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How Likely Is It That a Computer Will Take Your Job?

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Thinking Robot --- Image by © Blutgruppe/Corbis

The BBC used data compiled by Oxford University, which calculated the likelihood of automation for 365 different careers by seeing how many required skills in each job could not be imitated by AI. These crucial, distinctly-human skills are: “social perceptiveness, negotiation, persuasion, assisting and caring for others, originality, fine arts, finger dexterity, manual dexterity and the need to work in a cramped work space.”

What jobs will the robots take? Nearly half of American jobs today could be automated in “a decade or two.” The question is: Which half?

The BBC created an interactive feature that tells you the likelihood of your job being taken over by a robot, and your value as a worker becoming obsolete by 2035.

The BBC used data compiled by Oxford University, which calculated the likelihood of automation for 365 different careers by seeing how many required skills in each job could not be imitated by AI. These crucial, distinctly-human skills are: “social perceptiveness, negotiation, persuasion, assisting and caring for others, originality, fine arts, finger dexterity, manual dexterity and the need to work in a cramped work space.”

The safest careers are the ones that require a high degree of empathy and care, so psychologists, nurses, and social workers will enjoy the greatest job security.

Another trait that robots haven’t mastered is quick and/or creative thinking, which leaves jobs like engineering, designing, and writing fairly safe. Social intelligence and negotiation skills are also exclusive to humans, so managers and teachers are in the clear, according to the BBC.

Jobs that require a lot of math and algorithms are the most likely to be replaced by a computer, so careers in finance, sales, and bookkeeping are at the greatest risk.

Jobs requiring one-on-one interaction but little social skill (such as telemarketing and reception), are also very likely to be replaced by computers. In fact, according to the BBC, “Machines are already beginning to take on a number of tasks carried out by legal professionals by scanning thousands of documents to assist in pre-trial research.”

Without further ado, here are the top ten jobs most and least likely to be stolen by robots:

Most at risk (Percent chance of automation):

  1. Telephone salesperson (99.0%)
  2. Typist or related keyboard worker (98.5%)
  3. Legal secretary (97.6%)
  4. Financial accounts manager (97.6%)
  5. (Tie) Weigher, grader or sorter (97.6%)
  6. (Tie) Routine inspector and tester (97.6%)
  7. Sales administrator (97.2%)
  8. (Tie) Book-keeper, payroll manager or wages clerk (97.0%)
  9. (Tie) Finance officer (97.0%)
  10. Pensions and insurance clerk (97.0%)

Least at risk for automation:

  1. Hotel and accommodation manager or owner (0.4%)
  2. Publican or manager of licensed premises (0.4%)
  3. Education adviser and school inspector (0.4%)
  4. Speech and language therapist (0.5%)
  5. Social services manager or director (0.7%)
  6. Therapy professional (other) (0.7%)
  7. Psychologist (0.7%)
  8. Health services and public health manager or director (0.7%)
  9. Senior professional at educational establishment (0.7%)
  10. Secondary education teaching professional (0.8%)

If you can’t find your job on either list, visit BBC to determine your job security.

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“How Likely Is It That a Computer Will Take Your Job?”