What job roles do you think can’t be or shouldn’t be automated and why?

Theoretically, it could be possible to automate all our needs as humans given sufficiently advanced technology, but we wonder what jobs roles do you think can’t be automated?

People enjoy the human connection which is especially important in caring roles. This even extends out toward the simple interaction we have in sharing a knowing conversation with a shopkeeper for example. Therefore we also wonder what jobs do you think shouldn’t be automated even if they could be automated?

I think the only “job” that can not be automated is a job where the person is a “role model”. For example robots will be able to play football, of course even better than the best human players, but there have to be human footballers / teams and competitions so that other people can admire them and want to be like them.
These celebrities might be in a lot of areas.
There are other roles that can be automated in the future but I am not sure people will want them to be done by robots only, without a human participation. Child and elderly care, community activities.
Also the first job ever done by a human and not a robot might be always in demand by some people.


The roles that can’t be automated are those roles that have been so fortified with intentional acts of self-preservation that no one knows where to begin the automation process. I also don’t believe such roles should be automated. Instead, these “thieves” should be allowed to carry out their self-induced karma to the bitter end and come to realize the joke is on them.

Co-worker: “What do you do here?”

Artist: “Exactly.”

Everyone that tries hard should have the chance to be freed from their burdens through automation.

The global economy, and how humans create value in it, has become so abstract that the only way to guarantee performance in the role is to mechanise its duties - KPIs presume quantifiable metrics, which implies mechanisation. This means almost all service-level jobs can be automated.

Creativity is likely something automation can only aspire to. Iteratively hammering against a problem is not creativity but brute force. One should never be mistaken for the other.


Thank you for this very well constructed and insightful comment!

Can you elaborate a bit more about the roles that you mention have been fortified with international acts of self-preservation?

Do you mean self sustaining governmental structures and large scale organisations?

insurance sales for profit, various spam bots, for profit banking in general, military purposes, stuff we usually agree is evil that has probably already been automated. We won’t have role models because the next Ben Goertzel will be an AI. I guess, like the first poster pointed out, competition between humans will still be a thing but I would definitely watch robot football at least once.

I don’t watch football at all but would probably watch a robotic match once or twice :slight_smile: Human competition will still be a thing, probably both not-augmented and augmented? Who knows :slight_smile:

But isn’t it all augmented when you consider potential improvements in medical care and anti-aging? What if Bo Jackson’s hip could have been regenerated during the game and he was 100% again immediately? What if Michael Schumacher retained his 20 year old body for 50 years? The records?

Or is augmented only improvements to motor reflexes/strength/endurance/bone density/intelligence/skin resilience/etc or some sort of cyborg?

Back to the topic…I can’t think of a job that can’t be automated, even design engineer, doctor, lawyer, judge, government functions, youtube content creator, cheeseburger salesman, robot mechanic…all the jobs that people generally think can’t be automated, could pretty quickly be automated imo. Also imo, lots of existing jobs don’t need to exist.

1 Like

If all repetitive tasks are getting automated societies might generate value for the society and individuals for themselves in a more social economic environment so that “jobs” become more like “talent” role model businesses with artists, dancers, entertainers, life coachs, visionaries, influencers, developers and explorers. All enhanced with their various AI and non tech specific gadgetry. Free decision making for women to avoid a technical birth to experience birth as natural as possible should be provided by humans all time. A human midwife and a natural birth experience should be an opportunity for every woman to use.
Also when I think about an industry like in the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley or Matrix where both stories describe a dystopian industrial birth giving machinery in their specific way.

