Wired.com has a good article on the evolution of robots and the robot takeover of more and more jobs. As I have written many times, any job that doesn’t involve creativity will be – eventually – taken over by a robot. Wired’s list of soon-to-be-taken-over-jobs includes: “doctor, lawyer, architect, reporter, or even programmer.”
What I really like about the article is the reference to history: “Two hundred years ago, 70 percent of American workers lived on the farm. Today automation has eliminated all but 1 percent of their jobs, replacing them (and their work animals) with machines.”
Why do I like this quote? Because it’s true and that truth makes the prediction of the future more credible. Secondly, and more importantly, it highlights – inadvertantly – how much better off everybody will be in the long run as a result of such automation of today’s jobs. We’re better off now than we were two hundred years ago because basically nobody is working on farms. Instead, we’re inventing iPods and replacement heart valves. When more people can be and are engaged in creative activity the world is a better place. Anything that requires manual labor or rote, encyclopedic knowledge shouldn’t be done by a human; it should be done by a robot.