Saturday, November 28, 2015

STEM Learning and Jobs??? Some Straight Talk...

Here's an insightful piece from The Conversation...

"More STEM education won’t protect our jobs from robots"

"Care to guess what is the world’s fastest growing industry? Health care? Biotech? Energy? Nope. According to a recent report, it’s robotics.

And those robots are slowly but surely putting people out of work. Recent research at the University of Oxford suggests that nearly half of all jobs are at risk from automation.

Ironically this research used some advanced machine learning techniques to estimate which professions were most at risk of being automated in the next 20 years. Even the task of estimating which jobs are most at risk is being automated!

So what are the jobs most at risk? One was telemarketer. Now this might sound like a great thing. Fewer people will interrupt your dinner trying to sell you cable TV. Unfortunately robotic telemarketers will make it even easier and cheaper for organisations with something to sell to call you.

Another job at risk was tax agent. Again, who will be sad that they no longer have to see their tax agent once a year? Rather, we’ll have our computer file our tax automatically.

A third job at risk was cook. Cook! Sure, robots will make great chefs. Even in a fancy restaurant, the challenge is to turn out the same dish repeatedly. And robots are great at repetition.
A fourth job identified by the report at risk is real estate broker. Again, few of us are probably going to be too sad about this.

The STEM solution

Of course, historically, whenever jobs get destroyed by new technology, other jobs get created. Computer typesetting has put a lot of printers out of work. But we now have loads of new jobs enabled by computer typesetting like web designer and ebook publisher.

In the past, new technologies have tended to create more jobs than they have destroyed. As a consequence, despite populations increasing across the world, most of us still manage to find employment. But it’s much less certain that this will be true for the information revolution currently underway..."

Read the full article at its source:

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