With the ever-increasing technological advances of today’s world, it’s not hard to figure out that the future will become even more reliant on technology. Like a futuristic sci-fi movie, machines are taking over. Automation has already been implemented in many industries – we’ve all pressed pound for more options when calling customer service, or scanned our own groceries at the self-checkout station. It’s no secret that machines in the industrial and manufacturing sectors are no new thing. Even beyond these well-known machine invasions, automation is also in the forecast for many other jobs. In the not-too-distant future, these five jobs are on their way to becoming fully automated.
Fast food workers
Automation has been prevalent in food production factories for decades by cooking, preparing, and packaging food. This technology already exists, so implementing the same or a similar system in fast food kitchens wouldn’t be a stretch. When it comes to ordering the food you want, touch screens are already an option in some places. For instance, gas station chain Sheetz has been utilizing computer ordering in their food preparation section for years. Likewise, McDonald’s has touch screen kiosks for ordering at some of their locations, removing the need to talk to anyone at all. With a few tweaks, this same concept could be made possible in the drive-thru as well.
Many of the tasks of a bank teller have already been automated. Most banks allow you to deposit a check just by snapping a picture of it. ATMs are everywhere you look, letting you withdraw money with the push of a few buttons, while your bank’s ATM also lets you deposit cash into your accounts. Online banking accounts have made it easier to do all kinds of things from the comfort of your own home. You can now transfer funds from one account to another, check your balances, set up automatic payments, and more all from your cellular device.
What self check-outs did for retail automation, self check-ins are doing for reception areas. Computer screens set up in waiting areas allow patients to check themselves in; some emergency rooms have even implemented this technology as well. Telephone services have already been transformed into electronic people, while the internet allows patients to schedule their own appointments. Days of checking in with the receptionist sitting behind the little sliding glass window are almost over.
The postal service took a blow when email became a daily form of communication. Not only is email faster than traditional mail (earning the nickname “snail mail”), it also reduces the usage of paper products too. The cost of stamps, the time it takes to handwrite a letter and address the envelope, and, in some cases, the drive to the post office can easily be avoided by sending emails. In addition, most businesses now send electronic invoices. Today, online shopping isn’t providing a boost to the postal service, thanks to private delivery companies that are popping up everywhere. Automating the services still being provided by the postal service may be the only way to keep this industry going.
This one may seem like a stretch, especially for those of you who live in metropolitan areas like New York City. It seems that self-driving cars are a thing of the present, not the future. They haven’t been perfected yet, but plenty of automakers and transportation companies are trying their hand at driverless vehicles. Tesla, Volvo, Toyota, Uber, and even Google and Apple have tried or are trying to perfect this technology. When someone finally gets it right, we’ll be getting transported by the taxi, not just in the taxi.
There are pros and cons to the continued advancements in technology, but the fact remains that automation is expanding to more industries every year. Some of these changes will create easier, and simpler processes. Some of them may introduce new challenges and obstacles. Little by little, we’ve been introduced to electronic changes like these for decades. Whether these new technologies will create a futuristic utopia or a dystopian nightmare is yet to be seen.