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14 of Maine’s top jobs at risk of being taken over by robots

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Using information collected from from Oxford University, National Public Radio’s Planet Money team developed an online database of jobs and whether they could soon be performed by robots.

According to the Bangor Daily News, “fourteen of the top 20 jobs in Maine – in terms of numbers of workers – have a 50 percent or greater chance of being taken over by robots, the Oxford University researchers hypothesize. Ten of those have a likelihood of greater than 85 percent, including customer service representatives, which are considered 99 percent likely to be handed off to some kind of androids.”

The program’s creators at NPR have acknowledged outright that “these estimates are rough and likely to be wrong,” characterizing the results as “a snapshot of what some smart people think the future might look like.”

Jobs such as mental health and substance abuse social workers are unlikely to be taken over by robots, the database developers said, because they “ranked high in cleverness, negotiation and helping others.” Telemarketers, in comparison, are already being replaced in many places by computers, the NPR team points out.

Of the top 20 professions in Maine, elementary school teachers are the least likely to be removed in favor of automatons, the report found, at just 0.4 percent. Other jobs deemed relatively safe from robots were those in the medical field, such as nurses and physicians assistants, who were determined to be just 14.5 percent likely to be taken over by robots.

Here are the top jobs in Maine, how many people perform them and the likelihood they will be taken over by robots in the future, according to the NPR/Oxford University research:

Retail salesperson – 18,390 workers – 92.3 percent likely to be taken over by robots
Cashier – 16,550 – 97.1 percent
Registered nurses – 13,890 – 14.5 percent
Office clerks – 11,590 – 86.5 percent
Restaurant waiters – 10,970 – 93.7 percent
General or operations managers – 10,950 – 6.9 percent
Secretaries/administrative assistants – 10,770 – 86.5 percent
Combined food preparers and servers (such as fast food franchise employees) – 10,110 – 93.7 percent
Janitors and cleaners – 9,790 – 66.3 percent
Nursing assistants – 9,480 – 14.5 percent
Personal care aides – 9,280 – 38.5 percent
Heavy equipment and tractor trailer truck drivers – 8,670 – 78.6 percent
Customer service representatives – 8,330 – 99 percent
Stock clerks and order filers – 8,200 – 98 percent
Teacher assistants – 7,640 – 55.7 percent
Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks – 7,240 – 97.6 percent
Elementary school teachers – 6,880 – 0.4 percent
Retail supervisors – 6,870 – 27.9 percent
Food preparation workers – 6,270 – 96.3 percent
Laborers and freight movers – 6,150 – 72.4 percent

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“14 of Maine’s top jobs at risk of being taken over by robots”