will choose a person over a robot. Does your job require creativity?

    • +1 vote

      What is creativity but generating many different options. Machine are being taught to self learn it.

      •  

        I have no doubt they can self learn. And in situations where you can try 1000 different options and find the best way forward, machines are great. Except where you cannot try 1000 options, you have to get it right the first time. It is called experience and is why we don't let even very bright junior engineers create stuff without experienced oversight.

        Getting 5 top graduate engineers (human or AI) to build 5 different bridges and seeing one which works better (and which ones fall down when used, taking the learnings) is not the future.

        • +1 vote

          find the best way forward

          You're assuming everything you do is unique. There will be databases of all of the prior cases to query and the neural networks will be smart enough to infer parts therefrom, in addition to their self-learning smarts.

          •  

            @ihbh:

            There will be databases of all of the prior cases to query

            In most of the areas I work this is not the case. There are usually no precedents. I presume you are talking about from your experience but I can assure you that most of the situations I am invovled in, there are no precedents. For some workers, we have SOP's etc and in those cases, you can replace the human using the rules with a machine.

            It is often difficult for people to understand the complexity of some issues, and they only see the outcome once the baseline assumptions and data have been determined. I

            •  

              @skyva: How do you determine your precedents? What inputs and processing is done by your head?

              •  

                @ihbh: In any negotiation, different parties may want different things. You cannot have one size fits all, so there are no precedents for lots of stuff we do. Also, in a competitive business world, you are trying to ge the best deal for you, not the most optimised deal. My "inputs" are years of experience at other companies. Good luck bottling that. You would need to hire a bunch of managers and then maybe run them through simulated deals to work out parameters. But there will always be new elements and people weigh those. In many respects we already have precedent, which is what we call "boilerplate". Terms that are common in any agreement but rarely go to the heart of the deal.

                I have been involved in things that went well, and things that went bust. You learn a lot from the things that go bust. How do you develop inputs so a machine cane know what the challenges will be.

                Eg1: Boeing and their software control of pitch. I bet they ran that software through a huge number of simulations to see how it behaved. After the first crash and significant loss of life, they modified the program. Again another crash and loss of life, and they are modifying it again. Software that controls putput based on input (in this case limited variable unlike business) is widely tested automatically, ie by other software. How many goes are you going to give software to identify issues before you decide the automation element is not working? Turns out in this case it is 2. Boeing recently said they are good to fly again. It might be 3 (hope not).

                EG2. Look at the current Labor party loss. Everyone has a different theory on why they failed. What precedent is there for that, how would you create rules to dictate campaign tactics to avoid a repeat: AI or person? Every election the variables are different, the environment different, and then you need to determine the weighting of the inputs. At present we can't even work out the weighting and causes. And yet, people vote in remarkably similar patterns. Currently one electorate has 6500 votes to count (10%), and one candidate is 500 votes ahead. They will almost certainly win, because despite the number of votes being way larger than the margin, and everyone votes independently of each other, and everyone is different (race, sex, age, upbringing, job, wealth, religion, family structure etc) we know that those 10% are likely to vote in very very similar proportions to the previous 90%.

                •  

                  @skyva: Are you an M&A or intellectual property lawyer?

                  My former profession prided itself on having the ability to make judgements but over time I've wondered how much of this can be systematized. Mathematical Decision Making by The Great Courses is a very interesting course which will simplified to a manageable number of parameters, in theory machines can deal with far more, especially self-learning ones, so I wonder how long in the future we'll all be working in an augmented way, if not significantly replaced by machines.

    •  

      No. My job is predicting the future. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paycheck_%28film%29

  • +1 vote

    No. Robot designer.

  • +2 votes

    Looks like there's a lot of naive people on here it seems… 65% of you have said no but the jobs listed would seem fairly easy to at least send to an offshore person if not fully automate.

    A robot designer could easily be sent offshore and with time AI could design robots based on someone's input with better outcomes than a human designer. Liquor sales is easy to convert to an automated job, customer service can be replaced with more automation/kiosks as mentioned etc. etc.

    •  

      I'm already working (robot designer) offshore from the company I work for, does that count? The only reason they allow it is because I used to work there for quite a few years, so they trust me to keep their IP safe from prying eyes. They wouldn't offshore my job to just anyone because of that IP. I also have a lot of expensive proprietary equipment of theirs here which is required to do the work.

      And when I said "Robot Designer", I really mean Embedded Real-Time Control System Engineer. So creating the products/devices that people can use to then create their own products, including allowing clients to do their own autocoding. Autocoding is the closest thing to me being replaced by a robot/AI, but someone has to allow for that autocoding to be interfaced into a real world device, and thats my job.

      •  

        they trust me to keep their IP safe from prying eyes

        Ok now that means you have to share on ozbargain

  •  

    Any job can be replaced with an overseas person - if they immigrate.

    Except I guess where prohibited by law, MP's etc

  • +1 vote

    Can't wait for the first robot PM!

  • +1 vote

    Sadly, it is quite common that people think their job cannot be automated or off-shored, when it actually can be.
    If doctors can operate on someone remotely with 5G technology, if brick & mortar stores are losing money to overseas online warehouses that auto pick products to deliver next day, the only way you can save yourself is to keep jumping your melting iceberg.

  •  

    Interstate truck driver here, I know they are trialling self driving heavy vehicles in the US at the moment, but I'm not sure I'm going to have to worry about it being a reality and taking my job in the 30 ish years I expect to work before I retire.

