Technology has been at a race with us throughout history, sometimes friend and sometimes foe. He has never been more fierce and swift than now.
By now most of us have seen the news about how technology is taking over entire sectors of our lives. Some of it has been good,some have been bad. It all depends on how you make use of it.
I’d like to list down how I believe technology will take a huge portion of our jobs – including mine.
Uber annihilated decades of career drivers. It signed on regular people willing to participate and dip their feet into the realm of career drivers. Slowly but surely they took over. Now, Uber has not ceased in it’s advancement and is alienating the same driver base who let them change the landscape and fought with them to get them off the ground. They now have autonomous vehicles rolling in PA. When this becomes acceptable in the minds of the people, similar fleets will start to come out in the large cities.
Farmbot, a CNC based robot allows you to have a fully automated garden. From seeding, to weeding, irrigation and soil moisture monitoring. You program the garden plot using a web based app and it will do the rest of the day to day work for you. I am not sure how well this would perform, but it is a hint of things to come. It comes in what may be a fairly easy to assemble kit and everything is open sourced. Gardening implements are 3D printable, you can make your own or download thru thewarehouse. Something like this would open up a possibility for a servicing contract; a local guy will maintain your farmbot in your area. You maybe lease the farmbot, he services it, and you enjoy the fresh produce it yields. Currently it is rather pricey for the return of produce you get. It will get cheaper.
Me and my family like to check out garage sales.On one of these occasions I met Mark. He was part of a recently bankrupted startup. He was the head engineer of what seemed like a 10 man office. They made automated backup systems for large corporations. Their units sold for around $120,000 each, the price of some hypercars-definitely not consumer level tech. Due to pricing, their company went bankrupt and him and others of similar caliber of skill and expertise are out there with their own endeavors. His endeavor, he told me, is to open up a local workshop. Think high tech Makerspace.
MY CAREER PATH CHANGING
I work in the design and construction industry. I have been trying to understand how this wave of robotics will affect my profession. I have been at this career for more than a decade now and was trying to figure out where to take it. I did not fully understand how robotics and technology would take away my job. I figured current software would require me to transition to that, but that would be it.
Earlier today I stumbled upon an article. I was running a search for jobs tied to automation. This works by typing automation + any noun for a job. I.e. automation engineer; automation developer; automation chef…you get it. By chance I typed automation design and read this great article from a tech website.
My technology enemy of choice was not a mechanical one. It was not a “software” that I would use in the office as a tool. My technology enemy of choice will be AI-software that will remove designers like myself out of the equation in designing a building.
AI will set the parameters that will allow anyone to build their home via an app. It will be fun and engaging for the home owner. They can decide the size of the house, locate rooms and resize doors and windows. They will see it in real time, designing will not require the skill of visualizing the space. Construction conflicts will be avoided as the AI will know to run piping to where the client wants their shower. The materials, structure will all come with predetermined loads and the structural design is put together via the same AI. Maybe at the end of it a human stamps the drawings. Maybe not.
This will probably be tied to VR, and the designing of your home will be done in a virtual reality environment. You cannot compete with that experience.
Perhaps my profession will split into extremes. Some of us will work as tech support-customer service reps to the software. We will help clients figure out why the AI is not letting them do something they want.
Another group of us will work for the corporations who do not want to design it themselves. They will be needing some kind of representative/liason who will make the design component meet up with the financial goals of the larger project.
Some of us will work as stamp+seal mills, reviewing fantastical designs for code compliance to the local city, and stamping it for quality control.
I get it now, how this technology will affect my particular career path. I do not want to become a tech support personnel, sitting in a cubicle 9 hrs a day. I also do not want to work for a large corporation, detached from the end user of the project.
Luckily for me, I decided early on that I will not be working in this career forever. I had wanted to find my niche as an entrepreneur so that I have more freedom to choose how I will spend my time. This giant shift to my profession is now more of an ultimatum to me. My future will be significantly impacted by this, it is only a matter of time. With the knowledge of AI, I can at least anticipate the time line I have left. I have no excuse to delay my pursuits and to build my own business.
This is how I am affected by the changes coming. Do not be mistaken thinking that your jobs and plans will not be affected by technology in some way.
I do see opportunity in this, if I were to choose to stay in the same profession. Right now, with all my frustrations in how the industry works I am not sure I want to stay in it. This disruptive technology will most likely level the playing field and enable thousands of people access to better homes. If I am to take part in this profession, it would be to enable those thousands of people how to make this technology work for them and help them achieve the homes they deserve. I would work alongside this AI “enemy” and just let both it and myself to serve the people.