Coronavirus has already caused big changes in the workplace and workforce. Many people are still out of work as a result of a reduced task force and the largescale permanent closings of small businesses. The pandemic has pushed many industries to automate more of its processes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among employees and customers.
You can expect automation to expand even more as the technology becomes less expensive. The level of automation that experts thought would take place throughout the next 10 years is now occurring in just a few months in some locations.
Jobs Most Affected
Reports indicate that several jobs that require limited space and close interaction with other people have been nearly stopped altogether. This includes jobs such as audiologists, event coordinators, opticians, and chefs being among the most affected.
Doctors, nurses, and medical personnel offering special services and elective surgeries are also at high risk of COVID. Some of them, such as doctors, have been able to automate some of their services. They can still perform some surgeries via robotics, enabling them to avoid touching the patient. Services such as these are only likely to see even greater levels of automation. This has also brought about the rapid development of telehealth systems.
AI Can Speed the Development of Automation
The use of artificial intelligence has now been developed enough that it can be used by companies to simplify many processes. While not always using robotics, there is no limit to what can be done if enough money is available.
The Use of Technology Now
Technology has already been slowly replacing some jobs. Many grocery and retail stores now have automated checkout lanes using scanners to scan bar codes. Instead of needing six or more cashiers, they only need one to supervise several machines and assist people in checking out.
It also may not be long before self-driving taxis are being seen across major cities. They are being tested now, along with robotic air-taxis. Automatic 3-D printers are also reducing the need for manufacturing laborers. Even entire houses are now being built using various larger forms of these machines.
Lawyers preparing for cases used to need legal researchers to perform many hours of research looking into hundreds and even thousands of cases to determine unique angles to win cases. Now software “robots” can perform this duty much faster.
Physical therapy is another field where robots are ready to replace some human physical therapists. Robotic kitchens will soon be on sale in 2020 that feature robotic chefs. Fast food delivery is being tested in Great Britain, and packages may soon be delivered via drone – if Amazon gets its way. Of course, you are probably already aware that many companies use automated customer service – using a software bot to provide answers – and maybe you can still get to talk to a human.
Expected Jobs Lost in the Next Couple of Years
When thinking of the future, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that cars and trucks that are self-driving will likely affect about five million jobs. As self-checkout options increase, a possible 7.5 million retail jobs will be lost. Jobs that involve a personal touch, such as doctors, nurses, hairstylists, teachers, coaches, etc. are expected to continue.
While people are still in high school, they need to be informed of this trend so that they can make intelligent plans for education and career choices. COVID-19 will continue to cause the world to want to automate as much as possible to save money in the long run and increase efficiency. Robots can learn much faster than humans and they are more efficient – which also means increased profitability.