The Robots Are Coming For Your Job

Why some jobs cannot be replaced by AI.

By Alywin Chew        3 April 2023

You know the common adage, “Don’t study hard, study smart”?

Well, I believe it just took on a whole new meaning given the rise of artificial intelligence.

Yup, studying smart no longer means having a structured study plan, making mind maps, going through old exam questions and currying favour with your teacher.

Today, it literally means you should be studying about tech.

Why? Because technology is only going to get more integrated into our daily lives, and this means those with tech skills are going to be in high demand. The rapid advancement of technology also means that many of us may eventually lose our jobs to AI or robots one day.

Here’s the general rule of thumb: if the job is highly manual and repetitive in nature, chances are a machine can do it better.

Take for instance assembly line workers. Today, more and more factories have automated assembly lines that require only a handful of humans to operate.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise because machines come with a whole bunch of benefits. Unlike us humans, machines will never be late for work nor complain. They also don’t stuff themselves with artery-clogging foods, meaning they are always healthy, clean, efficient and productive.

I guess you could even call them vegans.

Why? Because they will never have a tendency to “eat snake”.

I know there are many people playing down the threat AI poses. They say AI will not replace humans completely but instead be used to take over certain chores and thus give us more time to do other things.

But come on, let’s get real. For many professions, there isn’t going to be anything left to do. Take for instance summon aunties. Smart parking enforcement systems will no doubt make this job redundant one day, just like how parking apps have resulted in the extinction of parking coupons.

As much as we detest parking enforcement officers, trust me, we’ll soon be wishing they were still around.

Why? Because summon aunties would sometimes pang chance. No chance of that happening with a computer.

But don’t fret, there will still be many careers other than tech-related ones we can pursue in the future. We just need to be able to do what the machines cannot.

For starters, we can be hawkers or chefs. After all, machines cannot taste.

Hey, here’s an idea – be a third party supplier of combat rations. There will always be NSFs and NSmen willing to pay good money for a delicious alternative to the current offering. Come to think of it, why hasn’t anyone tried? It’s a captive audience in a market that will never go extinct!

Besides, selling such a product instead of running a restaurant is so much easier as you will never have to worry about bad customer service and one-star reviews.

Speaking of customer service, I do believe such professionals should not be replaced with machines. Don’t you think automated hotlines are just annoying?

I recently faced a problem logging into my robo-advisor app and had to call the hotline for assistance. Frustrated with pressing 2 to continue holding the line for a whopping 40 minutes, I hung up and wrote a very angsty email to complain.

I received a call from the bank within five minutes. Isn’t it amazing how quickly people respond when you threaten to pull your money out?

On a side note, I honestly think that married men make the best customer service reps.

Why? Because we’re amazing at apologising even when we’re not at fault.

Another viable career option is being an athlete. I don’t think we’ll ever be dispatching robots to fly the national flag for us at major sporting competitions. That being said, maybe robots might have a better chance of getting us to the World Cup.

Of course, not all fitness-related careers will be safe. I reckon fitness instructors might find themselves out of a job one day.

No, not because robotic fitness instructors are on the rise.

Because there will no longer be a need to work out and look ripped.

Aiyah, please. No one is going to know you have a beer belly in the metaverse.

LOL Mondays is an ongoing series of slice-of-life stories from freelance writer and NSman Alywin Chew. Look out for the humorous tales which will be posted every first Monday of the month, to help you drive away your Monday blues!

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