Don't worry, we can still perform certain jobs unlike robots, says renowned physicist

KUCHING: Not every worker will lose their job to robots in the digital future, according to renowned futurist and theoretical physicist Dr Michio Kaku (pic).

He identified three categories of future jobs for human workers which robots would not be able to perform.

The first, which might come as a surprise, is semi-skilled labour, such as plumbers, electricians, sanitary workers and carpenters.

"Robots cannot pick up garbage. Robots cannot fix a broken toilet. They cannot design and build a house.

"Semi-skilled manual labour cannot be done by robots," he said in his keynote address, "The World in 2030", at the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak 2019 here on Monday (July 8).

Another area would be jobs involving human interactions, such as lawyers, counsellors or professors, Kaku said.

The third and most important, according to him, was what he called intellectual capital jobs or "products of the mind".

"Innovation, creativity, analysis - none of this can be done by robots. So, we're talking about a future where jobs will be available," he said, adding that this included jobs for analysts, artists and scientists.

On the flip side, he said those who stood to lose out were repetitive workers - who did the same thing over and over again - and middle men who created "friction" in capitalism.

Kaku also said he believed the world was entering the fourth era of wealth generation driven by artificial intelligence, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

This in turn would give rise to a "perfect capitalism", where there would be "perfect knowledge" of supply and demand between consumers and companies.

"What about humans? Humans are going to be in the picture because humans are required for intellectual capital," he concluded.

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