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AI Robotics Software

One In Three Jobs Will Be Taken By Software Or Robots By 2025, Says Gartner 405

dcblogs writes: "Gartner predicts one in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025," said Peter Sondergaard, Gartner's research director at its big Orlando conference. "New digital businesses require less labor; machines will make sense of data faster than humans can," he said. Smart machines are an emerging "super class" of technologies that perform a wide variety of work, both the physical and the intellectual kind. Machines, for instance, have been grading multiple choice test for years, but now they are grading essays and unstructured text. This cognitive capability in software will extend to other areas, including financial analysis, medical diagnostics and data analytic jobs of all sorts, says Gartner. "Knowledge work will be automated."
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One In Three Jobs Will Be Taken By Software Or Robots By 2025, Says Gartner

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  • Yes yes yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 06, 2014 @05:56PM (#48078213)

    Sure sure, I've been hearing about the leisure society since the 1970s when I was a kid. I believed it too. Turns out that the people in charge in this world have serious issues with other people working less than them...
    We'll find even more creative ways to distract ourselves with ever more bureaucracy in public and private affairs. Everyone I worked with 15 years ago as an engineer is now in management. What are they managing? Where is this productivity I keep hearing about?

    I want a ten hour workweek. I want to be able to have the same lifestyle as my parents had 40 years ago with one income!

    • Because the only people who get regular pay raises are managers? Every one else gets screwed.

      In the future I expect more and more small businesses and boutiques. You can run a small yet profitable business with just two or three people. You don't need an army of accountants, managers or other people who provide only a drain on resources for no increase in value.

      • Re:Yes yes yes (Score:5, Informative)

        by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:32PM (#48078539) Journal

        In the future I expect more and more small businesses and boutiques.

        Small businesses fail/close at an extremely high rate.
        It's something like 25% after 1 year and 50% after 4 years.
        After that, there's a roughly 5% attrition rate per year.

        Of course, this varies by industry, but for the most part, it's +/- 5%.
        If you want exact numbers, you'd have to dig them up at SBA.gov

    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:09PM (#48078347)

      .. THe forecasting done by Gartner research.

    • Well software and robots will do some of the tasks we do today, which means people of the future will be doing other tasks. Walk in to a factory these days in Western Europe, the factory has possibly 5 employees on the floor, go to China and there are thousands to make the same product. This is what is different with out economies, wages will in China will get to a point where robots are more cost effective, and efficiency is needed. People keep on going on about Foxconn buying in robots, this isn't anythin

      • Re:Yes yes yes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:35PM (#48078559) Journal

        which means people of the future will be doing other tasks.

        Yes. Cleaning the homes of people who own factories.

        What happens when we get to a point where we just don't need everyone to work in order to provide the goods and services people want? I'm thinking we may have already reached that point in some developed countries. Then what?

        Unless we're prepared to have some big (and forced) reductions in populations, we had better get comfortable with larger welfare states.

        I always get bothered when I hear politicians and pundits talk about "labor participation rates". Until the 1960s, we had much lower labor participation rates in the US. Families were able to get by and make progress only having one person in the family working full time. Today, if you're a stay-at-home parent you are counted as "out of the labor force" and politicians will use you as a statistic for why the economy is bad. But that's an ass-backward way of looking at it. If we had a good economy, we'd be able to thrive on a much lower labor participation rate. I mean, what are we talking about here. If someone in 1980 had told me that in the 21st century we'd all have to work harder, for longer hours, and longer into our lives in order to survive, I would have thought they were crazy. But that's where they're at.

        Productivity is at record levels, but everyone has to work harder and longer. Does that really make sense to anyone but a "free market conservative"?

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by lgw ( 121541 )

          As with everyone else who wants to reduce the population, I say to you "you first".

          were able to get by and make progress only having one person in the family working full time.

          You can have a much higher standard of living today with one person working than you could in the 60s! Tiny tract house, one car for the family, one TV, a washing machine, and a refrigerator, and you have what families were aiming for in the 50s, and largely had by the 60s.

