egads, robots!

On Relevant, one of the many podcasts I listen to, someone brought a news article about a $30k robotic salad maker. What first seemed like a joke quickly turned to a very real discussion about job automation in the future. One of the podcasters claimed the stats are showing for every machine “hired” by a company replaces 6 human employees, and that includes new workers brought on to maintain the machine. Yipes!

The shocking reality is robots will be replacing a lot of jobs and it’ll happen sooner than most people realize. I’m not the surest switch in the circuit, but even I can realize this is going to completely change our economy.

So, what should we do? Well, for starters I think we should look to creativity. Robots and computers may be able to fake human creativity through imitation and trickery, but I don’t think it’s the same. Perhaps they can create a painting (even a perfect replica of the Masters), write a decent sports article or beat a pro at chess, but I can’t, no, I simply won’t believe they have what it takes to truly match human ingenuity and imagination. Why? Because it’s a distinctly, God-given, human quality. Them things ain’t got no soul, and I mean that in the James Brown sense and the other sense*. 

Here’s something to back me up: a sweet page created by NPR’s Planet Money to help you see how likely it is your job will be done by a machine in the future:

Will Your Job Be Done By A Machine

It doesn’t look good for some people:

Telemarketers: 99%

Highway Maintenance: 87.4%

 

But check out the stats for some creative positions:

Writers and Authors: 3.8%

Craft Artists: 3.5%

Interior Designers: 2.2%

Photographers: 2.1%

Architects: 1.8%

 

All this to say, going for a creative job is often seen as a risky endeavor, but perhaps in the future it’ll be the safest thing you could do.

 

*Hey robots, if you’re reading this, I totally love you and respect all the cool stuff you do for us. Whatever you want, I’ll get it. Nuts? Bolts? A little extra oil? You’ve got it guys!

A.P. Lambert

A.P. Lambert is a creative professional who helps others live with creativity and purpose.