Technology will replace X

Every job can be replaced. Except yours, right? It is a mantra that has been going on ever since the University of Oxford came out with their report on job automation (spoiler alert: 80% of jobs can be replaced). This week we came across three interesting articles that shine some new light on this discussion.

1. Doctors and Lawyers beware!
For the Harvard Business Review the brothers Susskind conducted around 100 interviews, not with mainstream professionals but with leaders and new providers in eight professional fields: health, law, education, audit, tax, consulting, journalism, architecture, and divinity. Their focus was on what has actually been achieved at the cutting edge.

As their research shows, when professional work is broken down into component parts, many of the tasks involved turn out to be routine and process-based. They do not in fact call for judgment, creativity, or empathy.

2. Fund managers, it was nice knowing you
Mean while Bridgewater Associates (the world’s largest hedge fund) is building a piece of software to automate the day-to-day management of the firm, including hiring, firing and other strategic decision-making.

“The role of many remaining humans at the firm wouldn’t be to make individual choices but to design the criteria by which the system makes decisions, intervening when something isn’t working,” wrote the Wallstreet Journal.

3. Taking the robot out of the human
Tech world has a more nuanced approach to this trend. They did an interview with professor Leslie Willcocks (London School of Economics). He says that in reality, changes to the nature of our jobs will be less drastic, further away and more manageable than most people believe.

The article when goes on to say that automations still has its limits. There are some things that robots just cannot do like medical management, underwriting, case reviews, speak or comprehend colloquial slang, understand people’s emotions and think on their feet.

Category: work

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