          Expectations have risen faster than earning power, and that's great. Women wanted the option of working outside the home, and that's great. These are no

          • ... if that was the case, I could certainly make enough helping people install their home theater systems to have them help me with interior decorating, and so on.

            What if 90% of the home theater systems communicate via wi-fi and auto detect, using speakers with built-in amplifiers so all you need to do is put them in the right place and plug them into power? It is possible to do that today. What are you going to install when installation is so easy they don't need you? Or need you seldom enough that you ca

            • by lgw ( 121541 )

              You'd be amazed how much some people struggle with technology. Much as I can't get the simplest, easiest stuff right with interior decorating.

              And anyhow, by what possible process can dropping the cost of manufactured goods to next to nothing make life worse? There are very few manufacturing jobs now, so not much change when they vanish. There's a recent surge in maid and gardener jobs, but that's a first-gen immigrant wave, and their kids won't need that sort of work. Most people already do work that's

              • You'd be amazed how much some people struggle with technology.

                There it is. The tech bro in full. He thinks society is always going to need him because he knows the difference between a HDMI cable and an eSATA cable.

                I'm telling you, there are going to be a lot of little John Galt wannabes pissing in their pants when the day comes when buggy whips go out of style.

          • Re:Yes yes yes (Score:5, Insightful)

            by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @09:06PM (#48079579) Journal

            You can have a much higher standard of living today with one person working than you could in the 60s!

            You are absolutely wrong. Real incomes are way down from 1960's standards. In 1960, my parents could own their own single-family home, send two kids to private school and college (no student debt!), set themselves up for a comfortable retirement, and take a couple of vacations every year. Buy a brand new Chevrolet Impala every 4 years. And then leave the paid-off house to their kids, along with a nice bit of change. And my father was a machinist who did not finish high school.

            Tell me, do you really believe that a family of four could live like that today on one salary? Let's have a show of hands: How many of you reading this believe a family of four could have this type of a lifestyle on one salary? I'll be most of you won't get this lifestyle with two. And your kids will start life with six figures of college debt.

            I could certainly make enough helping people install their home theater systems to have them help me with interior decorating, and so on.

            So, you see us going to an all-barter economy? When? And what are you going to use to buy food? You going to trade home stereo installations for a loaf of bread?

          • by geoskd ( 321194 )

            The end of mindless menial labor is a good thing.

            Only if our economic systems are capable of handling that set of circumstances. What should the roughly 20% of people who are below 85 IQ do to survive? They simply will never be able to handle jobs requiring more than simple manual labor, so when those jobs are gone, how do they earn a living? Welfare? Charity? They starve to death?

            I could almost even live with any of those options as long as it was on the table for general public discussion and debate. As it stands now, the politicians treat it like socia

        • What happens when we get to a point where we just don't need everyone to work in order to provide the goods and services people want? I'm thinking we may have already reached that point in some developed countries. Then what?

          Then we do the same thing we did the last time this problem became acute. We reduced the working week from 48 hours to 40 early in the last century; I think reducing it further, to 32, is long overdue.

        • Productivity is at record levels, but everyone has to work harder and longer. Does that really make sense to anyone but a "free market conservative"?

          Sure. Do we still have work to do? Unemployment is lower, and labor participation, while dropping, is still pretty good.

          http://data.bls.gov/pdq/Survey... [bls.gov]

          That should be "Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey", and I looked at it from 1948 to 2014.

          The statistics point to a drastic change in the future. But if we look at the statistics right

        • What happens when we get to a point where we just don't need everyone to work in order to provide the goods and services people want?

          You assume there is a limit to the goods and services people want. I don't think there's any evidence that such a limit exists. Much of what the developed world spends its money on today would, a few decades ago, have been considered either pure frivolity, or just inconceivable. I see no reason that trend will not continue. I know a guy who makes a great living helping other people buy cars, kind of like a real estate agent, but for vehicles. You would think that the Internet, with the wealth of information

          • Re:Yes yes yes (Score:4, Insightful)

            by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @09:18PM (#48079663) Journal

            You assume there is a limit to the goods and services people want.

