08/26/2019 / By Melissa Smith
Robots are continuously taking over humans, particularly in the workplace. In fact, 1.5 million people in the U.K. may lose their jobs to automation, according to a new survey by the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS looked at the jobs of 20 million people from 2011 to 2017 in England and found that 7.4 percent of jobs are at high risk of automation. The ONS defined automation as tasks currently carried out by human workers being replaced with technology, such as algorithms, computer programs, or robots.
The survey showed that 70 percent of the roles at high risk of being taken over by robots are currently held by women. After them, part-timers and young people are the most at risk.
The survey also looked at the jobs across the whole labor market to evaluate the probability that some of these could be replaced with automation.
Waiters and waitresses, shelf fillers, and elementary sales occupations are the three jobs that are at the highest risk of automation. All these jobs are low-skilled or routine. On the other hand, jobs that are least likely to be taken over by robots are medical practitioners, higher education teaching professionals, and senior professionals in educational establishments.
The ONS explained that the possible reason why the risk of automation is higher for lower-skilled roles is that “routine and repetitive tasks can be carried out more quickly and efficiently by an algorithm written by a human, or a machine designed for one specific function.”
Additionally, the ONS found that the risk of job automation declines as workers get older. It is the lowest for workers aged 35 to 39.
The reason behind this pattern could be because workers become more knowledgeable in their field as they progress further in their careers. When young workers enter the labor market, they typically enter part-time roles and are employed in industries like sales, retail, and other jobs where the degree of automation is high.
The ONS also reported that there are fewer jobs at risk of automation now than what was thought back in 2011. The exact reasons for this decline have not been determined, but it is possible that automation of some jobs has already occurred, such as supermarket self-checkouts.
The results of the survey are important because the automation of jobs can affect the labor market, economy, and society. In one study, researchers at Cornell University also found that when humans were put in direct competition with robots, they felt disheartened, stressed, and less competent.
Robots may take over sports, too
Robots are excelling at sports, too. Toyota employees built an A.I. robot that can shoot better than professional basketball players. The humanoid robot, which is identified as CUE, stands six feet and two inches tall. The A.I. can’t move and only hits nothing but net from the free-throw line. Its A.I. programming enables it to pick up and polish certain basic basketball skills better than professional players. It is only programmed to take the ball and shoot.
CUE is the brainchild of the Toyota Engineering Society (TES), a group of 17 employees who used their free time to build the robot. They drew inspiration from “Slam Dunk,” a popular Japanese sports manga and anime.
The Toyota robot is not the only A.I.-driven robot intruding into sports. Other robots developed in recent years can ski, kick soccer balls, and box.
Read more articles on how robots are taking over different aspects of human life at Robots.news.