I’ve been thinking a lot about robots as I prepare to spec out a futuristic robot trilogy. Here’s a couple of thoughts on robots.
Robots will take 80% of the current jobs in the next fifty years.
While that distresses me, I thought of three jobs that robots will do that are not currently being done by any human, and therefore won’t have any negative effect on human job security.
All are environmental related and will make our world a better place.
First job — SuperFund site finder and cleaner
The United States government has a project called “Super Fund” which is responsible with helping find the worst contaminated places in America and cleaning them up.
Multiple problems keep this cleanup from being done as thoroughly as it might otherwise.
First of all, being designated as a Super Fund site is bad for the business or homeowner. This leads to de-incentivizing people from letting the government know that they have a problem on their land.
Super Fund robots will have two primary jobs.
First of all, they will be able to test more sites and test them more exhaustively.
Secondly, the robots can do the actual clean up work. Given that the volume of the work will likely go up from point one, it’s unlikely that workers will be displaced. Instead of sending a crew of ten to clean up one site, each human can now go to a different site with ten robots and clean up that much more.
Second job — Land revitalization
In various parts of the world, land has been cleared or misused to the point where it is no longer useful for humans. Desert may encroach or the soil may be so devoid of nutrients from thousands of years of cultivation that the land yields very low amounts of food or no food at all.
Imagine instead a host of robots that work together to increase usable land in poor areas of the world.
A surveyor robot takes samples and messages the needs of a certain area of land.
That robot can then generate a series of instructions for other specialized robots to add specific nutrients to an area. It can pass along data about important natural features to avoid or preserve.
Third job — Space Junk Cleanup
According to WikiPedia, there are more than 500,000 pieces of space junk in orbit. The average speed of these pieces of junk is 17,000 mph. That’s not an easy speed to get things done at when you’re human.
Robots would be able to do this however (although even for robots, it’s hard to foresee the propulsion systems needed to get them to grab the trash and then do something useful with it (Superman says toss your trash or at least random nukes into the sun, but that may not be the best scientific choice).
Got an idea for a job by a robot? Post it below in the comments.
Don’t like robots? Good news, my first novel, The Biographer, has absolutely no robots in it. Just humans who think their lives should have turned out differently and who decide to change who they are.