22 August 2019
Would you buy a coffee machine from this, er, robot? Photo: Reuters
Would you buy a coffee machine from this, er, robot? Photo: Reuters

Could a robot take your job?

As robots that take care of elderly people or sell coffee machines emerge, could technology put you out of a job?

Nestle will start using 20 robots, called Pepper, next month to interact with customers and promote its coffee machines in shops across Japan, which is suffering from labor shortages. 

Experts say almost half of today’s occupations will be eliminated in just over a decade.

Many jobs dealing with customers and processes, together with those of their middle managers, will “disappear”, a new report by global real estate consultancy CBRE and China-based property firm Genesis says.

“Experts predict that 50 per cent of occupations today will no longer exist by 2025, as people will take up more creative professions,” said Martin Chen, chief operating officer of Genesis.

“This means that jobs will evolve, and so will real estate development.”

Offices with rows of desks will become redundant, says the report – “Fast Forward 2030: The Future of Work and the Workplace”.

Based on interviews with 200 experts, business leaders and young people from Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, it says, “Losing occupations does not necessarily mean losing jobs – just changing what people do.”

A growing proportion of jobs in the future will require creativity, intelligence, social skills and the ability to leverage artificial intelligence, the report says.

Oxford University researchers ranked the occupations most in danger of being replaced by computers and robots, the MailOnline reported. They include telemarketers, insurance underwriters and watch repairers.

But robots won’t become smart enough in the foreseeable future to substitute for artistic types or many workers who provide personal services — so orthodontists, interior designers and movie producers and directors will probably be safe.

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