Parenting haha! Seriously I couldn’t think of anything that 100% shouldn’t be automated, but I feel moreso that there should always be both automated and human-operated options in certain jobs, primarily the ones where person-to-person communication/interaction is valued. I thought about food–It would be very advantageous for robots to prepare things like burgers and fries, or at restaurants with a high volume of customers. But at the same time, who doesn’t love an authentic home-cooked meal? When a human cook prepares a dish, it’s unique every time. I think it’s important to have a good balance of automation and preservation of traditional things, like the proverbial Mom and Pop shop.

look I think there is an inherent fallacy in your ‘can’t’ question…
By asking that, and I can confirm that from the comments, you are forcing our minds to stretch the concept of automation to its max. To put it simply: anyone thinking about what roles can’t be automated will find themselves thinking about a perfect replica of human beings.

Thus, everything can.

Now, what shouldn’t? Anything that will remind us of our humanity.

Can automated machines write poems in 100 years? Yes (assuming the predicted perfection here again). But what is the point of a poem if its not the sense it makes to the actual writer? The use of a word varies so much from one writer to the other. One writer may just reach down a coat pocket to find the word; another is rips it off his/her guts.

Written by automated machines…the words used might create a powerful impact on readers (after all, AI will know best how to appeal to us) but the job will lose its intrinsic value.

In regards to poems.

1 Like

Well with the likes of Google Duplex I could certainly see a podcast arranged by AI, and possibly with SingularityNET multiple AI could work together to create a Sophia style conversationalist that could deliver the podcast.

It would certainly save me a lot of time… but then I wouldn’t get the chance to chat with some of the most amazing and intelligent people in the word. I am of course hoping some of their brilliance does rub off on me :star_struck:

1 Like

This is true, there is an ultimate vision I had in mind when writing the question. That vision is a time where we can implement a fully automated luxury communism, where everything that could be automated is automated.

So by asking what roles people think can’t be automated, it reveals what roles people think need the human touch, which then leads onto the question which roles shouldn’t be automated.

The question was designed to make our audience think about automation and the future and to what extent it could go :grin:

1 Like

Most celebs/public figures in the entertainment industry will be safe. I’m sure bots will have an ever growing niche in the industry as well though, and AI/bots will probs do most the backline stuff in the industry. The idea that AGI won’t be creative isn’t true imo though because creativity is such an abstract word. In some sense ANI can already be subjectively creative and these systems will only get better.

In terms of the argument that this jobs revolution will free people to do other things and that should be welcomed, I’m not too sure. If you’re a creative thinker with a decent IQ, then yeah deffo… but for non-creative low IQ people, this will be very, very bad. Some people need a job in order to find meaning, and a lot of people can’t do high skilled creative jobs. This is just a fact and we can’t turn a blind eye to this because it’s going to cause a major issue in our society.

1 Like

You’d be maybe surprised at just how easy it is now to recreate a person and make them say or do just about anything you want.

This technology is breathtaking but also for obvious reasons is very sensitive and potentially dangerous.

Already we have dead actors resurrected both on screen as well as onstage using holography.

I agree that one of the questions we should be asking is what do we do with all the time when we have less work or even no work to do, but I kind of think that the nature of work will change and what we see as work for sustenance will turn into work for the betterment of one’s own self and the greater good of us all.

None can say for certain what the future is, but we can track what it will likely be if things stay on the same track they are now.

I guess time will tell :slight_smile:

Yeah these so called ‘deep fakes’ are a very interesting yet concerning development.

In terms of the future of work changing, I totally agree it’ll have to completely change. My main worry though is most people compare this new wave of automation, to automation of the past. I don’t think it’s wise to compare automation of extremely simple labour to automation of complex cognition. As an example, during the first industrial revolution people went from repetitive agriculture jobs to repetitive factory jobs… that’s all good and well, but once you throw AI in the mix and a system that can learn/adapt to do all repetitive tasks, then people with a low IQ and very little creativity are out of the market forever.

I agree with you that this may open up some other brand new way of thinking about work, but my worry is that the powers that be aren’t preparing for that, they just think it’s business as usual. And that’s terrifying to me.

A really hard question. If taken in to account that robots will be able to do what we do including love then theirs nothing they cant automate or enjoy like us