At the annual “Future of Work” conference hosted by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) and Einstein’s Alley, WorkingNation President Jane Oates delivered a keynote speech that addressed the role automation and robotics play on the future workforce, the role consumers play in those changes, and the reality of the challenges workers face.
“The more we choose: getting out of there [a retail store] faster, ‘I only have three items, I’m going to self-checkout’ — we are endangering a job,” Jane said.
In the second quarter of 2019, Jane pointed out that orders for industrial robots increased by 19%. What does that mean? “Robots used to be employed by manufacturing by large employers, like GM,” she said. “Now, robots and industrial robots are cheap enough that small businesses can have them.”
“Think of any job that is overly repetitious or could be done as well by a machine, and you can see there are many middle-class jobs that are white-collar.”
Jane also highlighted the four factors impacting jobs around the world: technology, globalization, longevity, and a disconnect in the education system.
And as artificial intelligence dramatically expands the types of tasks that can be automated, Oates emphasized the fact that blue-collar jobs are not the only jobs susceptible to automation.
Watch part of Jane’s speech here: The human role in an increasingly automated workforce