Tool to help avoid robot-caused layoffs

Nicholas McElroy
(Australian Associated Press)


Help is at hand for Australian students and workers worried about how and when robots are expected to impact their jobs.

A new tool lets users type their job, location and qualifications into a computer program which reveals within seconds challenges their career path could face.

It was developed by a university amid growing student concerns over robots replacing “intellectual” work and aims to help users understand how jobs will change amid rapid advances in technology.

The Future of Work Predictor, developed by the University of New England, draws on research into how jobs will change in the future.

The tool breaks the Australian economy down into over 3,000 different jobs and then breaks those jobs into thousands of separate tasks.

University marketing director Anthony Smith said “intellectual” work will be impacted by technology.

“Intellectual work is now affected, for example lots of lawyers and a lot of accountants, these people realise artificial intelligence is going to penetrate chunks of their work,” Mr Smith said.

He said some students tend to think it will be beneficial to learn how technology works.

But he said experts suggest it may be better specialise in creative work.

“The idea is to specialise in areas that are more difficult for machines,” Mr Smith said.

“That’s often more in the creative space, anything to do with human interaction, human relationships, what they call the soft skills which are harder for machines and artificial intelligence.”

The tool allows users to understand the changes to be faced in the next two, five and 12 years.

The predictor can be found at:


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