            How many 60" TVs can you fit into your house? How many cars in your garage?

            How many people do you need to cut your lawn or cut your hair or shine your shoes? We're already seeing the service employment numbers starting to plateau. How many telephone solicitors do you think we need?

            I mean, we could have government make-work jobs, but the only reason we'd do that is because of our Calvinist heritage where there is some religious belief in the morality of hard work.

            • You assume there is a limit to the goods and services people want.

              How many 60" TVs can you fit into your house? How many cars in your garage?

              How many horses can pull your wagon?

              Your questions all have the same implicit assumption, that technology and society will remain as it is now... and that is clearly not true.

              • Your questions all have the same implicit assumption, that technology and society will remain as it is now... and that is clearly not true.

                I don't understand what you're trying to say. Do you think there's going to be some technological innovation that will allow people to fit more 60" televisions in their living rooms? How many can you watch at once?

        • Re:Yes yes yes (Score:5, Interesting)

          by BringsApples ( 3418089 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2014 @04:32AM (#48081245)
          You're 100% correct. And let me add that there are currently (according to google) 1,645 billionaires in the world. Knowing that, we must insert that there are 7.125 billion (7,125,000,000) people in the world. Looking carefully at what it takes to support the life of a billionaire, we find that each billionaire requires a certain amount of people to support them. So just running simple math here, divide 1,645 into 7.125 billion and you get 4,331,307. Does that mean that every billionaire requires 4.331 million people to support their existence? Well, seeing as how money is nothing without attached-debt, I'd say so. No one can have a bunch of money, without a bunch of people in debt.

          So not only are people working harder than they were in the 80's, the rich folks are living much more lavishly than they were in the 80's.
    • Average, that is, or approaching it.

      Ever notice how more and more of the unemployed are unable to re-enter the workforce, and college grads are giving up and moving home? Humans can be worked for 40 hours without undue complaining given a large enough reward (flat screen TVs and SUVs), so that's how long the working humans will go. That leaves more and more people in the 0 hour/week class.

      In the US, there are (roughly) 330 million people, and around 120 million of them are employed full time. In a gross sim

      • by creimer ( 824291 )
        My current employment contract allows me to work 40 hours per week, five days a week. I'm not allowed to work 80+ hours per week, if I wanted to. The flip side is I could always quit my current job, don't work at all, and sign up for a free iPhone that the government hands out like candy. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?
    • Re:Yes yes yes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Beck_Neard ( 3612467 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @08:24PM (#48079319)

      Oh it definitely is a leisure society - for the top 1%. See, a while ago the rich assholes figured out that as computer technology was improving, people were working less and less. But they couldn't bear to have people working 20-hour weeks and getting paid for 60 hours of work. Instead they decided that they would fire 2/3 of the workforce, push the remaining 1/3 to insane limits, end silly stuff like employee bonuses or overtime, and call it 'restructuring'.

      And what about the possibility that the government will catch on to this scheme and force them to pay their dues back to society? They've insured themselves against that - by making the word 'Socialist!' toxic and propping up Fox News.

    • it's up to 50 in the United States. Most houses are 2 income and 66% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Real Wages stopped growing in 1979.

      Just because something took 20 years longer to happen than we expected doesn't mean it's not going to happen. The one's that are making it happen are the ones with the most to gain, the folks at the top. They take a much, much longer view than you or I. They're not just thinking about leaving the kiddos a house or two, they're thinking about a legacy.
    • by m00sh ( 2538182 )

      Everyone I worked with 15 years ago as an engineer is now in management. What are they managing? Where is this productivity I keep hearing about?

      Good engineers quickly outgrow what they themselves alone are capable of to their visions of what is possible. Management is the only way you can get hundreds of engineers to realize your vision.

  • Sexy Robots! [youtube.com]
    • Robots that replace migraine-ridden sex partners will be a win-win-win deal.

      The partner who requires the sex will get it... no doesn't mean No in robotics, and the partner who wishes to remain unsullied may do so.

      Bonus Round: Can you say population control.

