NPR interview on “the rise of the robots” – Interesting take on the future of the job market.

Last Updated on November 30, 2019 by Christopher G Mendla

I was driving and happened to tune into NPR. It was about an interview with Martin Ford, author of “The Rise of the Robots”.

Ford discussed the previous industrial revolution where the revolution proceeded in stages: agriculture, industry, the service industries.  He stated that the robotics revolution will be different in that it will affect all industries at once.

There were a couple of points that struck me:

  • The process has been to take simple jobs and outsource them overseas. Robotics will start to replace these outsourced workers. The result is that the countries doing the outsourcing may start to shoot for doing outsourcing of mid level management jobs.
  • Artificial intelligence is replacing some mid level jobs such as jobs in law practices searching through documents for the discovery process. Many mid level management jobs can be replaced with algorithms.
  • Artificial intelligence is starting to delve into creativity. Ford mentioned instances where AI is creating artwork and a recent symphony created by AI that was fairly well received.
  • AI is being used to write articles. Ford mentioned that many articles are being created by computer mentioning Forbes specifically.
If you have children or grandchildren, this is definitely something to look in to.  I have seen some cases of this already. For example, real estate appraisers working in metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia are finding that their jobs are being replaced to a large extent by computer price evaluation models. This was a highly specialized profession that is being converted into a commodity.

For more details, see the NPR article. 

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