Jobs of the future: What will our children do?

By Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington, April Koury and Helena Calle, Fast Future

Eight years ago, we wrote a report for the UK government on The Shape of Jobs to Come. The study highlighted new jobs that might emerge in the global economy by 2030. Many of those are now real jobs and the rest are still likely to materialise.

As an update on those ideas, our recent books The Future of Business, Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, and The Future Reinvented – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business we discuss a whole range of new industries and professions that might emerge as a result of these exponential advances. Presented below are a selection of 11 new jobs that we think could rise to the fore in the coming decade.

Lifestyle services

  1. Robo-Nanny – Replacing the human nanny or au pair, future robotic child carers could become a constant companion to our children at every stage of their development. Every facet of their character could be selected and tweaked by parents – emotional intelligence, values, ethics, levels of optimism, and even how the bot responds to difficult situations such as the passing of a grandparent. The bot could also be programmed to introduce new learning topics, languages, and life skills as required.

  1. Sexual Compatibility Consultant – The risk of choosing an inappropriate partner and then having the “wrong” child could see the rise of compatibility specialists. These experts would use AI algorithms to assess everything from IQ and EQ to genetic makeup and family medical history to try and ensure we find the right mating partner.

  1. Longevity Relationship Counsellors – With humans expected to live 120 years plus and technology continuing to blur the line between robot and human, new types of marriage and relationship counsellors may emerge. These lifelong counsellors will help coach and guide individuals and their many partners across all stages and types of relationships, from traditional monogamy to polygamy and even human-robot or human-VR interminglings.

Enhancement specialists

  1. Memory Adaptation SpecialistsA memory specialist may help us modify our memories and reduce mental health issues. People would be able to erase traumatic memories and replace them with positive ones. The process might be conducted by a specialist with training in psychotherapy and neuroscience. Modifying our memories could have a major impact on our personality. The memory specialist would help you choose the traumatic events you need to erase. The replacement procedure would be done after a series of introspective consultations. A wide catalogue of pleasant memories would be available for your selection. People would choose what they want to remember.
  1. Human Enhancement Technician – As a society, we are starting to augment the human body with chemical, genetic, electronic, and physical enhancements. Body shops will appear on the high street where appropriately trained technicians will be able to perform these upgrades – administering nootropic drugs, genetic modifications, 3D printed limbs, and electronic brain stimulation.

New societal roles

  1. Crypto Detective – The spread of crypto currencies and initial coin offerings has led to high levels of fraud and concerns over the scale of crypto based shadow economy transactions. Specialist detectives backed up by AI will be required to unravel crime in the cryptosphere.
  1. Robot Whisperers – Artificially intelligent robots may comprise a significant part of the future workforce in retail, food service and hospitality. Companies deploying such robots may require a staff of professional human Robot Whisperers to stand guard whenever the bots interact with the public. This job would involve behind-the-scenes monitoring of robotic chefs and customer service robots to make sure they don’t run over a person’s foot or knock over a gas grill or cause other such hazards. The Whisperer would also monitor for undesirable behvioral changes as the robots learn from and adapt to their environment. Although robotic employees could be highly efficient and autonomous, it is possible that unexpected stimuli in the environment could result in accidents or injuries. Robot Whisperers would be a profession geared toward instilling public trust in robot workers.
  1. Inter-AI Conflict Resolution Specialist – AIs will increasingly need to collaborate. Our personal intelligent assistant may need to interact with the AIs of our bank, our employers, and all the vendors who serve us. Not all AIs will be born equal or have common goals, so disputes could arise. Human arbitrators may need to intervene to get the best outcome for humanity in these disputes.

New industries – new professions

  1. Autonomous Vehicle Ethicist – we will need to establish the guiding principles for decisions made by autonomous vehicles. For example, who or what should the car hit if an accident is inevitable. Depending on where you are in the world the decision will be governed by different ethical and religious considerations, societal norms, and even economic factors.
  1. Chief Augmentation Officer (CAO) – Within a decade, an increasing number of staff could be seeking bodily augmentations that render them close to superhuman cyborgs. These humans 2.0 may need to have different management, working conditions, and workplace rights – all designed and overseen by the CAO.
  1. Space Junk Removal Supervisor – Near Earth orbit is increasingly congested by the remnants of old space missions, obsolete satellites, and the results of accidental collisions and losses. At the same time, the space sector is expected to explode – encompassing everything from asteroid mining and space tourism to the establishment of off world colonies. In response, dependent upon the type of junk being targeted, different fleets of specialised space craft would be controlled, deployed, and coordinated by Space Junk Removal Supervisors based at contractors’ ground stations. The experience in low Earth orbit will drive new policies, agreements, and procedures to prevent a similar issue developing around the Moon and Mars.