  • How much of a vested interest does Gartner have in this technology? My guess is a lot, it's 2003 all over again. In 2003 Gartner predicted that within the next 10 years over 50% of IT jobs would be sent overseas, and by the way we also happen to have an offshore IT consulting service, what a coincidence, totally unrelated to our over exaggerated findings, really!
    • How much of a vested interest does Gartner have in this technology?

      Your conspiracy theory is backwards. If they had a vested interest in more automation, they would want to keep it low profile. The worst thing they could do is rile up the people that are losing their jobs, or watching their wages shrink.

      • They aren't targeting consumers, they are targeting myopic, greedy executives who want to do something really simple and claim themselves to be geniuses who deserve gigantic paychecks.
      • How much of a vested interest does Gartner have in this technology?

        Your conspiracy theory is backwards. If they had a vested interest in more automation, they would want to keep it low profile.

        Unless Gartner themselves are robots! Quick, spread the word before it's too late!

  • With voice recognition still doing well at 95% accuracy when trained (an average of one in twenty words wrong? Sign me up!) - which was about what it was back a decade ago - and the essay grading systems being very good at what they do [slashdot.org] (Sarcasm alert), they'll have to improve things a lot faster than they have been for the machines to take over 'knowledge work'.

    • With voice recognition still doing well at 95% accuracy when trained

      Except a decade ago, you got 95% on a powerful desktop computer. Today you get 95% on a cellphone.

      If I sit in a quiet room, and enunciate carefully, with slight pauses between words, I can get way better than 95%. Also, if voice recognition is integrated with a camera focused on the speaker's face, accuracy can go way up.

      • by KitFox ( 712780 )

        Except a decade ago, you got 95% on a powerful desktop computer. Today you get 95% on a cellphone.

        If I sit in a quiet room, and enunciate carefully, with slight pauses between words, I can get way better than 95%. Also, if voice recognition is integrated with a camera focused on the speaker's face, accuracy can go way up.

        Well, of course. A cell phone now is the same power as a powerful desktop computer back then for the most part. But wasn't "Natural speech recognition" the big goal? They did call it "Dragon Naturallyspeaking" after all. However it still sits in a state where the computer needs to have a perfect environment to achieve something partially as good as a human being.

        I counter-propose that humans will be helping computers more in the future [slashdot.org].

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:06PM (#48078315) Homepage

    ...would be running on more computers than all other operating systems combined by, IIRC, 2003.

    • If I had mod points today you'd get them...
    • by KitFox ( 712780 )

      Are you implying their predictions have as much clarity as an obsidian crystal ball in a sewage treatment tank? As much fidelity as a wax cylinder on a 120 degree day in Arizona? As much accuracy as somebody trying to blindly roundhouse kick the Andromeda Galaxy? And hold as much water as a clogged ink jet nozzle? If you are, I agree.

      • On fire, suffering from intestinal shingles, I would run barefoot down a street paved with broken glass to smell the exhaust from the truck carrying your hyperboles.
    • by aralin ( 107264 )

      In a fair business environment it would probably have been the case..... :)

    • ...would be running on more computers than all other operating systems combined by, IIRC, 2003.

      Hey, it's a Warped World!

      http://youtu.be/z2cYd6dxj7w [youtu.be]

    • Might as well add that the entire premise is silly............most jobs that were done at one time are now already done by machine. This isn't a bad thing, and so far we've always managed to find more jobs for people.
  • ... we can't protect the fucking automation we have in place now.

    Broken stuff, over time, just gets broker.

    Hackers are invading the machines as we speak and THAT'S the front page news ... not this science fiction crap [buburuza.net].

  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:33PM (#48078545)

    Or do they mean 1 in 3 remaining jobs?

    As it is, automation has already taken the vast majority of jobs. You can run a small store with just a few employees, something that needed a couple dozen just a century ago.

  • by The Raven ( 30575 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @06:44PM (#48078641) Homepage

    There are a lot of comments here about how this is futurist doom & gloom. And it certainly could be. But the difference between the doom of the past and the doom of now is that we now have working, commercial examples of the robots that could replace humans. It was theory before... now it's just a matter of economy of scale and refinement.

