It’s good to tell kids to be nice to nerds, given they’ll probably end up working for one, and also because being nice to fellow humans is a thing we should all do anyway.
But what about being nice to robots? While we definitely don’t condone decapitating our robot friends and leaving their mutilated carcasses on the side of the road, it’s not always easy to be affectionate to a robot when you know it will probably end up stealing your job. Which is particularly likely if you are a man, according to a story in The Atlantic.
Recently, two Oxford researchers probed further into one of society’s greatest fears, analyzing over 700 jobs to determine whether they were in danger of being made redundant by artificial intelligence. And while they confirmed that both sexes are likely to be screwed by the year 2050—with robots likely to steal almost 50 percent of jobs within a few decades—there will be far more men displaced than there will be women.
So how do you know if a robot is likely to steal your job? The Atlantic suggests that truck drivers, carpenters, and other fields involving “perception and manipulation” are most susceptible to being usurped by A.I. Some already have been.
“The skills exhibited by the coming wave of intelligent machines are better suited to occupations currently dominated by men. Many of the jobs held by men involve perception and manipulation, often in conjunction with physical exertion, such as swinging a hammer or trimming trees. The latest mobile robots combine advanced-sensory systems with dexterous manipulators to successfully perform these sorts of tasks.”
Apparently men dominate these robot-friendly jobs by up to 97 percent. Other male-dominated fields which require analytical thinking, such as commodity trading, are in equal danger of becoming robot-dominated. Women, who tend to populate “unstructured” environments at similarly crazy levels—say as secretaries or admin assistants—are far safer. At least for the foreseeable future.
Ensuring job security will basically come down to having a varied range of duties and strong people skills—reading people’s emotions, needs, and desires, and reacting to them and not attacking our future co-workers.