GO
Loading...

Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

Can a Robot Do Your Job?

Just when you thought the job market was improving, here's a new worry: Robots may take your job.

“They [robots] are getting better and better. Jobs at all levels are going to be increasingly threatened,” said Mark Ford, founder of the company Querybot, which sells companies a service that enables a website to answer to customer's questions, and the author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future.

“In the near term, we may actually see that some higher-end jobs, jobs held by college graduates, are going to be the most vulnerable.”

Robots or robotic equipment have long been a staple in manufacturing and have become used more and more for all sorts of functions, such as in customer service, vending machines and increasingly for medical functions. But replacing the skills of a paralegal, a lawyer or college graduate with a robot and rendering them obsolete leaves some skeptical.

Among them is Jeff Burnstein, president of the Robotic Industries Association, who thinks that using robots is a way of preserving jobs and creating new ones.

Vote
Vote to see results
Total Votes:

Not a Scientific Survey. Results may not total 100% due to rounding.

Burnstein, whose organization represents more than 250 companies, maintains that companies have a choice between automating and preserving jobs, sending them overseas or going out of business.

The US company Marlin Steel Wire, he said, “was competing with companies in China paying 30 cents an hour, delivering finished to the US for less than they can buy the steel for.”

Once Marlin invested in robots, they created more jobs and now they are paying their US workers $30 an hour, plus full benefits. “I think that’s a pretty good deal,” he said.

Ford, the gung-ho robot guy, thinks that the trend he envisions won’t happen for about five to 10 years.

Phew!

Contact U.S. News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    Please choose a subscription

    Please enter a valid email address
    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.

Don't Miss

  • Dani Mathers, the 2015 Playmate of the Year, poses during a luncheon on the garden grounds of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, May 14, 2015.

    Playboy on Thursday launched its completely safe-for-work mobile app Playboy NOW, part of a strategy to make more mainstream content.

  • Li Hejun, Hanergy Holding Group

    In the history of sudden wealth loss, Li Hejun may have set a new record.

  • Marc Cuban

    Ask Mark Cuban what the next big thing in technology is, you'll get an answer straight out of a science fiction film.

U.S. Video

  • IBM takes aim at traffic nightmares

    Bob Picciano, IBM svp of analytics, discusses how IBM's smart traffic management system is using hi-tech to tackle traffic jams in New Jersey.

  • Cutting your water bill

    CNBC consumer reporter Kelli Grant offers tips on how to stop wasting water and cut down your water bill.

  • Doing the math on minimum wage

    Joe Watkins, former GHW Bush White House official, and Jimmy Williams, Blue Nation Review, weigh in on the minimum wage debate and whether it hurts small business.