It’s hard to grasp the scale of the robot revolution that is slowly eating away at the human workforce. A new video by CGP Grey, a Youtube user who makes short explanatory videos, helps put things in perspective.
The 15-minute video, “Humans Need Not Apply,” focuses on jobs once thought to be the exclusive domain of humans. Rapidly improving software and robotics technology—the creation of what Grey calls “mechanical minds”—are starting to do white-collar jobs once the preserve of desk jockeys. “Just as mechanical muscles made human labor less in demand, so are mechanical minds making human brain labor less in demand,” Grey explains.
Grey’s concise analysis sweeps across job sectors, covering the the threat to lawyers,doctors, traders, drivers, journalists, and even musicians. As Quartz explored in aninteractive feature earlier this year, few jobs are completely safe from this trend toward automation.
The main takeaway from the video—set in part to music written by a computer—is not just that the automation revolution will see robots replace people. It’s that we’re entering a new kind of economy that will operate between computers, circumventing humans altogether.
The most obvious example of a human-less economy is finance: Today computer-to-computer trades happen independent of the strangely jacketed men shouting at one another on the floors of major exchanges.
(Editor’s note: Quartz stories are not written by a mechanical mind. Yet.)