Friday, March 18, 2016

How Robots will Kill the 'Gig Economy

Gig Economy

Gig Economy – Cease to Exist in 20 Years


According to new report from venture backed start-up Thumbtack, an online marketplace which tends to help skilled workers locate customers, the so-called gig economy would cease to exist in 20 years. The study has forecast that logistic companies from start-ups like Uber right to tech giants like Amazon would be replacing drivers as well as delivery workers with autonomous vehicles and drones.

The study discovered that extremely skilled workers like lawyers and accountants would no longer be assured of jobs at big firms - will be the new gig economy workers. Jon Lieber, chief economist at Thumbtack and Lucas Puente, an economic analyst at the firm had mentioned in a report that `the gig economy known will not last.

 In the past few years, analysts and reports have obsessively focused on transportation technology platforms such as Uber and Lyft and delivery technology platforms like Instacart and the workers required for these on-demand services. The fine focus on low-skilled `gigs’ tends to miss a larger story. The rather commoditized, interchangeable services seem to supplement income, not generating middle class lifestyles. Besides, these jobs are probably going to be automated over a period of time and performed by self-driving cars and drones'.

Autonomous Driving Technology – Reduce Death/Transportation Affordable


Uber had been frank with regards to its plans in replacing drivers with robots over a period of time. An Uber spokesperson informed CNBC that `autonomous driving technology has the ability to drastically reduce deaths in cars, making transportation even more affordable. That it is an exciting future and one Uber plans to be part of, but that transition for technical, regulatory as well as adoption reasons, at scale, would take some time. The spokesperson stated that `in the meanwhile, the focus is providing flexible work opportunities for many people in the world as possible’.

According to Oxford academics Car Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, around half of U.S. jobs seem to be at high risk of computerization over the next 20 years. Their discoveries had been published in 2013 and are unchanged, but there are some limitations like resistance from stakeholders and relative wage levels which would determine if a job is in fact automated, according to Osborne.

Estimates on how many jobs robots will ultimately displace would vary widely. Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder mentioned in a report that `forecast of 16% of jobs would disappear owing to automation technologies between now and 2025.

Supervised by `Robo-Boss’ by 2018


However that jobs equivalent to 9% of present day’s jobs would be created. Physical robots need repair and maintenance professional, one of the several job categories which would grow around in a much automated world’. From the global point of view, over 3 million workers would be supervised by a `robo-boss’ toward 2018, as predicted late last year by research and advisory firm Gartner.

Osborne has stated that jobs which are least likely to be automated initially are those which need a high level of creativity or emotional intelligence. For instance, school teacher jobs seem to be comparatively safe due to the elevated level of social intelligence needed to teach as well as mentor children.

 The Oxford study found positions which seem mostly susceptible to automation comprise of telemarketers, watch repairer, tax preparers, insurance underwriters, cargo and freight agents and others. In each category, some jobs would be automated very soon. Osborne states that `this gig economy is being pursued via digital platform and is actually getting individuals to automate themselves out of a job by delivering data back to the platform which could be utilised in providing an automated substitute.

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