When robots prove more efficient and effective at doing our jobs, what will we do for work?
Panic. Most likely. If it’s early enough in the Age of Robots we’ll use our emotion, creativity, and intuition to prove our worth. Fluid, spontaneous, and organic are not generally words you think of when you think of robots. So what can we use to our advantage to get a little competitive edge?
1) Our random thoughts and silly ideas (AKA Creative Writing). With our unique perspectives and past experience to shape our words, and with the vast array of writing styles and applications, robots won’t be ready to take over creative writing jobs for a while. WARNING: Research and testing is being done on social robots with feelings and a sense of ethical responsibility, so we can’t be too far off from emotional, intuitive robots that can read us like a book. Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.
2) Our keen eye for what’s beautiful (AKA Makeup Artistry). For some reason I think people will trust the soft, familiar feeling of people fingers in their delicate, human faces for a long time to come. Potentially rogue metal shards putting my eyeliner on sounds like a lot of fun, and yet, I don’t see a ballerina whisking herself off stage for a quick makeup fix that she will have to either explain aloud or directly program into a robot.
3) Our ear for what sounds “good” (AKA Music Production). Mixing industry knowledge with a feel for innovative sound design and experience with sound production, this job requires a bit of finesse and spontaneity.
4) Our innovative, imaginative intuition (AKA Art Directing). Across a variety of visual communication mediums, art directors make decisions about how to best position people and things. This requires a long list of past experience to draw from and an instinctively quick insight.
5) Our fishing skills (AKA Fishermen). Not only is this a dangerous, spontaneous job that requires quick reflexes, and extreme adaptability, it’s also wet. And sometimes disconnected from electricity and the internet. Plus, machines are heavy. On boats you need to spare as much weight on board as possible– and since people would be lighter than today’s typical machinery, we win again!
Don’t get too excited, though. Robots have been taking over our jobs for years already. I’m looking at you two, ATM and Self-Checkout register.
Oh, but isn’t it nice to think that the machines we rely on so heavily to do our jobs are built by engineers and maintained by technicians? Pilots and people need a plane to get across the globe, sure, but a plane needs to be built and programmed before it can even do that. Score one more for people!
So, when robots get creative, intuitive, and random, what do we do?