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5 Unlikely Careers that might be made obsolete by Machines

5 Unlikely Careers that might be made obsolete by Machines

In mid-2016, smartphone manufacturer Foxconn replaced about 60,000 workers on the factory floor with semi-independent robots. Foxconn, one of the major suppliers with Samsung and Apple, continued the trend among Chinese manufacturing companies of replacing humans with robots.

In fact, manufacturing companies in Guangdong have invested over $520 million in robots since 2014, a clear indicator of the direction the industry is taking.

Locally, robots have become increasingly popular in construction sites and among emergency and law enforcement agencies. They’ve been used to defuse bombs, help with search and rescue, and many other functions that put humans at risk.

Away from the heavy-duty use cases robots and automation, in general, are moving closer to home. They are now answering phones, prescribing medicine, and doing many other tasks that were usually reserved for humans.

Check out these five regular careers that might soon be replaced by robots.

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1. Babysitters

    In 2014, the average babysitter was paid about $500 per week which is a bit on the higher side for the average American family. Add that to the number of unknowns, including safety concerns and finding the right sitter for your children, and you may just find yourself going for a robotic sitter.

    Hollywood has taught us that robots can be entertaining and fun, which is why companies like Aeon Co. introduced robots in most of their stores to keep kids entertained while their parents were busy shopping.

    Hello Kitty and PaPeRo are examples of fully-functional robots that are capable of telling jokes and tracking kids. Similar technology may replace humans as babysitters in the future.

    2. Fast food workers

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      McDonald’s recently rolled out their “Create Your Taste” kiosks that let customers build their burgers and even make full-menu orders from stand-alone touchscreen kiosks. These customized kiosk systems have become a major hit in the fast-food industry, with companies such as Panera Bread and Wendy’s looking to supplement their labor force with these kiosks.

      Customized kiosks in fast food restaurants greatly improve order accuracy, convenience, and do away with the long, winding queues. With the ever-increasing costs of labor, restaurant automation might just see robots edge humans from the job market.

      3. Reporters

        If you often catch up on sports news via online news websites, chances are you have read one or two articles created by an intelligent machine. Narrative Science uses a special artificial intelligence application to generate readable stories using data from sports events around the country.

        The Big Ten Network, a subsidiary of Fox Cable, uses the application to generate news stories touching on softball and baseball events. They simply email the game data from each game to Narrative Science who then feed the scores into the AI program that generates a news story within minutes – thus replacing your everyday sportswriter and news reporter.

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        4. Pharmacists

          Your prescription order might soon be serviced by a robot, that is if the automation efforts by the UCSF Medical Center are replicated across the medical field. The robotics-controlled pharmaceutical systems at two UCSF hospitals have jointly dispensed over 350,000 prescriptions without error.

          The pharmacy system receives the orders from pharmacists and dispensing physicians then sends the information to robots that pick medications from the shelf, package, label, and dispense the medications. Apart from regular pills, the system is also capable of filling IV syringes and compounding chemotherapy preparations – all with little to no human involvement.

          5. Drivers

            This one has been in the works for quite some time. Ever since Google and Tesla began advanced experiments with driverless cars, automakers have been shifting focus away from cars with human-supervised driving. Major auto companies like Ford, Toyota, Volvo, BMW, and Nissan have already announced plans to introduce semi or fully autonomous cars by around 2018.

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            Uber has even started experimenting with driverless cab services, which will be a major game changer when it finally becomes a standard service.

            Bottom Line

            Machines and autonomous technology will always be a part of society. The automation debate is currently split into two sides: one holding the view that automation will spur innovation in the labor sector with the other prophesying complete doom for the human workforce.

            Either way, the labor industry is poised for drastic transformation over the next few years. So for now, embrace the robots and savor the smoother, easier world of automation.

            Image Credits:

            Baby boy caucasian child family, Mcdonalds redaktionel chain, Reporter camera journalist media, Thermometer headache pain pills, Driver car traffic man hurry Via Pixabay

            Featured photo credit: Stocksnap.io via stocksnap.io

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            Last Updated on September 10, 2018

            Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

            Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

            We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

            Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

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            Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

            Looking at images of loved ones

            While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

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            In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

            Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

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            Exercise

            Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

            Meditation

            Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

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            In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

            When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

            With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

            Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

            Reference

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