When you think of robots what do you picture? Do you picture Rosie the maid from the Jetsons cartoon? Do you picture "Danger, Wil Robinson!" from the robot on Lost in Space? Or do you picture the self serve kiosks that are spreading from airports to gas stations and retail stores to McDonald's fast food restaurants and now to hotel check-in desks.
Marriott and Hilton hotels among others are introducing self service kiosks(robots) to their hotel properties. Having seen the success of airport self serve kiosk check-in robots with business travelers, hotels are now searching for the same kinds of labor cost savings by automating. While the hotels pay lip service about avoiding job cuts the truth is that robots mean fewer people and labor costs in clerical front desk roles. As robots and on-line services take over in industry after industry what roles are left for people. Are you and your children preparing for those new roles?
Robots are coming faster and faster. If you have children you need to pay attention. Not just to all the cool robot toys but the broad scale changes to life and work that are coming from the increased deployment of robots in our daily lives. What are the impacts of increased reliance on technology on the future lives of today's children? Why is this important? Tomorrow's workplace will be very different. Both more technical and more human.
The jobs of tomorrow are going to require geek caliber technical knowledge and skills and monster people skills successfully navigating and managing the human/machine interface will be the key to success. Your children need to take both science and technology courses and human psychology to prepare themselves for a world where everyone deals with machines 24/7 and interpersonal support, service and communication are the secret sauce that will mean the difference between survival and success.