According to Oxford University, 47 percent of jobs will disappear within the next 25 years! This means nearly half of the working world be affected by virtual technologies. This trend of technology replacing humans has existed for many years but the rate of replacement has spiked in recent years. Rather than robots and machines taking the place of human workers, intangible software and digitized programs are the way of the future.
E-books and Digital Media
Book stores and printing workers face declining employment rates with the immense boom of electronic books and digital media. More and more consumers take to Kindle or Nook e-readers rather than print books since they are easier to read, store, and carry around on a day-to-day basis. Even having an online cache of books to choose from and download saves the hassle of going to a shopping center, finding parking, browsing shelves and waiting in line to purchase. The plug-in and download option associated with the e-book make for a more convenient alternative to books.
E-Mails and Drone Technology
The theatrical release of the romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail in 1998 follows a couple that falls in love through the use of new technology — e-mail. Ever since, people have been expecting the disappearance of mail carriers due to the ease of sending mail digitally. While the postal service continues to survive, the number of Canada Post employees has fallen from 70, 000 in 2004 to 64, 000 this past year. Amazon Prime Air – a service that promises the delivery of packages under five pounds within half an hour using small drones – has raised the specter of job loss in the delivery sector. Amazon hopes to one day make drones a common sight which lessens the need for delivery trucks and mail carriers.
Earlier this year, Telstra, Australia’s top telecommunications company experienced massive outages in service to what they attributed to as a mistake made by one single employee. Human error such as this has led to many companies replacing employees with computer programs, avoiding the risk of mistakes and even speeding up processing times. The occupations at risk are numerous, including insurance underwriters, claims representatives, and financial analysts.
Paying your bills at the bank has transitioned from the arduous process of waiting in line for a teller to simply reaching for your phone. Smartphone banking has removed the middleman in the bill-paying process, decreasing the reliability of bank tellers and representatives.
Transportation Network Company (TNC)
Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are examples of the newly emerging options to replace taxi drivers. Perks of using a TNC includes an easy-to-use app, the ability to track drivers and having drivers subject to background checks. Another advantage that sets them apart from the taxi industry is knowing the exact cost of the trip before requesting the service.
Amazon is at it again with revolutionary ideas to change the shopping industry. Customers who purchase items online or through an app can soon visit the brick and mortar store, scan their phones upon entering, grab their items and simply walk out. Amazon has dubbed it “Just Walk Out Shopping” which begs the question of where it leaves store clerks and inventory managers?
Alex Correa | The Edge Blog