    CGP Gray did an excellent piece [youtube.com] on this already.

  • That’s right in 11 years I see smartphones running and splicing fiber optic cables, performing neurosurgery, pulling calves, the working man is done. Are these the same idiots who built a futuristic model of a computer with a steering wheel? Every change changes the support jobs. So taxi drivers are replaced, but someone needs to maintain the millions of systems that operate in and around the autonomous vehicles, new factories will build these systems for mass production, and sales men will get commi
  • We used to be a nation of 90% farmers. Now we have less than 10% employed farming, 80% were replaced with robots. The article should have been 1 on 3 of the remaining jobs will be replaced.
    • Since the invention of the wheel machines have been replacing labor. The result has always been temporary displacement in the labor force and increased overall standards of living.

      It won't be any different this time.

  • If it's true, then bye-bye US. We don't have a populace or society that could withstand 33%+ unemployment. On the other hand, it is Gartner predicting this, so I'm hoping it won't actually be that bad (though this may be the one Gartner gets right).

  • We're testing software that will eventually replace my job, and from the looks of things it will take far more than eleven years before the software is ready.

  • Let them take Gartner as well!
  • Various steady state economists seem to have thought this through pretty well. There's the notion of a citizen's income and so on. Highly recommend the books by Herman E. Daly, or the site at www.steadystate.org
  • Gosh, you know this prediction just brings to mind a world like that of Paranoia, where we've happily given over our lives to the computers to manage and run for us. Hmm. Can't decide if this is a good or bad thing.

    • "Can't decide if this is a good or bad thing."

      That sounds like an unhealthy level of doubt, Citizen. Doubt leads to worry, which leads to unhappiness, which leads to treason.

      Please speak to the nearest Happiness Enforcement Officer for guidance and biochemical supplementation.

      Have a nice daycycle.

      (Or else.)

  • Gartner will be replacing by monkeys writing in computer keyboards, may they write less bullshit. And perhaps some more smart ones. And things from the real future and not present things or trends dressed as the future. And as hot bodies, they work for peanuts, you know.
  • by Al Al Cool J ( 234559 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @09:06PM (#48079567)

    Japan's computer-generated grassroots indie pop phenomenon Hatsune Miku makes her US TV debut Wednesday on the David Letterman show.

    http://sgcafe.com/2014/09/hats... [sgcafe.com]

    Not exactly what the article about, given that Miku is massively crowdsourced, and provides opportunities for musicians, rather than taking away jobs. But a funny coincidence nonetheless.

  • Mega Rant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Monday October 06, 2014 @10:40PM (#48080057)
    Why is it that people are deaf, dumb and blind?? The purpose of all technology is the elimination of labor. Most employment has already been eliminated. So a statement that one third of existing employment will be eliminated soon is not a shock at all. I would be shocked if it is as low as one third by the way. Most of us recall the offices with one girl at a desk to answer phones and type a bit and do books. Cell phones eliminated those employees by the millions. And computers enable people to type nice correspondence that only skilled typists could accomplish with a typewriter. Meanwhile accountants took a severe hit when Turbo tax and the like were used by the masses as well as small businesses. It is just a part of a trend. Go back to the days when we used horses and mules to transport ourselves and our products. Is anuone even slightly aware of how much work is involved in keeping a horse? TRUTH: we will be forced to abandon capitalism soon. Some kind of social welfare state will be the only possible answer. It will be normal for most of society to be supported by taxes paid by businesses. It is not because of beliefs or values or any of that junk. It is because it is the only system fit to survive. We will experience shocking changes in the way we live and some will be for the better. You can also bet that we will be regualted in our behaviors more than at any time in history. Things like vacation cruise ships may cease to exist. international travel may be banned. And there will be all kinds of conflicts on allowing imports and exports.
    • You had me until the cruise ships and the international travel ban. Now I'm scratching my had about whether the rest of your post is just as groundless, and if I should review my own wishful thinking that prevented me from filtering it earlier.

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