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Will Robots Take all the Jobs? Not yet

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Abstract

Much has been speculated about intelligent artefacts and their potential abilities to automate entire industries or at least a broad variety of human-related tasks and processes. Recent advancements in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics have fueled these views, thereby propelling hyped narratives, unfounded fears, and dystopian futures alike. Some of the reasons behind such behaviors originate from the time-old dispute on what intelligence (e.g. in humans and in machines) truly means. Others, to the disparate realities between the promise of AI, i.e. to build machines with human-like intelligence and to consider what abilities current "intelligent" machines possess. The speedy automation of human labour and processes has been around since the industrial revolution. Automation wears new clothes in the digital era, especially that involving the development of emerging technologies, but it is still far from including countless human activities that require genuine intelligence and are not easy to automate. The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, it clarifies why we are no closer to having truly intelligent systems. We base our statements on a thorough discussion about what genuine intelligence means. On the other hand, it presents an analysis of new jobs created in Robotics and related fields by mining and processing job offers posted to the mailing list "robotics-worldwide." By using natural language processing techniques, not only is the evolution of all job offers posted over the last 15 years to that renowned mailing list presented, but also their most salient characteristics and backgrounds. In addition to the continuously growing number of job offers in the analyzed period, the results indicate substantial demand for jobs predominantly within the field of academic and scientific research. Proliferating innovation in AI and Robotics combined with a growing lack of experts in these domains indicates that both are broad fields that are yet to be thoroughly explored. The analysis of "The robotics-worldwide Archives" resoundingly displays that an obvious solution to this is the increased employment of researchers and academics to undertake this exploration. No, robots will not take all the jobs. At least not yet.
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