How much longer will most unskilled jobs exist?


This is totally off the wall but a link on Hacker News about leaving at 5pm and a response to that link got me wondering, just how much longer will most unskilled jobs continue to exist.

For example, how much longer is the job of convenience store clerk even going to exist? Already most major supermarkets have self−serve checkout lines. Could a convenience store just have self service checkout? Of course there is the issue of security. Who's to prevent people from just walking out with the goods. But let's go a little further.

Google's got self driving cars. How long till all shipping is done by A.I? There have been for a long time robot run warehouses. How long until the entire supply chain for retail goods is robot assembles, robot delivers, robot stocks selves at store, self checkout. For that matter, robot delivers to my door. Why even have the convenience store in the first place where from my phone I can ask a robot car to deliver right where I am.

I realize that it's probably a long way off but you never know. I grew up before ATM machines when I'd be with my mom every time she had to go to the bank to get some cash to go shopping. When was the last time you went to a teller? I grew up when going to a gas station meant an attendant came and filed up your tank. Unless you live in Oregon, when was the last time you even talked to an attendant at a gas station? I drive up, put in my card, fill it up, and leave. No interaction with any attendants. Video stores are mostly gone. Music stores are gone. Bookstores, at least the chains, are dying. I love them but that's beside the point. Things are changing. People get their news from the net. They get their books either through Amazon or on their Kindle. India will have $40 tablets if they don't already so this isn't a rich people thing.

I grew up before printers were common when typewriters were the norm. Then came low−res dot matrix printers and laser printers in 1985 where $4000+. Now a color printer is $50 and if you stick in nice paper it will print beautiful full color photos. Looking at 3d printers it only seems a few years away until you'll be able to print quite a few things at home. While I suspect it will be a long time before you can print an iPad it doesn't seem that far off until you can print most kitchen utensils, most non−soft Ikea like furniture, most flatware, tableware, bottles, containers, cabinets, bookshelves, chair, phone covers, etc.. And who knows, if they can print something as complex as human organs maybe printing computers is not that far off.

I guess the point is BIG CHANGE IS COMING. It will be exciting think about all the problems and possibilities.

Orange County is not White