Little by little, advances in technology and science are setting the scene for the next industrial revolution, which will change our world and lives in unimaginable ways.
While living in the future might seem great, some prospects are worrying. According to the Oxford Economics report, around 20 million people will lose their jobs due to automation by 2030.
However, many experts admit that the development of technology will create entirely new industries and hence new jobs. Predictions are a risky business, given the pace of technological development. However, we still may anticipate certain changes to take place based on today’s trends.
This article presents five jobs that do not yet exist and are a product of imagination inspired by modern technology. The good news is no one is limiting you from turning imagination into reality. Who knows, maybe you will become the first person to have some of the jobs described below?
Without further ado, here are the five jobs we may see coming by 2030.
Photo by Fluid Interfaces group, MIT Media Lab
Design narrated sleep sessions to help users become better versions of themselves.
Why this job?
We sleep for a third of our lives. While we know that sleep is essential for our wellbeing, one-third still sounds terrifying, given that we spend this time unconscious.
However, the sleep research offers a consolation: it turns out that the transition state from wakefulness to sleep — also known as hypnagogia — can be a key to meaningful sleep and may increase creativity, combat stress, heighten self-awareness, and improve work performance.
Several research teams worldwide already work on prototyping the devices that detect and sustain a person in a half-asleep state. The device should pair with a smart speaker that, once a person is in hypnagogia, starts a voiced-over session created and tailored by a sleep designer for a person's needs. The themes can be anything and will be limited only by the designer’s imagination and client expectations: some will search for inspiration and creativity, some will seek trauma or phobia healing, others will continue learning even in their dreams.
The first sleep designers will probably be the members of the R & D teams behind the sleeping devices. However, when the technology becomes widespread and affordable, there will be a demand for sleep designers offering their sleep solutions (every device could even come with a preinstalled “sleep store” offering a wide range of smart sleep options).
A sleep designer's job will require psychology training, extensive coaching experience, and some knowledge of technology.
Evaluate humanoid robots for creepiness and help robot designers to build beautiful robots.
Why this job?
In 1970, Masahiro Mori, a robotics professor from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, introduced the uncanny valley theory. The theory is simple: our affinity for robots grows with their human likeness, but only until a point at which we start feeling revulsion. Although the theory may sound simple, it is more complex than that, as no one actually knows when exactly our affection turns into aversion and why this happens.
For example, it is quite likely that a robot on the image below, known as Pepper, will evoke a more positive emotional response from a person than a robotic arm.
But what if Pepper gets more human features? Will we love it even more? Hard to tell, but one thing is certain: sometimes too much detail is just wrong. To get an idea of what a creepy robot looks like, try googling for “CB2 robot”, which IEEE ranks 3rd creepiest robot of all times. Be warned, though: at no circumstances open a video with this robot. You will lose your sleep.
As more and more robots enter our lives, there will be a pressing need for experts to guard our mental sanity against the robots causing nightmares. That’s why this job seems likely to appear in the nearest future.
People doing this job will most likely be designers and user experience engineers trained for a new skill of sensing the uncanny valley in the robots we will buy for our offices, schools, and families. In addition to strong intuition, an artistic eye, and exceptional communication skills, uncanny valley experts will need some courage. In the end, the best way to evaluate a robot is to spend some time together with it. And that includes night time.
Collect insights from people’s personal data and provide tailored coaching advice on improving one’s life.
Why this job?
With the growing online presence, how we approach many routine tasks have changed. Take any daily activity, add “app” to it, and you will most likely find it in the app store: shopping, banking, dating, healthy eating, smoking, hand walking, etc. Each of these activities generates an enormous amount of data, which may tell us a lot about ourselves when analyzed properly. That’s where a personal data coach might come in handy.
A data coach's job will be to take full control over a person’s data to find patterns in their digital behavior and how it agrees with their life goals. A coach will particularly look at phone and computer use patterns, music and video play history, message history, calendar, and whatever she deems relevant. Having analyzed the data, the coach will provide a person with a step-by-step plan or list of suggestions for a more mindful and purposeful life.
People working in this field will need data science training, knowledge of machine learning libraries, and data visualization skills combined with extensive personal coaching or psychotherapeutic experience.
Find and neutralize malicious AI software.
Why this job?
The idea of a malicious AI has become commonplace in today’s discussions about artificial intelligence safety. While many engineers consider the idea of an AI turning against its creators far-fetched, plenty of notable thinkers and scientists point out the threats posed by the superintelligence. Particularly, they mention two scenarios:
The AI is programmed to do something devastating (e.g., an autonomous weapon or a malicious botnet). The AI is programmed to do something beneficial. Still, it develops a destructive method for achieving its goal (e.g., an AI programmed to enjoy calming down a crying baby starts hurting the child so it can soothe her again).
Although it is implausible that we will have an AI capable of taking an evil path of its own will within ten years, having an AI programmed to do something destructive is not too unrealistic. Therefore, it is very likely that we will see a surge in highly-trained individuals whose work will be to hunt and eliminate the evil AI software in the nearest future.
A present-day example of how this job may look is a recent successful Microsoft attack on a malicious botnet network operated by a criminal group, which took Microsoft almost eight years to prepare. Although, if an operation of such a scale is required soon due to an AI bot posing a serious threat to our financial centers or supply chains, a “hunter team” will need to act much faster.
In addition to military-grade hacking and network tracking skills, this job will require enormous endurance, great teamwork skills, and nearly inhuman stress tolerance.
Provide support to identity theft victims and help them get back to their lives with minimal losses.
Why this job?
Stealing identities is big business. Every year millions of Americans have their identity stolen and need to pay a cumulative $1.7 billion out of their pockets. And while many are starting to take their online security seriously, cyberattacks are becoming more ambitious. Likely, the number of people affected by identity theft will only grow in the future.
The job of identity theft mitigators will be to ensure that the damage to a person’s financial reputation and financial losses are minimal after identity theft occurs. Specifically, they will serve as mediators between an identity theft victim on the one side and banks, insurance companies, and online resources where the data theft occurred on the other. Theft mitigators will help a person to recover their financial reputation and reconsider some of their online habits.
The skills required for this job include serious knowledge of law and tax regulations, digital forensic training, and well-trained emotional intelligence.
Also published here.