Rant

4 Industries That Should Eventually See Complete Automation

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mercedes autonomous truck concept

If you think about business in the past century-plus in this country, you’ll see that part of it is an automation story. Many jobs existed over the past hundred years that no longer do, and automation is why.

In many ways, automation makes sense from an efficiency standpoint. If you can have machines or AI that do work humans once did, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? It’s often cheaper and easier, and there are fewer workplace injuries as well.

Job loss is one significant drawback. Think about textile and mill jobs that no longer exist today. By all accounts, they were backbreaking positions, but they did pay for individuals and families to stay alive, especially when you had a breadwinner who had little formal education.

Even now, several industries exist that automation is gradually changing. You can expect that at some point in the not-too-distant future, these industries should automate entirely.

Various Factory Jobs

There are some production methods where all you need to do is locate some used CNC machines, hire a skeleton crew, and get to work. You can:

  • Produce products rapidly and with little human effort
  • Produce picture-perfect commodities every time

CNC machines are an interesting example because they’re computer-powered. You have devices like 3D printers that are running on computer programs, so you can eliminate virtually all human error that way.

Factory jobs still exist, but there are far fewer of them now than there were fifty or eighty years ago. Machines put cars and similar products together, not human workers.

 

The factory jobs that remain are more for the humans who run those machines. They need to be there just in case there’s a glitch and an automated process shuts down.

However, it makes sense to think that in the future, these processes will require even fewer caretaker humans. That’s because AI will become more advanced, and even if a computer-powered manufacturing process breaks down, the AI will know how to fix it without any humans stepping in.

 

Taxis and Public Transportation

In the future, we should also see various automated public transportation methods. Major metropolises will still have:

  • Trains
  • Buses

However, they will no longer require human drivers in many cases. The buses and trains can drive themselves, and they’ll know enough to stop when there’s traffic, or even if someone jumps out in front of one of them unexpectedly.

Taxi services will be the same. You’ll get in and say where you want to go, and the car will automatically take you there.

It will glide smoothly through traffic, and you can pay with a retinal scan or a wrist-embedded microchip. It sounds inconceivable, like standard sci-fi fare, yet we will probably see all this within the next century.

 

Long-Haul Trucking

The trucking industry has feared automation for a while, but it’s coming. Of the various sectors on this list, this is probably where automation is closest.

Various companies are trying out self-driving trucks right now. Once they get the technology right, they will let them loose on the road. It will be strange to look over and see a truck driving itself, but that’s what the future holds for us.

This will erase some jobs, but it will also mean less human error. A tired truck driver can plow into a family sedan, but an automated truck never will, assuming the manufacturer has worked out all the glitches. The automated truck will never consume alcohol before driving, and it will not let a text message or a song on the radio distract it.

Food Preparation

Foodservice is another area with inevitable automation. These are jobs that individuals can get right now if they don’t pursue higher education. They’ll need to look for other options, though, once AI takes over the fast-food industry.

It’s probably too much to ask for AI to create a delectable eight-course meal, at least for the moment. However, it can easily take over a McDonald’s kitchen, drop fries in the fryer, flip burgers, etc. These are not particularly difficult tasks, and they’ll make food production cheaper.

You don’t need to get automated fast-food restaurant healthcare, vacation time, or other benefits humans require. You can also have restaurants open 24 hours a day this way.

Other industries will probably experience automation in the future as well. If you’re going to join the job market soon, you might want to consider whether your chosen industry has human staying power.

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