Technology is coming for Australian jobs, but white-collar workers have a lot more to fear than blue-collar workers, according to a visiting Canadian expert in the area.
Dr Andrew Miller, who will address the Urban Development Institute Congress in Perth on Tuesday, said artificial intelligence (AI) will not be implemented in most physical jobs.
He said technology such as ChatGPT, which uses artificial intelligence algorithms to generate human-like text, will have profound effects on the way work gets done..
“But it’s going to change the world of work for white-collar people who spend a lot of time typing, people who use a lot of computers,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
“But for people who work with their hands, the AI will be less able to do that,” he said, adding that robot deliveries could soon be commonplace in Australia.
Technology is coming for Australian jobs, but white-collar workers have a lot more to fear than blue-collar workers, said Dr. Andrew Miller (pictured with a robotic delivery vehicle in Tokyo).
Trucker Luke McCrone described a trial of self-driving trucks in Melbourne last November as a “job kill”, but Dr Miller said such technology will not lead to overall job loss.
“Maybe you no longer have a driver hauling a load a long distance, but the truck will need to be loaded, secured, kept safe, weighed,” he said. saying.
‘There’s all sorts of work that still needs to be done in logistics and shipping, but less in just operating the vehicle from one place to another.
“People will do less of that and more of these other things that, so far, only a human being can do.”
A company called Wing can deliver up to 250 Coles items to addresses in Canberra (pictured)
In November 2022, driverless trucks traveled at 80km/h in the “fast lane” of a Melbourne motorway (one of the driverless trucks pictured)
Dr. Miller, who works as a senior leader in urban solutions for multinational group Hatch, doesn’t like the use of the term “autonomous vehicle” for self-driving cars.
‘If something is autonomous, it implies that it makes all the decisions. So a self-driving car, if there is such a thing, you would get in it and it would take you where it thought you needed to go,” she said.
“But an automated car is one where it drives, you tell it where you want to drive and it drives.
‘The driving task is automated but it is not autonomous. It’s not making decisions for you.
Regardless of what people call the technology, it is coming, even though some people fear and resist it.
Dr Miller compared it to the work of elevator operators, which existed, for example, at Grace Brothers department store in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall until around 30 years ago.
Dr. Andrew Miller said people who drive their own cars will go the way of jobs for elevator operators (pictured)
But in an earlier time, when elevator operators were commonplace everywhere, “the idea of getting into an elevator where there wasn’t a professional to drive it, so to speak, was ludicrous,” said Dr. Miller.
“We have to watch (the 1960s TV series) Mad Men to remember a world like that where there were elevator operators,” he added.
“And that’s how it was going to be with (automated) driving. One day, people will find it hard to believe that they didn’t have cars that could drive themselves.’
Drone delivery of goods may sound like something out of science fiction, but it already exists in Canberra, where a company called Wing can deliver up to 250 Coles items.
Dr. Miller was not surprised that Wing chose Canberra to start with, as it’s “a city that’s not as dense, the people are less spread out, so it’s cheaper to send it by air than trying to find a land way.”
He thinks that for very dense cities, like Sydney or Melbourne, robot delivery on the ground would make more sense than using drones, but he said big changes need to be made in Australian cities to accommodate the technology.
“Since the robots are going to be using the walkways, they shouldn’t have to fight pedestrians for that space. Make the trails bigger so there is room for humans and robots,’ he said.
Robot taxis, like the one pictured, are already in use in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and, closer to home, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
He also said that bike lanes would need to be made bigger so that there could be room for cyclists and cyclists and also for robots, and that the extra space would have to come from private cars.
You don’t want people driving through your city from A to B anyway. Look what Paris is doing. Look what Barcelona is doing,’ he said.
“The future of big global cities is one where we take space away from private cars…and more for people to get out and move around and, in the future, for robots to get out and move around.”
If a lack of space for cars makes driving less desirable, it will create an opportunity for the robotic taxis already in use in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and, closer to home, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
‘These are things that are happening right now. They are not happening in Australia because Australia has not made creating such things a business and perhaps that is the right move,” said Dr. Miller.
‘It’s not for me to tell Australia what it should and shouldn’t do. My point is that if this is something Australians wanted, they could have it in no time.
“That’s what I would say to the prime minister, he has to work with state and city governments to make cities less hospitable to private cars and more hospitable to everything else.”
Drone technology (pictured) may work well in a less densely populated city like Canberra
However, he said that proper regulation is vital and that Uber’s model of setting up and asking for permission later is not the right way to do things.
“Silicon Valley’s creed was to move fast and break things, (that) it’s better to want change, so you go ahead and change things, you don’t wait for permission because that takes too long.
“And that’s a perfectly good motto when it comes to software development, but it allows you to (move) physical objects at high speeds through crowded spaces.
“You absolutely don’t want to break things when you’re moving things around in a (crowded) space,” he said.