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Slefty
Articles

Will Engineers become irrelevant?

24-10-2019

Is software taking over our job?  Will anyone be able to do engineering? Here's what we know.

 

Not so long ago, a structural engineer needed to do many complex and time consuming calculations just to design the structure of a small high-rise office building.  With simples software today, we do these calculations and even more complex others (which were left out) in just a couple of minutes. 

 

This means anyone can now do the hardest engineering calculations can , without needing to know  the theories and methodologies behind the calculations the software uses.

 

Translation: many positions are disappearing. 30 years ago, a 10 people team could still feel small for this same high-rise building project. Today 3 or 4 people can easily and successfully carry it on, with the tools available. 

 

Computer algorithms are growing in efficiency each year, able to apply an increasing number of tools on an increasing number of fields. Engineering services and consulting is definitely one of them. 

 

 

 

Oxford University has conducted a list of probabilities for the computerizing of your job. Engineers are in the bottom, with a low probability of computer replacement.  There are a few whicha are lower, like dentists, pyschologists or social workers. The most likely to be replaced are accountants, cooks and models.

 

Despite the estimate for engineers, we should look at what we're doing and how to integrate it with machines. The more computerized work, the bigger task complexity, reaching things deemed impossible just a couple of decades ago. The simpler tasks require fewer skills, which bring up other issues.

 

At Slefty we believe the Engineer role will change and so should be adaptative. Big software companies are pushing hard to reduce the number of work hours engineers spend on modeling and calculation so that both tasks will no longer be human-performed.

 

Our aim is always to create new pathways and objectives of close cooperation between Engineers and Machines. Do you agree? Leave us your comments below!

 

Sources: https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf

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