Will robots take your job?

The number of robots and intelligent software are increasing enormously. As the figure below depicts the number of robots will have outgrown the number of humans before 2035. Besides the increasing number of robots and types of intelligent software, they are getting smarter and smarter. As IBM’s Watson showed, robots might become better employees than humans; they become increasingly smart, they tend to make fewer mistakes and do not get bored on the job. So will these ideal employees change the job market and take your job?

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 22.38.00

Figure 1: Depicts the growth of people and robots (Staniford, 2012)

Together with robots, the Internet of Things, Big data and cloud computing have drastically changed the labor market; competition has increased and revenues tend to fluctuate stronger. As a result of technology developments two main changes in the job market, where technology replaces humans, stand out:

  1. Intelligent software replaces administrative jobs
  2. Robots take over routine jobs

Currently robots have the ability to analyse documents, file prescriptions and handle administrative jobs. Based on these abilities a list is made of nine jobs that humans are very likely to lose to robots:

  • Pharmacists
  • Lawyers and Paralegals
  • (taxi) Drivers
  • Astronauts
  • Store clerks
  • Soldiers
  • Babysitters
  • Rescuers
  • Reporters and sport writers

Software and robots taking over human jobs will result in a decrease of 30-40% of jobs within the coming years. Especially workers that are older than 50 and low skilled workers will lose their job on the short term. Another change in the labor market results from heavy revenue fluctuations; companies will increase the number of flexible workers and decrease the number of workers with a permanent contract.

Fortunately, the increasing intelligence of robots and software comes with a large opportunity; the smart industry. A new job creating industry that makes broad use of systems with artificial intelligence. However, for jobs in this industry the right knowledge is required, which would result in retraining for a lot of current workers. Although this is a nice opportunity for BIM students! 😉

So with these increasing capabilities, what do you think, will robots take over the current job market?

To check how likely it is that you will lose your job to robots check: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34066941


Aquino, J. (2011). Nine jobs that humans may lose to robots. [online] msnbc.com. Available at: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42183592/ns/business-careers/t/nine-jobs-humans-may-lose-robots/#.VhrChNbfLFJ [Accessed 11 Oct. 2015].

BBC News, (2015). Will a robot take your job? – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34066941 [Accessed 11 Oct. 2015].

Staniford, S. (2012). Early Warning: Global Robot Population. [online]

Earlywarn.blogspot.com. Available at: http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2012/04/global-robot-population.html [Accessed 11 Oct. 2015].

telegraaf.nl, (2015). Vermeend Van der Ploeg: Mogelijk vroeger pensioen door robots. [online] Available at: http://www.telegraaf.nl/dft/nieuws_dft/24598810/__Mogelijk_vroeger_pensioen_door_robots__.html?utm_source=mail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email [Accessed 11 Oct. 2015].


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