Will we lose our jobs to robots?

Posted 2 October 2015 12:00 AM by Jeremy Kramer, Business Development & Marketing @ ClearPeople

The BBC recently reported on how 35% of us are at risk of a robot taking our job in the next 20 years - junior marketers having a 33% chance of losing their roles to machines...

I recently joined ClearPeople as a junior marketer, so this got me thinking... will others like me eventually lose their jobs to a robot?

So far my role as a marketer is safe. It is actually so safe that it has brought me around the world (quite literally) to Australia, Los Angeles and now London. I have worked on a range of shows including Australia’s Next Top Model, edited promo’s for MTV’s The Buried Life and marketed new bands with The Who’s management. And I don’t really see this changing in the next 20 years. 

Currently we’re at the forefront of the digital age and my only hands-on experience with AI thus far has been with Siri. I take comfort in knowing that so far AI systems are not creative and cannot detect an interesting opportunity. Sure, robots can help me with big data, update the CRM and help generate analytical insights - I actually welcome it - but when it comes to company foresight computers cannot detect and interpret structural or cultural change to ensure the survival and success of a company. 

In marketing, AI systems are linear: they collect an abundance of data but insights increase only linearly. Human marketers (me) are then responsible for the perception and manipulation of such insights; limitations of AI systems.

We’re programmed to think that we’re always in jeopardy of something. But if we’re looking at trends in technology and AI, Siri has extremely limited functionalities, Sci-Fi movies are blown out of proportion and the cost of such devices outweigh decisions of implementation, at least for now.  For marketing, extra help in interpreting the amount of data we accumulate would save me from squinting at the computer screen for longer than I already do. 

AI may provide me detailed analytics but it is my responsibility to perceive and manipulate that information.  More importantly, creative and social intelligence are at the core of marketing and are the bottleneck of AI. In the end, if I somehow lose my job to an AI robot, I’m gonna neck the bottle. 

First published in The Drum, 1st October 2015 http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2015/10/01/vox-pop-will-robot-take-my-job


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