Out of Control Policy Blog

War Against the MachinesóFuture Edition

Forbes gives snapshots of various jobs that humans will eventually surrender to machines or, in the case of miners, bacteria:

    Bacteria like Thiobacillus ferooxidans can be used to extract metal from ore. If there are further advances in the science of biomining, expect the guys with coal-darkened faces to take above-ground occupations.

Those of us who've fumbled our way through automatic checkouts at grocery stores won't be surprised to find cashier on the list:

    In fact, all jobs dealing with paper money, including bank tellers and toll booth operators, could be obsolete in two decades, as we rely more on credit and digital money.

Some other jobs on the list: CD store manager, construction worker, union organizer, and even the job so closely tied to outsourcing fears: call center rep.

Apparently, machines will also muscle out Maverick, Goose, Ice and other fighter pilots. Once again, The Simpsons was ahead of the times. Six years ago the military school Commandant (voice by Willem DaFoe) said this at a graduation ceremony:

    The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea.
    They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall
    mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by
    small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is
    clear: To build and maintain those robots.

Related: Robots to Takeover Oldest Profession

And how about Forbes slowly morphing into US Weekly? The "Hottest Billionaire Heiresses" list is here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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