Online tool reveals: – Will a robot take over your job?


The future of intelligent robots often begs the question of the future of jobs: how many will disappear and, more importantly, in which areas? Robots specialists from ETH Lausanne (EPFL) and economists from the university now want to find an answer to both questions. In an online tool developed by them, everyone can wonder how great the deductible is to be replaced by a machine.

“There are already several studies predicting how many jobs will soon be taken over by robots, but they all focus on software robots, such as speech and image recognition, robot financial advisors, dialogues, etc. Furthermore, these predictions vary widely depending on job requirements. and software skills. In contrast, our research looks not only at artificial intelligence software, but also at real intelligent robots doing physical work,” explains Professor Dario Floreano, director of EPFL’s Intelligent Systems Laboratory.

job requirements compared
To that end, they have developed a method “that systematically compares the human and robotic skills required in hundreds of jobs”. According to a statement from the university, the main innovation of the research is that it maps the possibilities of robots in an “unprecedented way” according to the professional requirements. The team therefore looked at the H2020 European Multiannual Roadmap for Robotics (MAR), a European Commission strategic document that is regularly reviewed by robotics experts.

The MAR describes dozens of skills needed for today’s or possibly future robots, grouped into categories such as perception, recognition or interaction with humans. Scientists have examined research papers, patents and product descriptions of robots to assess the maturity of the robot’s capabilities. They used a well-known scale to measure the level of technological development, the so-called technological maturity level.

For the people skills, they used the O*net database, a resource database commonly used in the U.S. job market, which lists approximately 1,000 occupations based on the essential skills and knowledge needed to practice them.

“Butchers and meat packers” most threatened
After matching the human skills from the O*net list with the robot skills from the MAR document, the team was able to calculate the probability that any existing task would be performed by a robot. “For example, let’s say a job requires millimeter-level movement accuracy. Since robots are very powerful in this field, the technological maturity level for the corresponding skill will be at the highest level. A job that requires many of these skills is more likely to be automated than one that requires critical thinking or creativity,” the college explains.

This ultimately resulted in a 1,000 job classification where “physicists” would be the least likely to be replaced by a machine, while “butchers and meat packers” were the most at risk. In general, jobs in food processing, construction and maintenance, construction and mining appear to be most at risk from robots.

“Today, the biggest challenge facing society is preparing to deal with automation,” said Professor Rafael Lalive, co-leader of the research at the University of Lausanne. In a second step, the researchers therefore developed a method to find alternative jobs for any job that has a significantly lower risk of automation, while at the same time being comparable in skills and knowledge to the original job, so that “the retraining effort is minimal and the professional transition achievable”.

Online tool determines risk personal automation
The new data and methods were eventually turned into an algorithm “that can predict automation risk for hundreds of occupations and suggest resilient career transitions with minimal retraining efforts.” To determine the personal risk all you need to do is enter the job title, which is currently only available in English.

“This method can be useful for governments to calculate the number of workers at risk of automation and to adjust their retraining policies, as well as for companies to estimate the costs of increasing automation; for robot manufacturers to better tailor their products to market needs; and for the public to determine the best way to reposition in the labor market,” the college said.

Source: Krone


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