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Warning: Robots Are After Your Job!

robotIt looks like all those sci-fi writers who have been warning for years that robots will take over the world may be right.

The robots are on the march, and they’re after you. Starting with your job.

Three out of 10 Britons believe their job will soon be done by a robot, according to a recent survey. Oxford University recently warned that up to half the jobs in the US could be robotised.

Science fiction could soon become job centre fact for millions, including you.

I have seen the future, and we don’t work.

Mechanised Mayhem

The machines have been destroying jobs for centuries. In 1850, some 60% of us worked in agriculture. Today, that figure is 3%.

Farmworkers moved on to factories, until production lines became mechanised. One robot can easily replace five workers, and they never clock off, go on strike, demand pensions or take their bosses to an employment tribunal.

Shop workers are being replaced by the dreaded self-service checkout. Train drivers, floor cleaners and security guards will also be phased out.

Next, it’s the turn of the middle classes.

We’re All Luddites Now 

University Minister David Willetts has just warned that accountants, teachers and other middle-class professionals now face the wrath of the robots.

Next generation robots have the high-level cognitive skills needed to beat grandmasters at chess, but will struggle to do manual tasks, such as “making a cup of tea for an old lady”, he says.

So if your job is making tea for old ladies, you’re fine. Everybody else, including bank staff, airline pilots, astronauts, doctors, nurses, the police, military and — *gulp* — journalists are in the firing line.

It could be time to re-skill. Anybody fancy a brew?

Rise Of The Drones

Investors also have to sit up and take notice. Technology is big business. Look how Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook have grown into powerful global giants in the matter of years. 

Google is building a robotics army. Amazon has talked of delivering DVDs by drone.

Many non-tech enterprises will benefit, too. BP (LSE: BP) (NYSE: BP.US) has just received government approval to use commercial drones to monitor its Alaskan oil operations, through a contract with drone industry leader AeroVironment

Drone technology could be the next great investment opportunity.

Beware “Killer Robot Spiders”!

British technology giant BAE Systems (LSE: BA) (NASDAQOTH: BAESY.US) is investing heavily in battlefield robotics, including unmanned vehicles with a brain of their own, and a new generation of mini robot-spiders, snakes and butterflies. These will be fitted with sensors and cameras and can crawl into mountains and caves to detect the enemy. 

The machines are on the march. Workers can’t afford to ignore them. Nor can investors. 

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Harvey Jones doesn't own shares in any company mentioned in this article