    An awful lot of money is going to have to go into redesigning and then stringently maintaining the infrastructure for this to work, you're going to pretty much need to have everyone else in cars that have mandatory avoidance systems to stop people from driving too close to the truck, all sorts of problems can arise from this, think about your cruise control in the wet, if your car is making emergency corrections on a wet road with extremely bad surface (think any highway in Australia, even the Hume which is one of the better ones is rooted for surface) the car is going to be uncontrollable even by super smart robot.

    There are other factors such as steer tyre blowouts that can render a truck uncontrollable, maybe they will need to develop a totally new tyre technology, perhaps airless, and let's be honest it's going to have to be flawless.

    The only thing I can see these things being used for in reality is on site freight transfers in large facilities, or short haul bulk transfers on direct straight roads, probably even roads they would end up banning cars from.

    • +2 votes

      Large trucks will be a priority for automation. Humans are bad at reptitive tasks or ones that require long spans of attention.
      Also, large trucks have an ability to create a lot of chaos. If you think trucks are difficult to automate, we seem to do fine with trucks of the sky: commerical passenger jets.

      Automated trucks won't have "blind spots", an excuse truckies have used when running me off the road a few times (also known as changing lanes without looking/indicating/giving a stuff).

      Automated trucks will monitor 1000 pieces of information every second, including tyre pressures and temps, weather, distances etc. Blow outs will be less likely and there will be logs showing when faults were flagged, making it easier to reduce accidents and prosecute offenders.

      I was a forklift driver years ago and the stories the interstate truckies would tell me were shocking. I am surprised there were not more accidents. I would also be pretty sure that a properly automated vehicle will better control a blowout than a manual one. We already have aeb and stability control, because we recognise that humans have limitations in maintaining attention and vehicle control in changing circumstances.

      Anyway, large vehicles can bear the cost of implementation better than smaller ones so I would expect them to be rolled out in the not too distant future. It doesn't need to be flawless as the system already has flaws, it just needs to be as good and cheaper. As there will be billions invested in it, the marketers will convince us it will be better, regardless of the truth.

      The job has already changed. When I was young, I dealt with mostly owner-drivers. They owned (financed), serviced and drove their rigs, so they knew their equipment.
      Now we have pay per km, rigs are often owned by large corporates and the drivers are service providers. The largest users will start to automate. Places like Woolworths distribution hubs will probably allow automated unloading and docking of vehicles, and it will spread from there.

      I think this will affect a lot more people than is realised.

      •  

        I for one welcome our automated unloading overlords, they'll be bloody quicker.

        I agree with most of your points, except perhaps the comparison to planes, the number one safety hazard that plagues road travel is humans, there's only one human driving the truck, but the truck comes into contact with thousands of humans over the course of a shift, all of them doing unpredictable things, it would take some serious level of hardware AND software engineering to deal with this, does the truck shut down and put it's fourways on every time a car crosses the traffic lane at it? Inefficient and will end up costing too much money. Does it just sound it's horn take a photo and keep going? Too dangerous.
        In all fairness I see truck drivers all night long I wouldn't trust with a shopping trolley nevermind hand the keys of 500K worth of equipment to, but I still strongly believe we need to further reduce the risk of car drivers encroaching on the heavy vehicles path for this to work.
        How much will a truck only lane from city to city cost to build? That could possibly work in my view.

        •  

          I agree that people are the major issue. However a lot of your (and as a driver, my) decision making can be codified. If a vehicle moves in front of you, you probably look ahead to see if there is other traffic causing it to slow, and maybe slow down a little to get back your buffer. Same decision mechanism would apply to AI.

          I recently read an article where Tesla, I think, has a program that allows full autopilot in bad traffic, with a mode that drives agreesively, with a small risk of a crash. It is being acepted that it is ok to program vehicles for the odd accident. That will be the way of the future.

          https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/04/22/2230203/tesla-will-...

          Here is their truck with autopilot. Currently needs a driver, and probably a couple of years off.

          https://www.tesla.com/semi

          Soon (few years yet) drivers will be replaced by self driving cars so there will be even less risk, and then most of the accidents will be from people, and insuance premiums will rise accordingly, pushing out all but a few select drivers as the rodes become populaetd with self driving vehicles.

          Small changes will make big impacts over time.

    •  

      I'm not sure I'm going to have to worry about it being a reality and taking my job in the 30 ish years I expect to work before I retire.

      You're nuts. Think about AI advancements within the last decade alone. We already have Google Duplex that can fool human operators, and fully self-driving car tech already in commercial cars. Forget about 30 years, how's another decade going to look?

      An awful lot of money is going to have to go into redesigning and then stringently maintaining the infrastructure for this to work

      Yes, but how much is currently spent on wages for hundreds and thousands (millions, globally) of truck drivers? That's billions annually spent on still-fallible human drivers who need things like sleep, overtime, benefits, etc. Even if each hardware retrofit costed $10,000, or new trucks carried that premium, the company recoups that within one year.

      There are other factors such as steer tyre blowouts that can render a truck uncontrollable, maybe they will need to develop a totally new tyre technology, perhaps airless, and let's be honest it's going to have to be flawless.

      A robot truck doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be better than a human, which isn't too difficult. If you think the average truckie would react quicker to a tyre blowout than an AI that's embedded into every system of the truck and isn't coming off a 14 hour shift, you're deluded.

      The major hurdle will be regulatory, as people are still antsy about self-driving vehicles. But the potential savings are too massive to ignore. Trucking companies will lobby the hell out of it, and once self-driving tech reaches mainstream consumers, that increases public acceptance of this technology. I'm no 'futurist,' but the writing is on the wall.

      •  

        Even planes can be fully automated but they still have pilots in them. Driving a vehicle in the road is a lot more complicated than flying a plane due to the number of variable and the complexity of the environment.

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