The age of the robot is fast approaching.
Researchers suggest they will replace hundreds of jobs in the next few years with telemarketers most under threat, which is good news as I’m fed up of Jeffrey and Sharon phoning from Mumbai to sell me a replacement boiler.
I’d much rather have a Stephen Hawking sound-alike making the automated pitch, wait until the end, and then press 8 to be removed from their call list.
Robotics already play a big part in life from flashing a credit card over a till for a contactless payment to putting your car through an automated wash and being put on hold to listen to Vivaldi for half an hour after having chosen from 27 options while trying to make human contact at a multi national company.
Robots are on production lines, driver-less cars are being developed, automatic pilots fly planes, supermarkets are pushing customers towards self service tills and robot chefs have been programmed to produce dishes which is a pointless exercise as they will soon be superseded by customers pressing a button on a menu and waiting for it to slide out of a chute after being nuked in a microwave.
In some pub kitchens that already happens.
Among those most at risk are typists and legal secretaries, hand sewers, tellers, credit analysts, telephone operators, filing clerks, ushers, lobby attendants, ticket takers, cooks and nuclear power reactor operators.
Surprisingly, fashion models are also among them so we should appreciate Kate Moss and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley before they are replaced by tubular clothes horses.
Umpires and referees are similarly doomed for which sportsmen everywhere will probably offer a libation to Nike, who was the Greek god of Victory before she started selling running shoes.
The research comes from Oxford University and Deloitte and assessed nine key skills of each job, which included social perceptiveness, negotiation and persuasion.
Those that required more ‘human-like’ skills were deemed to have less of a chance of automation.
About 35% of jobs were said to be at risk in the next 20 years.
Actors are reasonably safe with only a 37.4% doom factor, journalists are way down the list at 11%.
Safest of the lot are much of the medical profession, choreographers, teachers, composers, photographers, fashion designers and the clergy.
Mind you, how long before you can dial-a-prayer?
What? Oh, you already can, apparently. In America.