Few doubt that our future — both immediate and long term — will be heavily impacted by robots. With flashy AI technology like IBM’s Watson and Google’s driverless cars stealing headlines and outperforming their human competitors, it’s clear that our economy is bracing for a fundamental shift in how we perform work.
What’s less obvious, however, is exactly what the workplace of the future will look like. A pair of Oxford researchers recently estimated that 47 percent of the total U.S. employment is at risk of being eliminated. On the other end of the spectrum, Mercedes announced it is trading out some of its production robots for human labor — the machines could not keep up with the increasing options for customization.
While these two camps continue to argue, in this article we’ll explore three robotic trends that the prevailing media have missed in their coverage of the future of jobs — trends that will hold true if we continue this automation trajectory.