Jobs of the future

Listen to The jobs we’ll lose to machines, discuss Will a robot do your job in the future? and read As robots replace old jobs, new jobs should be invented to have the background information to write a journal entry.


Think about the role of robots and automation in the workforce today and how it is different from the past. How do you think it will change in the future? Write a journal entry of around 200 words on the topic of jobs of the future.

Go to Unit 1 Journal Writing for more writing ideas

As robots replace old jobs, new jobs should be invented

Read through this article from The New York Times by Garry Kasparov titled As Robots Replace Old Jobs, New Jobs Should Be Invented.

Match the words on the left to the correct definitions on the right:

  1. adaptable –                                  A. boring and dull
  2. doomsaying –                              B. copy
  3. replicate –                                    C. use of automatic equipment
  4. capable –                                      D. to change to suit a new situation
  5. liberate –                                      E. waste something without thought
  6. tedious –                                       F. to predict a negative future
  7. automation –                               G. to free or release
  8. squandered –                               H. able to achieve something


Answers: 1D, 2F, 3B, 4H, 5G, 6A, 7C, 8E

For more activities on reading the news go to Unit 4 Reading News Reports.

Will a robot do your job in the future?

Discuss these questions about jobs with a partner.

  1. Do you have a job now? What is it?
  2. Could a computer do your job? Explain why or why not?
  3. What types of jobs can computers or robots do now?
  4. What types of jobs will computers or robots do in the future?
  5. What is your opinion on machines doing jobs.
  6. Will a robot do your job in the future?

Now paraphrase to another person what your partner’s opinion is. Use your own words to explain what they have discussed.

For more activities on paraphrasing go to Unit 11 Paraphrasing.

The jobs we’ll lose to machines

Listen to this lecture on TED Talks by Anthony Goldbloom about machine learning and our future. Take notes as you listen to the lecture.

Use your notes to complete these points:

  • 9 months –
  • 2013 –
  • 1 in 2 –
  • 100’s of 1,000’s –
  • early ’90s –
  • 2012 –
  • 10,000 –
  • 40 years –
  • 50,000 –
  • millions –
  • World War 2 –
  • frequent, high-volume tasks – 
  • tackling novel situations –
9 months - the age of his niece
2013 - researchers at Oxford University did a study on the future of work
1 in 2 - jobs have a high risk of being automated by machines
100's of 1,000's - experts to solve important problems for industry and academia
early '90s - machine learning started making its way into industry 
2012 - a challenge was set to build an algorithm that could grade high-school essays
10,000 - a teacher might read 10,000 essays 
40 years - a 40-year teaching career
50,000 - an ophthalmologist might see 50,000 eyes
millions - a machine can read millions of essays or see millions of eyes within minutes
World War 2 - the microwave oven was invented
frequent, high-volume tasks - machines are getting smarter and smarter
tackling novel situations - humans

Go to Unit 6 for more activities on note-taking.