In an age where artificial intelligence is becoming a real topic of serious discussion among business thought leaders, the idea that these devices may soon replace many workers in the job market is also becoming an especially important topic.
Robots are already working autonomously without human supervision in jobs that were exclusive to humans only ten years ago. Amazon employs over 30,000 robots at its fulfillment centers, retrieving and delivering racks filled with merchandise to packing stations that are still mostly manned by humans.
These robots stroll through countless aisles of merchandise in a complex web of movements and a ceaseless pace that would stand out against even the most dedicated human worker. Robots do not take breaks, do not have a union, and do not expect a 401k or health insurance.
Starbucks, a brand synonymous with tech-savvy Millennial consumers, has been examining technologies that would make your experience as a customer as seamless as possible. This includes having your order already on the screen when you drive up, making the barrista’s job that much easier – and potentially that much less necessary.
McDonald’s has been rumored to be examining the possibility at nearly entire automation solutions for some of its stores, a believed answer to a rising call for a significantly increased minimum wage in the United States. Already, however, it has robots working in many of its stores filling drink orders and doing other repetitive tasks.
Good news is, there will still be jobs…but…
So, what happens to human workers? Do unemployment rates increase dramatically in the light of these sweeping changes in technology?
This statement is not without evidence. The demand for skilled employees including web developers have grown and continue to grow in emerging industries. For example, the demand for web developers is expected to increase by 27% over the next 10 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Time will tell exactly how the proliferation of IoT in the workplace will impact the job market. But for right now, it’s clear that things will indeed change.