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Robots. Taking Australian Jobs

Who’s coming into our country and taking our jobs? Robots. It’s robots.

In this country and worldwide there’s always a push from certain groups against refugees and immigration on the off chance that they might come in here and take your job. Which doesn’t really fly because the very real threat to your job, the robots, are either being ignored or even funded by our so called ‘job creating’ governments.

When I first arrived in the UK, I wasn’t sure why everyone seemed so worried about their job being taken away from them. It was just like being in Australia. “Jobs for Britons”, people said. “They’ll undercut our wages”. And I thought it all sounded, you know, a bit bigoted, really. If an employer can find someone willing to work harder for longer hours and less money, that’s the free market doing its thing.

But then I saw the figures.

15 million jobs. That’s what the Bank of England says. 15 million jobs, they’re going to take. 15 million jobs just taken away from regular, hard working British people.

By robots.

That’s right, the central bank’s chief economist claims that those metal scabs are going to cheerily seek ongoing employment at the expense of the livelihoods of those more, well, living. Backing this up, a study at Oxford University found that 47 per cent of American jobs might be at risk within twenty years due to advances in automation and artificial intelligence.

Things look just as dire in Australia, where manufacturing has already been hit hard. And sure, some jobs are under greater threat than others. According to the BBC your job is at higher risk of automation if it mainly requires you to squeeze into small spaces, which is devastating news for escape artists.

But more unexpected industries are also in the line of sight of these robot hordes: law, advertising, journalism. Machines are already writing stories on finance and sports for Associated Press, soon they’ll surely move onto bi-weekly leadership spill rundowns. At some point the frontier will no doubt shift to articles just like this one. Unemployed comedy writers? It’s difficult to even imagine such a bleak future.

Who’s coming into our country and taking our jobs? Robots. It’s robots.

So you may justifiably wonder what the government is doing about this outrageous assault on employment. Incredibly, they’ve chosen to fund innovation. Innovation to encourage the development of new technology.

That’s right, after all its rhetoric about creating jobs, the government is doing everything it can to crush everyday workers beneath the might of alternatives of the more efficient and heartless variety. Investing in STEM, financing start-ups and co-curating spaces for a new economic paradigm. Every step is certain to help rather than hinder the creation of smarter and faster robots. It’s madness.

On the one hand, you can almost see their point of view. Robots are, on balance, fairly unlikely to unionise. Drones have generally resisted the lure of the Communist Manifesto, except for those times where uncommitted socialists have ordered a copy on Amazon.

Yet the other hand is cold, metallic and possibly unforgiving. Philosophers studying AI are still unsure whether machines gaining sentience will lead to the advent of immortality or the total destruction of mankind. Two reasonably different outcomes.

Who’s coming into our country and taking our jobs? Robots. It’s robots.

I’m all for flipping that particular existential coin, but first our politicians need to decide what they’re trying to achieve. Is it incredible technological development and potential immortality, or is it jobs creation? They’re trying to have it both ways, and it’s impacting other policy areas.

This is important, because all the current yelling about 457 visas and migrants taking jobs pales in comparison to our robot problem. If the government really cared about employment, they would be handing out stone tablets in schools and devolving our nation-state into smaller hunting and gathering-based communities.

Because if history has taught us anything, it’s that subsistence living is the number one job creator of all time.


Reinvent Your Career would like to thank SBS where this article first appeared.


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