Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Radiologists: “These are medical doctors that require a tremendous amount of training,” says Martin Ford, a Silicon Valley software developer and author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future. “Still, the work is routine and focused on interpreting visual images – and machines are getting better and better at this.”

Artur Gabrysiak/Getty Images/iStockphoto

1 of 7

Analysts: Insurance risk analysis, underwriting, financial analysis: If it’s “routine work that produces formulaic reports,” says Mr. Ford, it’s ripe for the digital axe.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

2 of 7

Lawyers: Legal research is already becoming automated, and computers are starting to decide if specific legal actions are even worth pursuing. “The practice of law is a rules-based system with elements of game theory,” says Toronto-based futurist and author Richard Worzel, “and both of these play to the strengths of computers.”

Frances Twitty/Getty Images/iStockphoto

3 of 7

Orderlies: Mr. Worzel sees a time when people wearing “robotic exoskeletons to increase strength and stability” will lift hospital patients – until robots get strong enough to do it all themselves.

Stockbyte/Getty Images

4 of 7

Story continues below advertisement

Chemists: As computers do more grunt work, an undergrad degree is no longer a ticket into an entry-level lab assistant gig. “There will be dramatically fewer opportunities for those without a PhD,” warns Mr. Ford, “and even some higher level work done by those with advanced degrees is likely to be affected as the amount of data increases and can be interpreted only algorithmically.”

Avner Richard/Getty Images/iStockphoto

5 of 7

Pharmacists: Robots are already able to dispense drugs, if not the expert advice of a pharmacist.

Thinkstock Images

6 of 7

Truck drivers: Once the legal and insurance issues are ironed out, Mr. Worzel sees robots getting behind the wheel of trucks en masse. “Self-driving cars are currently getting all the attention,” he says, “but the corps of long-distance truck drivers is aging rapidly, and may soon be supplemented by increasingly automated driving systems.” Ditto for trains and urban transit systems.

Chris Bolin/The Globe and Mail

7 of 7

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies