Robots and AI will eliminate 6% of all US jobs by 2021
Transportation and customer services workers hit hardest
(Wealth In Wellness) By 2021, robots will have eliminated 6% of all jobs in the US, starting with customer service and eventually transportation, including truck drivers, Uber/Lyft and taxi drivers. That’s from a report released by market research company Forrester this week.
Ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft already have programs to develop self-driving cars. Uber released the first self driving cars in Pittsburg.
The reason Uber could be expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car — you’re paying for the other dude in the car. When there’s no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle. So the magic there is, you basically bring the cost below the cost of ownership for everybody, and then car ownership goes away. – Travis Kalanick CEO Uber
Labor costs tend to be the largest single line item expense that companies can realistically replace with automation, robots or AI.
“By 2021 a disruptive tidal wave will begin. Solutions powered by AI/cognitive technology will displace jobs, with the biggest impact felt in transportation, logistics, customer service and consumer services,” said Forrester’s Brian Hopkins in the report.
Similar technologies are going to impact the nation’s 3.5 million truckers. In San Francisco, ex-Googlers have launched a startup called Otto to retrofit trucks with driverless capabilities for just $30,000. The average trucker’s wage is around $40,000 per year.
More and more, customer service representatives are AI and customers don’t even know it.
Google owned DeepMind created WaveNet, a technology that can mimic human voice and sounds almost human like.
WaveNets are able to generate speech which mimics any human voice and which sounds more natural than the best existing Text-to-Speech systems, reducing the gap with human performance by over 50%.
New jobs will open to support AI and self driving vehicles, however these jobs will be highly technical, and will require skills that most people who lost their job don’t have. In other words, the guy who just lost his truck driving gig, is not going to be employed by Google to hammer out code for self driving vehicles.
Anyone in the 6% needs to start thinking about a Plan B now.