We also like robots.
So we really like the term "RPA", which stands for robotic process automation.
According to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (and yes, where there's a buzzword there's usually a supporting institute) RPA is:
Robotic process automation (RPA) is the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.
In other words, RPA is using computers, algorithms and robots to do work instead of humans.
More from the Institute:
Just as industrial robots are remaking the manufacturing industry by creating higher production rates and improved quality, RPA “robots” are revolutionizing the way we think about and administer business processes, IT support processes, workflow processes, remote infrastructure and back-office work. RPA provides dramatic improvements in accuracy and cycle time and increased productivity in transaction processing while it elevates the nature of work by removing people from dull, repetitive tasks.
So if we can just rid of those pesky, inefficient humans things will be much better for everyone.
The hype around robotic process automation - and robots in general - is quite extensive these days.
But before you give up hope that there not will be any jobs left for humans in the future, read Why Predicting the Future of Work is a Fools Errand.
It covers academic research on the history of forecasts proclaiming automation will eliminate all jobs. Two not so surprising findings of this research are:
1. people have been predicting that automation will mean the end of work for as long as technology has been around.
2. the forecasts have always been wrong.
The people suggesting tech will end work tell us this time it's different. And they may be right.
But it's important to note that when it comes to forecasts, the 4 words most wrong are "this time it's different".