Report Finds 47% of U.S. Jobs at ‘High-Risk’ of Being Automated in 10-20 Years

The concept of “robots taking our jobs” is the epitome of a trite realization. Bring up robots taking jobs from humanity and there’s maybe a quick mention of Skynet and then some hardcore eye-rolling. But research from Oxford’s Martin School, published in 2013, clearly shows how real the possibility is that machines could take over nearly half of all jobs in the U.S. within the next decade or two.

The report, which was posted by Reddit user ThreshingBee, is titled The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?, and aims to determine which U.S. occupations are most likely to be automated “over some unspecified number of years, perhaps a decade or two.” The list includes over 700 occupations, and finds (unsurprisingly) that, in general, jobs that require higher levels of education and pay higher salaries are less likely to be automated.The report notes that it takes into account “recent advances in Machine Learning (ML) and Mobile Robotics (MR)” in order to determine which jobs are likely to be automated, and finds that in general, there will be a “structural shift in the labour market, with workers reallocating their labour supply from middle-income manufacturing to low-income service occupations.”

A strong polarization of the workforce is also predicted, with people either being employed in very high-skill, high-paying jobs, and low-skill, low-paying jobs, which will result in the “hollowing-out of middle-income jobs.”

On page 57 of the report, there is a list of 702 occupations with their corresponding likelihoods of being automated. Below are the ten jobs least likely to be automated (top) as well as the ten jobs most likely to be automated.

What do you think about machines taking over half of the U.S.’s jobs in the next 10-20 years? Did your brain just explode thinking about that possibility? Do you have a robot to help clean your brain off the ground?! Let us know in the comments below!

Images: Wikimedia / DARPA

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