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What kind of jobs can’t be replaced by technology? | IELTS Part 3 Discussion Questions & Answers

Here is a sample of a question asked recently in an IELTS speaking test in the USA. The question asks you to suggest certain types of jobs which could not be replaced by technology in the future. The sample answer given offers some ideas, but there are many possible ways to respond to this type of question based on your own knowledge and experience. When you answer IELTS speaking questions like this, include a specific example and your reasons why.

IELTS Speaking Test Part 3 Discussion Questions

What kind of jobs can’t be replaced by technology? Why?

While some jobs seem obvious targets for replacement by technology and automated machines, there are certain types of jobs where it is difficult to replicate human input. These jobs usually require a high degree of knowledge, insight and decision-making ability, and intuition sometimes. It is relatively easy for a machine to carry out highly repetitive tasks effectively – more efficiently than a person – but in jobs where decisions have to be made based on knowledge it is far more difficult for such tasks to be replicated by technology.

A good example is the automated trading systems used for trading stocks and commodities. While the algorithms are extremely complex and can deal with almost all eventualities through extensive programming parameters, a machine or computer still has no sense of ‘market sentiment’ – that feeling that people get about something, simply because it is a feeling – something which cannot be easily copied by a machine or computer.

What’s more, repetitive and manual jobs can be replaced by technology quite cheaply but more complex jobs require more advanced and more costly technology, which might make them less likely to be replaced by technology.

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