THE BLOG

Robots Versus Humans: The Race for Employment

27/01/2014 14:52 | Updated 26 March 2014

Who would win in a fight between robots and humans?

It's the premise of countless sci-fi films, which usually involve the machines becoming too smart and threatening to wipe out humanity.

Back to reality and the robots are actually rapidly gaining on us in one area: jobs.

Research from Oxford University shows that almost half of today's jobs will be automated by the year 2034. This has dramatic implications for our workforce. And the impact is already being felt.

According to this article from The Economist, robots can detect illness more accurately than doctors when sifting through medical records.

In fact, robots are already deeply embedded into the medical industry and assist in everything from filling prescriptions to performing surgery.

With a robot's precision and access to endless information, can humans compete?

Of course we can, but not if we keep relying on an education model from the Victorians.

Given the Confederation of British Industry's warning that schools are becoming little more than exam factories, I worry that students aren't developing the skills they need to get a job now, let alone in 20 years.

Why do we insist on cramming their heads with facts that can be spit out instantly by Google?

I doubt that such memorisation will make them better employees or prepare them to compete with robots. Instead, students should combine innovative thinking with technology in the classroom to gain the advantage over machines.

Outdated education models are dooming young people to a future of irrelevance. They need to focus on creativity, analytical reasoning and teamwork.

Otherwise it's game over. Robots win.