What education should you get to best position yourself for the coming decades? What line of work should you be in, and which professions have no future? Many jobs performed by humans today will be performed by smart robots in the near future. Here is a list of 12 professions that will most likely be obsolete, or at the very least out-of-date, by 2040.

1. Cashier: Many grocery stores already have self-operated check stands, but that’s just a tradeoff between a cashier doing the job and you doing it yourself. In the future, check stands will be fully automated. Just leave your groceries on the belt and let the robot tally it up – many times faster than a human could. As a consequence, lines will be much less of a nuisance, as they become increasingly non-existent.

2. Mailman: Who sends snail-mail these days? Mostly nostalgic pen pals. While we may have a small segment left of the paper mail industry, most of the things we use the mail for either is transitioning to or has already moved completely online: Bills, public notices, and business-letters. Although, we’ll still need package delivery (at least until nanotechnology enables us to send and download material objects like we send files today, in 30-40 years.)

3. Film processor: If you’re passionate about sitting behind the movie theater controlling the movie reel, start blogging about it, because you’ll never get a job as one.

4. Librarian: Libraries will soon look very different. Why have a library containing 50,000 paper made books when you can have 2 million of them in virtual form, which you can access with your library card and download to your kindle or iPad. There will not be any need for humans to process the lending of books.

5. Construction worker: Construction work can be a hazardous job, so why should humans risk their lives doing it? Insurance companies certainly won’t cover a construction firm that that takes such unnecessary risks. Robotics are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they’ll be constructing buildings far more rapidly and much cheaper.

6. Soldier, fighter pilot: These professions will be obsolete for the same reasons as construction worker: Why risk human lives unnecessarily when robots are cheap and efficient?

7. Many (but not all) jobs in oil related industries: For fuel purposes, oil is far too expensive to extract, it pollutes, and we’re running out of it. Many other fuel technologies (hydrogen, solar, fuel cell, to mention a few) have far greater potential in terms of cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability, and many new jobs will emerge in these sectors.

8. Receptionist: Artificial intelligence and robotics sciences are approaching a point where the intelligent robots we can make will match humans. These robots will be our faithful servants who perform the menial tasks, so humans can focus on developing themselves.

9. Waiter: 25 years down the road, a robot will hand you the menu and ask if you’d like to start with something to drink.

10. Security guard: Buy a strong, obedient robot that can see in the dark, never falls asleep on duty, and won’t accept bribes, to protect your home or your business.

11. Maids: Wake up to eggs and bacon, ironed pants and a clean house, all provided by your unbelievably cheap, efficient AI-maid.

12. Car mechanic: Cars will become too technically complex to repair for humans. It’s also cheaper to let a robot do it. Eventually, cars will fix themselves. They’ve already started driving themselves.

What other jobs do you think will be rendered obsolete in the coming decades? You can leave a comment below, and I’ll add it to the list. The more we know about this, the better.

Watch this captivating video below about the robot Eva for an exhilarating view of the future of artificial intelligence.

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