We analyzed which jobs are most -- and least -- at risk, given factors including tasks involved, the current commercial deployment of technology, patent activity, regulations, and more. Meanwhile, several big corporations have open sourced their AI software libraries in recent years -- another major accelerant for AI. Our time frame was the next 5-10 years, and the relative risk of automation was based on factors including tasks involved, current commercial deployment of technology, patent activity, investment activity, technological challenges, and regulations. Google Ventures and Khosla Ventures recently funded burger-flipping robot Mometum Machines (funding and patents below).
Automation is coming after jobs, from fast food workers to accountants. We analyzed which jobs are most -- and least -- at risk, given factors including tasks involved, the current commercial deployment of technology, patent activity, regulations, and more. The shift from traditional manufacturing to computer-enabled industry took nearly a century. But the shift from personal computing to billions of smartphones, massive networks, and the IoT has taken just a couple of decades. And the next phase of technological evolution is already underway: advanced neural networks that learn, adapt, and respond to situations. With AI and automation advancing at a breakneck pace, society's capacity to respond is being stretched to the limit. Cities are seeing front-end automated restaurants like Eatsa gaining popularity, while in factories automation has already arguably been a part of life for years (if not decades) in the form of heavy industrial and agricultural robots. Analyzing the automation landscape, we found that 10 million service and warehouse jobs are at high risk of displacement within the next 5 – 10 years in the US alone. Meanwhile, nearly 5 million retail workers are at a medium risk of automation within 10 years. To put these numbers into perspective, estimates are that over a few years the Great Recession of 2007 – 2010 destroyed 8.7 million jobs in the US.
The concept of workplace automation is nothing new, but the future of the robot workforce is bright. Businesses have implemented robotics for decades, if mostly in the realm of manufacturing. The future may hold a different story. Technological advancements and a more widespread cultural acceptance of the concept will likely lead to the further automation of the modern world. The robotics industry has been expanding for years, and this trend will likely continue into 2020.
Much attention has been focused on the potential loss of jobs that robotics and artificial intelligence may bring. However, advancements in robotics technology and their application in new areas can make jobs easier, more pleasant and safer. Exploring opportunities to automate the "dull, dirty and dangerous" work that humans are still doing in the digital age, we see the potential to improve the quality of work, enhance capabilities and reduce employee risks. We may be well into the digital age, but there is no shortage of work that still requires human intervention. Some of these jobs are laborious.
TECHNOLOGY-FUELED INNOVATION IS NOT AN ANOMALY, BUT RATHER A NEW REALITY. The ability of a company to both foresee and manage fast change increasingly dictates success in the marketplace and CART is seeing a growing number of retailers, wholesalers, and brand manufacturers diving into emerging technologies. The increasing pace of technology-fueled innovation is not an anomaly, but rather a new reality. With more than 45,000 users, the CART platform provides powerful insight into what technologies and innovation the retail industry is focused on. The second quarter of 2016 has seen a growing number of retail industry executives realize that the frenzy of technology-fueled innovation is not an anomaly, but rather a new reality.