Look out, Fido! Like Human Workers, You Too Can Be Replaced!

It appears that dogs as well as people need to build their job skills to compete.

So says Richard W. Samson, author of the employment report, “Highly-Human Jobs: The New Work That Technology Can't Take Over.

Inspired by an October 16 article in the New York Times, "Devices Go Nose to Nose With Bomb-Sniffing Dogs," Samson speculates that canine unemployment, like the human kind, could reach dire levels in coming years thanks to high-tech innovations. 

"Dog workers may be facing the same job-usurping pattern we are," he suggests. "If a gadget with titanium nanotubes can smell explosives better and cheaper than Fido, who need Fido? But bomb-sniffer isn't the only canine career in jeopardy."

With advances in artificial vision, "What about the jobs of seeing-eye dogs?" Samson asks. "How secure are they when robo-Fido can sense oncoming traffic and tug people along for a fraction of the cost?" Then there's the biggest canine profession of all: household pet. "Already we've got cheap robo replacements from Japan and Hong Cong."

If canine unemployment were to zoom, would that necessarily be a bad thing? "It's certainly a problem for dogs," Samson points out, "but for dog employers, it's an opportunity." He suggests that pet owners, as the biggest dog-employer group, might consider these economic advantages of dog automation:

  • Cheap maintenance, no more sky-high healthcare (vet bills).
  • Plastic food you can put in Fido's dish over and over again, saving thousands.
  • Ditto for plastic poop, which you can repeatedly retrieve from sidewalks and lawns.
  • Fake barks, heavy breathing, drooling, and jumping all over you for a fraction of real-dog costs.

"If pet owners, the military, police and other dog employers downsize dog jobs in a big way, we could save a bundle, but what are the dogs to do?" He suggests they consider a doggish analog of advice he offers for humans: 

Move up to work that requires your highly-canine skills and qualities, things beyond the scope of even the most advanced cyber-dogs.

Published by EraNova Institute, the employment report offers serious survival strategies for people seeking future-safe careers. It's available at, a website launched by EraNova Institute. Journalists, broadcasters, and bloggers may request complimentary copies. 

The report predicts a future with few occupations unchallenged by advancing technology. "People wishing secure incomes need to move up to work requiring unique qualities of aliveness, ranging from creativity to responsibility, that can't be matched by even the smartest future systems," Samson says. "The good news is that there can be plenty of these to go around."

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