Digital Disruption To Jobs

How digital assets will change the job marketplace

Everyone has heard about how robots will replace humans in lots of jobs, and this is seemingly a scary proposition for some, and the conversation even extends to Artificial Intelligence, and fears that the Terminator series of movies may come to reality.

Looking back over the Industrial Age, ours jobs, or really most of our jobs were really not in existence 100 years ago. So is it really a surprise that these jobs may not be the same in the next 100 years. I would struggle to name 10 jobs that have not changed in some way over the last 100 years.

Maybe its just the fear that for the first time, some human only jobs could actually have a competitor in the shape of a machine.

Its not just factory workers that are being replaced by machines, lots of journalists are currently being replaced by machines. This computers run programs that take information from one source, add more content that is relevant, and produce a unique article for another paper (or a website). You have to feel sorry for the office bound journalist – they may actually have to go out and be the originator of news, or can the average Joe on the street identify a story, and sell that story on?

The newspapers are not the last people to be dramatically effected by digital technology. They are just the present example along with Taxi owners as to what digital technology can do to your job. Imagine being a taxi plate owner these days, not only have they got Uber drivers now – people who have a low barrier of entry into the marketplace, but they also have driverless technology coming along. Maybe thats why the government who regulates the Taxi industry has let the technology of Uber in? Uber isn’t really a technology, it was just a marketplace where a driver and a passenger could meet online, agree on a pick up point and off they went.

Enough of the obvious technology, what about what is next and does Australia have a role to play?

Can a robot build a house?

Australia is participating in this disruptive technology. Fastbrick at Perth, is a listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with code (FBR), is valued at M$181 Aussie dollars as of November 2017. Hadrian X as the robot is called, is part of a package that is designed and preparing to be a house with a lot less labour involved.


robotic builder
Hadrian X is a robot that can help build a house. Click on the photo to watch a video of Hadrian.

Amazing technology, and probably a game changer for housing construction. Where will this lead to? will it decrease costs? change materials of construction?, bring a house to market quicker? imagine a house being build during the night? these are great questions. For me, thats an interesting dynamic. Not just for the bricklayer, but for the home investor. Can these buildings be produced cheaper than the existing stock? will existing stock prices fall or will the robot built houses have a much larger profit margin in them? If you were to get your new house cheaper, that will really help your cashflow, but if you own a house are you going to be happy that there is no price growth for years to come?

What about Taxi’s and Driverless Cars?

Its in the news regularly, and its happening. Driverless cars and trucks are appearing on Australian roads rapidly. There are 3D printed buses in trials all around the country. Its hard to put in context what is occurring until you see this wonderfull chart in this article on where the value of a Taxi licence in Sydney dropped from $400,000 to $200,000 due to Uber entering the country. As Uber continues to become mainstream, when will driverless cars enter, and what will that do to the taxi drivers, who now are also Uber drivers, and soon to be seeking other work….

Uber launched in 2010 in San Fransisco and in the Seven years since, has risen in Valuation and has penetrated most markets of the world with its platform that essentially let us do exactly what we could do before, but via a non-regulated (i.e. pay Governments licence fees) system that provided flexibility in fares based on supply and demand. In peak hours people are enticed to be service providers, and in quiet times they do other things. The taxi’s drivers had to work ‘shifts’. For the Taxi licence plate owners, the market value has been reduced. I assume the government are still getting the same licence fees, but I can’t see them issuing new stock any time soon.

Its driverless trucks for me – these vehicles can be altered for size and payload transfer. They can operate 24 hours a day without a break too!. Does that mean we will need 30% less trucks on the road? If they operate at night can we take them off the road at peak hour and remove a significant amount of traffic?.

What about all those truck owners and drivers? whilst I’m sure there are a lot of commuters that will be happy to see the trucks go driverless, there could be some significant disruption. Will we need freight trains as much anymore? Only the next few years will tell. Its happening right now in Australia, and both the trucks and the house builder could be commonplace in 5 years from now.

How a Digital Agency can help your business?

All business’ have the opportunity to have digital assets or to be seeking digital assets they can add to their services. Wether that be their website, their social media engagement, webinars for internal and external use, software for their business, or all the way to assisted robotic help. Even using outsourcing around the world is a digital asset. Bluegum Digital can help your business identify what digital assets could be added to your business. To contact David click here or call 0458022400.