BUSINESS
12/22/2014 08:33 EST | Updated 12/22/2014 09:59 EST

12 Jobs You Wouldn't Think Are Threatened By Robots, But Are

This article was not written by a robot. But a decade from now, it could well be.

When people hear the now-familiar refrain “robots are taking our jobs,” they tend to think of robotic arms replacing assembly line workers. But let’s face it, that’s so last century. The robots — or apps, or drones, or whatever other form they may take — of the 21st century will be far more ambitious. They’ll be gunning for our best jobs.

The first wave of automation in the digital age, the experts now say, arrived when software and software-powered machinery replaced people in many rote, repetitive tasks, such as affixing decals onto a car on an assembly line, or typing out forms in triplicate.

As long as that was the case, it was mostly the blue collar working-class folks and the middle-earning office clerks who had to worry about losing their jobs to a machine.

But the second wave of automation is a whole different ball game: It seeks to automate much more technical, much less repetitive jobs, or at least certain parts of these technical and/or creative functions. In the twenty-first century, there will be no such thing as a career that is immune to automation.

Take medical professionals for instance. Diagnostic robots will soon be able to replace them when it comes to assessing patients. Now this doesn’t mean doctors will be replaced entirely by robots; they will still be needed to determine a course of treatment and carry it out. But with one major part of a doctor’s job automated, the overall demand for medical staff will drop.

In this way, even people in the most in-demand fields could find themselves in unfavourable labour markets in the coming years.

Even creative, artsy jobs are at threat — see the part about robots writing news articles, below.

Researchers from Oxford University last year published a paper evaluating 702 occupations, and their likelihood of being automated. They found 47 per cent of occupations are at risk of being taken by machines by 2033, given technological trends.

The job with the highest likelihood of robot replacement? Telemarketing, with a 99-per-cent chance.

Check out 12 jobs you wouldn’t think are threatened by robots, but are:

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