• Question: Do you think there are any jobs that will never be taken over by robots (if so, which ones)? If all jobs will be taken over at some point, which will be the last?

    Asked by Poppy to Sreejita, Rob, Nick, Maja, Giuseppe, Gary, Andrew, Mackenzie on 1 Jan 2020. This question was also asked by ramone06.
    • Photo: Gary Munnelly

      Gary Munnelly answered on 1 Jan 2020:

      I don’t know, is the honest answer to this one.

      A lot of the work that I do involves writing AIs that help historians to do research into our past. I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and I can honestly say that I don’t ever believe that a robot will be able to do something like meaningful historical research. In fact, I’ll go a step further and say that I don’t think an AI will ever be able to do research by itself. But, the computer can help by performing repetitive tasks really quickly.

      So I don’t think all jobs will be taken over, but tasks that are repetitive, even complex tasks, may be automated as AIs get smarter.

    • Photo: Sreejita Ghosh

      Sreejita Ghosh answered on 3 Jan 2020:

      Most probably the job of a comedian. AIs still need more research for being able to understand sarcasm and ironies. Natural Language processing research is currently looking into sarcasm detection ( https://medium.com/dair-ai/detecting-sarcasm-with-deep-convolutional-neural-networks-4a0657f79e80 )
      However there isn’t a perfect algorithm for making people laugh. The same story can be narrated, using the same words, but maybe with different lengths and positioning of pauses, which can create completely different reactions from the audience. While looking for some more material on this topic I found this (https://newsroom.cisco.com/feature-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1938500 ).

      On a lighter note, South Park fans will know the ramifications of a funnybot 😛

    • Photo: Maja Popovic

      Maja Popovic answered on 6 Jan 2020:

      I work a lot with machine translation (translation from one language into another by computers, Google Translate is one example) and it is getting better and better, especially in the last few years.
      However, I’m not sure that the computers will ever be able to *fully* replace humans for translation — possibly for some types of texts and for some language pairs, but not for all.