LUKE MARSDEN: Robots have their uses but there's no substitute for human interaction

A press release landed in my inbox this week which warned that robots are set to take our jobs in Wigan. The AI takeover is imminent!

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 4:55 am
What jobs will robots be doing for us next?
What jobs will robots be doing for us next?

According to a study conducted by ElectricalDirect, 50 per cent of the jobs done in Wigan could be replaced by robots.

The study says that we have a high number of roles in our town that require minimal training and involve routine tasks that could be carried out quicker by robots.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my smart home devices, I’m constantly barking orders at Alexa or asking her mundane questions like “What’s the weather like outside?” when I could just as easily look, but there’s no substitute for actually interacting with humans. The last year alone has taught us that.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The study goes on to say that the top job most likely to be replaced by a robot is a waiter/waitress, yet at the moment this is the industry crying out for people to fill roles,

I couldn’t ask a robot which cider does it prefer and how best to take my steak. Most teenagers get a first job in hospitality (mine was at the Hovis Bakery on Cale Lane) and this can set them up for life to either want to pursue the profession or realise they only ever want to lift a plate out of a dishwasher in their own homes but either way it’s a baptism of fire.

We don’t want robots to serve our drinks, recommend menu choices or clear away our plates. Let’s save them for jobs that nobody expects to do long term like weeding a garden, painting and pegging washing out: all jobs I’ve asked Alexa to do for me this week and she either refused or said she didn’t understand. Typical robot.

The Wigan Observer and Wigan Post are more reliant than ever on your taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. For unlimited access to Wigan news and information online, you can subscribe at