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What jobs will flourish in the future. And which you should avoid. | Michio Kaku | Big Think

What jobs will flourish in the future. And which you should avoid.
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As robots and automation take over jobs, there will still be some occupations where humans will be preferred. Theoretical physicist and best-selling author Michio Kaku weighs in on the kind of job skills you need to have to stay employed and relevant in the near future.
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MICHIO KAKU:

Dr. Michio Kaku is the co-founder of string field theory, and is one of the most widely recognized scientists in the world today. He has written 4 New York Times Best Sellers, is the science correspondent for CBS This Morning and has hosted numerous science specials for BBC-TV, the Discovery/Science Channel. His radio show broadcasts to 100 radio stations every week. Dr. Kaku holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York (CUNY), where he has taught for over 25 years. He has also been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, as well as New York University (NYU).
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TRANSCRIPT:

Michio Kaku: People often ask me the question, “In the era of AI what jobs and what skills will I need?”

Well, first of all let’s take a look at the first era of space exploration the 1960s.

There was a crash program back then to miniaturize the transistor. That’s why our astronauts like John Glenn, they’re short people. They were tiny people.

The Russian astronauts, they’re also very tiny because they have to fit inside the nose cone of a missile, and we scientists were given the mission to miniaturize transistors as far as possible.

Now, as a consequence of that, we have what is called the Internet age today. All the goodies you see in your living room, all the telecommunication wonders of the Internet were in part a consequence of this mass drive to miniaturize transistors, because we were in the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Now, as we enter the second golden era there’s going to be yet another crash program to miniaturize computers even more.

This means transistors made out of molecules, quantum computers, a whole new era of computation.

So there could be yet another golden age of computer technology emerging because of the emphasis placed on going to Mars with the cheapest, lightest possible object, and this means even more computer power.

Then the other question is: “Well, what are the jobs that are going to be there in the future?”

Well, first of all I tell people that semiskilled work will be with us for many decades to come, including garbage men, sanitation workers, plumbers, policemen, gardeners, construction workers. You see, robots cannot pick up garbage. Robots cannot design a garden. Robots cannot solve a crime.

We forget that robots are very bad at pattern recognition! Robots cannot fix your toilet, and they probably won’t be able to for many decades to come. In fact the Pentagon even sponsored the DARPA Challenge to create a Fukushima robot. Their job was to take our skills of today and build a robot that could clean up Fukushima.

This means A, driving a car, B, getting out of the car, C, sweeping the floor, turning a valve and doing some simple maintenance work that a five-year-old kid could do. Well, the results are on the Internet. You can download them and they’re hilarious. You see many robots falling over with the inability to get up because they’re like an upside down turtle; they‘re simply stuck on the floor.

We have a long ways to go before we master pattern recognition at the level of a plumber, at the level of a gardener.

The job to avoid in the future, however, are the middleman jobs, for example, brokers and low-level tellers and accountants. For example, today when you go to a stockbroker you no longer buy stock. Now you may say to yourself, “That’s stupid, everybody knows when you go to a stockbroker you buy stock, I mean what else are you going to buy?” Well, no. You don’t buy stock when you go to a stockbroker. You can buy stock on your wristwatch so why bother to go to a stockbroker? Because you want something that stockbrokers provide that robots cannot. And that is intellectual capital. That means experience, know how, savvy, innovation, talent, leadership—none of which computers and robots can provide.

So the large explosion of jobs in the future will be jobs that robots cannot do, i.e. Jobs involving pattern recognition and jobs involving common sense, as well as middlemen jobs that involve intellectual capital, …

For the full transcript, check out https://bigthink.com/videos/michio-kaku-in-the-era-of-ai-and-automation-what-job-skills-do-you-need-most

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