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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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            Vikas Agrawal

            Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

            5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

            Do you forget stuff every now and then? Are you trying to enhance your memory but not sure how?

            All you need is the right memorization techniques to make the most of your memory.

            The human brain is fascinating. More specifically, the vast interconnections within our mind. Mendel Kaelen compares the human brain to a hill covered in snow,

            “Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.”

            The intent of Kaelen’s discussion is to think of new ways to temporarily flatten the snow. Kaelen remarked,

            “The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.”

            The idea here is to temporarily rewire your brain, or as Michael Pollan remarked in How to Change Your Mind,

            “The power to shake the snow globe, disrupting unhealthy patterns of thought and creating a space of flexibility-entropy-in which more salubrious patterns and narratives have an opportunity to coalesce as the snow slowly settles.”

            So, how can we rewire our brain allowing deeply worn connections to disappear and new connections to form? The answer is quite simple. We must change the way we store information in our mind.

              Let’s examine 5 specific memorization techniques that will change the way you think and remember information.

              1. Build a Memory Palace

                What is it?

                The method of loci[1] (aka memory palace) is a method of memory enhancement using visualizations with the use of spatial memory. It uses familiar information about your environment to quickly recall information. It is a method that was discussed by Cicero in an ancient dialogue called De Oratore.

                How to use it?

                Ron White discusses in How to Memorize Fast and Easily: Build a Memory Palace, that it’s essentially a room or building that you have memorized and you use locations in the room to store data. Ron informs us,

                “You memorize locations in a room and then you later go back to those locations to retrieve the data that you want to remember.”

                Example

                An easy 5-step example, in the form of a Wiki, can be found at Artofmemory.com. Let’s examine the the steps:

                • Step 1. Choose a place that you know well. For example, your house or office.
                • Step 2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route. For example, your front door, bathroom kitchen, etc.
                • Step 3. Decide what you want to memorize. For example, geography, list of items, answers for a test, etc.
                • Step 4. Place one or two items, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
                • Step 5. Make the image into a mnemonic.

                You can learn more about this technique here: How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything

                2. Mnemonic

                  What is it?

                  A mnemonic is a memory device that aids in retention and/or retrieval of information. Mnemonic systems are techniques consciously used to improve memory by helping us use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization easier.[2]

                  How to use it?

                  Mnemonics make use of retrieval cues to encode information in our brain allowing for efficient storage and retrieval of the information. The trick is to learn how to easily create mnemonics. If you find that you struggle with creating your own, try the following website: Mnemonic Generator.

                  Example

                  I recently came across a video using mnemonics to memorize countries. Memorizing Countries using Mnemonics is a video created as an introduction to a class for using memory techniques to learn the names of countries on maps.

                  I actively search for videos that provide enormous educational value, yet receive very little exposure. At the time of this writing, this video has received less than 4k views. Let’s examine the video.

                  Goal: Create a mnemonic to memorize the countries in the Caribbean (just the countries you need to learn).

                  Step 1. Looking at a map – write out each country (for which five were chosen).

                  Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.

                  Step 2. Write the first letter of each country vertically.

                  C

                  J

                  H

                  D

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                  P

                  Step 3. Create a sentence or phrase.

                  Cubs

                  Just

                  Hate

                  Doing

                  Push-ups

                  Cubs just hate doing push-ups. (Cuba Jamaica Haiti Dominican Republic Puerto Rico)

                  3. Mnemonic Peg System

                    What is it?

                    According to Artofmemory.com, a mnemonic peg system is a technique for memorizing lists and it works by memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent.[3] These objects are the pegs of the system.

                    How to use it?

                    The trick is to create a Number Rhyme System with each number having a rhyming mnemonic keyword.

                    Example

                    Let’s look at an example of a Number Rhyme System:[4]

                    0 = hero

                    1 = gun

                    2 = shoe

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                    3 = tree

                    4 = door

                    5 = hive

                    6 = sticks

                    7 = heaven

                    8 = gate

                    9 = line

                    Another technique like the Peg system is the Number Shape System.[5] Here you are assigning mnemonic images based on the shape of the number. Watch the following video for an example of this system: Number Shape System for Memorizing Numbers.

                    4. Chunking

                      What is it?

                      Chunking is a way to remember large bits of information by chunking them into smaller pieces of information. We are more likely to then remember the information when we put the small pieces back together to see the entire picture.

                      How to use it?

                      In the video Chunking – A Learning Technique, we can see that there are several ways to chunk information.

                      Example

                      Let’s examine a simple example using a nine-digit number.

                      Step 1. What is the number you are trying to remember?

                      081127882

                      Step 2. Cut the number into smaller pieces through chunking.

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                      081 – 127 – 882

                      Let’s look at one more example from the same video.

                      “Piano teachers will first demonstrate an entire song to students. They will then ask their students to practice one measure at a time. Once the part has been learned and the neural connections in the brain have been built, then students go on to the next measure. After all chunks have been played separately, they are combined until the entire piece is connected.”

                      5. Transfer of Learning

                        What is it?

                        Transfer of learning is a way to learn something in one area and apply it in another. Authors of Thinking at Every Desk, Derek and Laura Cabrera inform us about the transfer of learning,

                        “If a student has a high transfer skills, she can learn one thing and then teach herself 10, 50, or 100 additional things.”

                        How to use it?

                        There are two specific ways to use it:

                        1. Vertical Transfer (aka Far Transfer). Think of learning something in grade school and applying it another grade or later in life.
                        2. Horizontal Transfer (aka Near Transfer). Think of learning a concept in history and applying it in math.

                        Example

                        I provide a detailed step-by-step example for this technique in this article:

                        Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

                        The Bottom Line

                        The key to using the techniques discussed here is to remember that we must actively think about information.

                        We cannot simply drill information into our brain through rote memorization. We must change the way we think about memorization. We must find a way to “shake the snow-globe” in our mind or flatten the snow so that we can create new learning paths.

                        Or as Derek and Laura Cabrera point out, we must insert “Thinking” into the equation,

                        “Information X Thinking = Knowledge”

                        More About Enhancing Memories

                        Featured photo credit: Nong Vang via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] Remember Everything: Memory Palaces and the Method of Loci
                        [2] The Learning Center Exchange: 9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory
                        [3] Art of Memory: Mnemonic Peg System
                        [4] Art of Memory: Number Rhyme System
                        [5] Art of Memory: Number Shape System

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