Since we’ve all seen the movie by now, surely we can agree on one thing: Ultron is the worst.
And you know what? The movie kind of sucked, too. There’s no need to go into every reason why (*ahem*), but a main contributor to the general suckage was Ultron itself. And that’s not surprising, because Ultron, Iron Man’s solution-to-world-peace-gone-terribly-wrong, was a rude, whiny robot.
Come to think of it, Ultron would probably suck to have as a coworker.
In that spirit, since we’ve mostly accepted the fact that robots will steal our jobs, we’re now out to predict which jobs they’ll steal. (And not the obvious ones. The ones we thought were probably safe.) You know, so we can get ahead of the curve so we never have to work with Ultron or any member of that weird Ultron army.
Watch out, everybody. Ultron’s coming for you if you’re a…
In a recent article for The Tennessean, JJ Rosen wrote, “If a robo-writer takes my job as a columnist I will simply have to become a better writer. The same is true for most any job.”
Huh. Is it a matter of being a good writer, though, or being a fast one? Any editor concerned with writing quality and creative output would never turn a writing job over to a robot. Speed, though? Different set of priorities.
Creative, expository writing is something that human beings are solely capable of. For now, at least.
Last month, Motherboard ran a story about machines that write poetry. The article mentioned a computer science Ph.D. student who’s basically declared it a piece of cake to program a machine to generate publishable poetry. Her next step, though, is to figure out a way to make the machines creative, meaning their poetry won’t just be the result of pre-existing grammatical and linguistic rules.
Romantic machine poetry, via Motherboard.
Instead, the poetry will come from… their machine brains, or something? Who knows, but heads up, poets: the robots are coming for you.
According to NPR, JBS, the country’s leading processor of beef, pork, and lamb, bought a sizeable share of Scott Technology, a robotics company with a specialization in meat processing machinery. That’s a notable move, because until now, the beef industry has been pretty dead set on keeping the reigns (knives?) in the hands of humans.
Here’s NPR’s explanation of why people do it better when it comes to meat:
The meatpacking robots of today use vision technology to slice and dice, but the key to butchery is touch, not sight. And the company’s beef division president, Bill Rupp, says right now, robots just can’t feel how deep a bone is, or expertly remove a filet mignon.
In this case, it also seems that workers are cheaper than machines. The seed’s been planted, though, so don’t be surprised when someone comes up with an accurate, cost-effective way to transition butchery and meatpacking tasks to technological methods.
The robots are coming for you, Paulie Pennino.
Did you just raise an eyebrows? Us too. Because, like, huh?
According to Business Insider, fashion models have a 97.6% chance of being replaced by robots. (Could that be because we’re already so used to objectifying models? Cough cough…)
Image by Jim Wileman for the Guardian.
Apparently, robot models are upon us because of RoboThespian: a robot capable of behaving like an actual person. Sure, seems like a reliable way to have a mobile, interactive thing that’ll never get tired or frustrated or bored. But still, a model? The idea of something that’s not a human walking down a runway is a little harder to imagine than, say, a bank teller robot.
We’ll see. But we won’t be surprised if one day we find out Victoria really does have a secret, and it’s that she’s actually a robot. (Sorry, bad joke.)
Umpire or referee!
Your thoughts on this one might vary based on your relationship with umps or refs. Some of us are indifferent, but for those with particularly large attachments to sports franchises… well, let’s just say that the people calling the shots aren’t always crowd favorites.
Business Insider reports that there’s a 98.3% chance of umpires and referees becoming automated. Obviously, technology is already put to good use in sports officiating when it comes to quick replays, close ups, and high-quality imaging for making calls, but a whole new ballgame (pun intended) may be upon us.
A UK-made technology called Hawk-Eye (no Ultron, not that Hawkeye) already officiates tennis matches in more than 80 worldwide tournaments with its Electronic Line Calling feature. The company also makes officiating technologies that are used in soccer (ugh, football), baseball, and even NASCAR.
Perhaps robo-refs will actually be a relief to sports officials who are sick of being yelled at all the time. But at any rate, listen up, referees: the robots are coming for your hate mail.
Still not convinced?
The rise of technology in the workforce just got a shoutout from President Obama in the State of the Union: “Today, technology doesn’t just replace jobs on the assembly line, but any job where work can be automated.”
Ain’t it the truth. The future of working is about to start looking very, very different.