Written by Benedetta, Luigi e Martha
Machines are nowadays replacing humans and replicating what we thought were uniquely our skills, at a faster rate than many of us considered possible.
In (Philips) factory in the Dutch countryside, 128 robot arms do the same work of nearly a thousand human beings. They do all this without a coffee break: three shifts a day, 365 days a year.
For a long time, we thought that robots would never outsmart humans, because we programmed them and they could only do what we told them to. But things are changing rapidly, machines are becoming more and more intelligent and have even developed the ability to learn.
For example, Google is teaching a group of robots a simple task, picking up objects in one bin and placing them in another. These robots are really just arms with brains, hooked up to a camera, nonetheless they have reached amazing goals.
The world is advancing rapidly. A new wave of technology will fundamentally change all our careers, especially the ones of our generation. It’s estimated that 65% of children entering primary schools today will likely work in roles that don’t currently exist.
These new technologies are an example of what will definitely be a fundamental part of our future:
With Google Glass, you are able to view social media feeds, text, use Google Maps, as well as navigate with GPS and take photos.3D PRINTING FOR EVERYONE
Cheap 3D printers in every home could print out almost anything by simply purchasing it online: electronics, furniture, food, medicine…or a new pair of shoes.
TECHNOLOGY IN MEDICINE
Needle-Free Diabetes Care
Diabetes self-care is a pain—literally. It brings the constant need to draw blood for glucose testing. A British company, Nucleosense, is working on a biosensor that reads blood and analyses it through the skin without drawing it. That would be amazing for those who can’t stand blood. A world without needles, what a time to be alive!
DEKA PROSTHETIC ARM
Instead of the hook device amputees have been using for years, the DEKA arm can perform several movements at once, using electrical signals from muscle contractions in the area where the prosthetic is attached.
ROBOTS IN SURGERY
In 2013 1,300 surgical robots were sold for 1,5 million dollars each, accounting for the 41% of the total sales value of robots industry. The number of robotic procedures is increasing by about 30% a year and more than one million Americans have undergone robotic surgery. A surgical robot translates the surgeon’s movements in more precise ‘micro-movements’ with the robots tiny structure. Unluckily they are too expensive for the majority of hospitals, but experts say that in the future they’ll become more and more accessible. from the book “the industries of the future” by Alec Ross.
There’s no need to worry, focusing on the negative aspects distracts us from appreciating how technology can also be used complementarily. Job loss in some occupations will certainly continue, but it will be accompanied by the creation of new ones in different fields.
So guys, if you were already thinking of not working and having a squad of domestic robots ready to serve you I’m afraid I’ll ruin your dream…machines will never completely substitute human workers, but you will probably find yourself sitting next to a robot in a few years’ time. The future of work is: cooperation between humans and artificial intelligence .
President Barack Obama said in an interview for Wired magazine: “a computer with a human often times can do better than just the computer.”
We personally think that human judgement and creativity will never be replaced by mechanic competences, future jobs will be upgraded and will need highly skilled workers because the simple but tiring ones will be done by robots.
We are three students of about 16 years old from Liceo Classico T. Tasso, we chose to write about a scientific topic because we think that technology will affect each field independently from the area (humanistic or not). We are also attending an informatics club where we are learning to program an app, which will be an important skill for the future. During our experience at the Luiss Language Café we interviewed our school mates to see if their opinions were similar to ours.
The following surveys which we posted on our school’s Facebook page show what our age group (14-18years) thinks about this matter:
Throughout the interview an interesting thing came out which everyone agreed to: many young students feel the pressure of finding a good enough job to keep up with or to outclass machines.
Even though all of this scares us, having grown up in the midst of a technological revolution helps us to digest these probable changes to our lives. New generations are more accommodating towards innovation and future ones will be even more.
We are the direct witnesses of the creation of new jobs linked to social media: fashion bloggers, models, social figures, activists… They use the medias to publicise themselves, clothing brands, makeup companies and many other businesses.
A striking example of this phenomenon is Chiara Ferragni, an Italian young woman that built a fashion empire starting from a simple blog called “the blonde salad”. She managed to accomplish the career of her dreams thanks to social media.
Technology can give us enormous benefits if used correctly. In the future, we may have the opportunity to choose more enjoyable jobs and leave the more mechanical and corporal ones to robots.
Our generation will have to learn to cope with changes in the industries or else all the wealth and progress will affect only highly skilled workers. Meanwhile the vast majority of the lower classes will not be able to find a job with the level of educations that they could afford.
A good education is the only thing that can guarantee us the tools to stay ahead of robots, goal is to make it accessible to everyone.