The 20 jobs that robots are most likely to take over

GettyImages 88701456Hamish Blair/GettyUmpires and referees have a 98.3% chance of being automated.

Machines are only getting smarter and more efficient.

So much so that they’re starting to take over both blue-collar white-collar jobs.

NPR recently posted a guide created by researchers that predicts the chance of our jobs being automated within the next 20 years.

To make their projections, the experts scored jobs across 21 fields on nine possible traits, the four most important being: cleverness, negotiation, helping others, and squeezing into small spaces.

Mental health and substance abuse social workers appear to be in the clear, with a 0.3% chance of being automated.

Telemarketers, umpires, cashiers, and several other jobs that are already being replaced by robots, have reason to worry, however. You can interact with the full guide here.

While the researchers admitted that these percentages are rough, the data offers insights into what the future may look like.

19. Postal service workers

Postal service workers have a 95.4% chance of being automated.

Postal sorters, clerks, and mail carriers are being hit hard by automation. Not only are robots able to do tasks such as sort mail, but snail mail is becoming more and more obsolete with the increasing digitization of mail.

18. Jewellers and precious stone and metal workers

Jewellers and precious stone and metal workers have a 95.5% chance of being automated.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics predicts their employment to decline 10% between now and 2022 as robots begin assisting in the manufacturing and repairing of jewellery.

17. Restaurant cooks

Restaurant cooks have a 96.3% chance of being automated.

A noodle-slicing robot named Foxbot can be found at Dazzling Noodles, an open-kitchen restaurant chain in North China's Shanxi province.

There's another robot chef making crab bisque from scratch, thanks to 20 motors, 24 joints, and 129 sensors. The robot, designed by Moley Robotics, can complete the complicated dish in 30 minutes and even plates it.

16. Grinding and polishing workers

Grinding and polishing workers have a 97% chance of being automated.

Robots are increasingly able to grind or polish a variety of metal, wood, stone, clay, plastic, and glass objects.

15. Cashiers

Cashiers have a 97.1% chance of being automated.

Panera Bread announced that it will have replaced all of its cashiers with kiosks by 2016, according to a USA Today article.

Additionally, self-checkout machines are continuing to spring up in grocery stores around the world.

14. Bookkeepers

Bookkeepers have a 97.6% chance of being automated.

The Wall Street Journal reported that big companies such as Pilot Travel, Verizon Communications Inc., and GameStop Corp., among others, are using software to automate corporate bookkeeping tasks.

These companies now only need about 10 clerks to pay suppliers, as opposed to the 80 or so they would need without the robot bookkeepers.

13. Legal secretaries

Legal secretaries have a 97.6% chance of being automated.

Secretaries are disappearing from the job market now that technology allows bosses to field calls and arrange meetings themselves.

12. Fashion models

Fashion models have a 97.6% chance of being automated.

In addition to taking over fashion model jobs, robots are performing in other surprising ways, such as acting. Engineered Arts, a British company, has created a fully interactive and multilingual robot called the RoboThespian, which can hold eye contact, guess a person's mood and age, and break into song.

11. Drivers

Drivers have a 97.8% chance of being automated.

Drivers and chauffeurs won't be needed for much longer. Google's self-driving test cars have driven thousands of miles without human intervention. Also, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick loves the idea of autonomous vehicles and announced that Uber will eventually be replacing all of its drivers with cars that drive themselves.

10. Credit analysts

Credit analysts have a 97.9% chance of being automated.

Automating the process of analysing credit data and financial statements, and preparing reports with credit information, could result in a lower degree of risk.

9. Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders

Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders have a 97.9% chance of being automated.

Setting up, operating, or tending milling or planing machines is increasingly being delegated to machines.

8. Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders have a 98% chance of being automated.

Using robots to prepare industrial or consumer products for storage or shipment is becoming more and more prevalent. Amazon now uses an army of robots -- each 320 pounds and 16 inches tall -- to bring shelves of goods out of storage in order to be shipped, reported Time.

6. Umpires and referees

Umpires and referees have a 98.3% chance of being automated.

In professional tennis, a computerised umpire called Hawk Eye is already being used to help the chief umpire make close line calls. Players have the option of 'challenging' a call, in which the Hawk Eye system will display where the ball landed and whether or not it was in or out. Its decisions are final.

Hawk Eye represents just one system being used to solve disputes in sports.

5. Tellers

Tellers have a 98.3% chance of being automated.

Chances are you haven't used a human bank teller in a while. ATMs can provide most of the services that tellers offer.

4. Loan officers

Loan officers have a 98.4% chance of being automated.

A Bloomberg article reported that inroads are already being made at
Daric Inc., an online peer-to-peer lender. The company has replaced all loan officers with an algorithm that identifies safe borrowers.

3. Timing device assemblers and adjusters

Timing device assemblers and adjusters have a 98.5% chance of being automated.

Machines are now able to perform the precise assembling, adjusting, or calibrating that timing device assemblers specialize in.

2. Tax preparers

Tax preparers have a 98.7% chance of being automated.

Automating the process of preparing tax returns could result in much fewer errors, and the technology, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), already exists.

Now check out more jobs that robots performing that you never would have guessed...

A robot delivers dishes at a restaurant in Hefei, Anhui.

14 surprising jobs that robots are doing

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