Replacing Humans with Machines: Threats and Opportunities

  • Sophia Achieng Maseno University
  • Carlos Majuto Majuto Maseno University
  • Protus Aseka Moi University
  • Ernest Astiaya Maseno University
Keywords: Labour, Machines, Human Capital, Unemployment, Challenges
Share Article:


Many aspects of life stemming from professional to personal have been extremely changed and impacted by technological advancements. Traditionally, the labor market depended on routine manual labor offered by human capital; however with the technological advancements in computerization, the market behavior for routine human labor has extremely changed. Companies and people have been on the verge of ever trying to economize the use of labor and maximizing the available space while finding new uses and sources of labor, argued Frey and Osborne (2013). Jobs have become very susceptible to computerization, in that over the past three decades, computers and computerized mechanics have substituted a considerable number of jobs including functions of telephone operators and bookkeepers among others. A strong pattern is recorded over the years where tasks that were routine and repetitive are increasingly being replaced and performed by automated machines. Computerized and automated machined pose an overwhelming threat to the repetitive and routine manual labor traditional performed by human labor. Therefore, this paper provided a literature review about the extent of routine human labor susceptibility to computerization and automated machines.


Download data is not yet available.


Brown, A. W., & Camrass, R. (2016). Machine Intelligence: The ‘Killer App’ For the Digital Economy (Reference Paper). Redwood City, CA: Equinix, Inc.
Bruckner, M., LaFleur, M., & Pitterle, I. (2017). The impact of the technological revolution on labor markets and income distribution (Frontier Issues). Department of Economic & Social Affairs.
Citigroup. (2016). Technology at Work v2.0: The Future Is Not What It Used to Be. Citi GPS: Global Perspectives & Solutions.
Frey, C. B., & Osborne, M. A. (2017). The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerization? Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 114, 254-280.
Gibbs, M. (2017). How is new technology changing job design? IZA World of Labor, 344.
Harrington, S., Moir, J., & Allinson, J. S. (2018). The Intelligence Revolution: A new age of opportunities. Deloitte LLP.
Nedelkoska, L., & Quintini, G. (2018). Automation, skills use, and training. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, 1-119.
Rao, A. S., & Verweij, G. (2017). Sizing the prize, what’s the real value of AI for your business, and how can you capitalize? PwC.
Retto, J. (2017). Sophia, First Citizen Robot of the World. Lima: Universidad Nacional, Mayor de San Marcos.
Sproul, D., Knowles-Cutter, A., & Lewis, H. (2015). From brown to brains: The impacts of technology on jobs in the UK. London, UK: Deloitte LLP.
UNESCO & COMEST. (2017). Report of Comest on Robotics Ethics (SHS/YES/COMEST-10/17/2 REV). Paris: United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) and Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST).
Van Der Zande, J., Teigland, K., Siri, S., & Teigland, R. (2018). The Substitution of Labor: From technological feasibility to other factors influencing job automation (Innovative Internet: Report 5). Stockholm, Sweden: Center for Strategy and Competitiveness, Stockholm School of Economics Institute for Research.
Van Doorn, M., Bloem, J., Duivestein, S., & Van Ommeren, E. (2017). Machine Intelligence. SOGETI.
West, D. M. (2015). The impact of emerging technologies on employment and public policy. Washington, DC: Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution.
Wisskirchen, G., Biacabe, B. T., Bormann, U., Muntz, A., Neihaus, G., Sober, G. J., & Von Brauchitsch, B. (2017). Artificial intelligence and robotics and their impact on the workplace. London, UK: The International Bar Association Global Employment Institute (IBA GEI).
1 September, 2019
How to Cite
Achieng, S., Majuto, C. M., Aseka, P., & Astiaya, E. (2019). Replacing Humans with Machines: Threats and Opportunities. East African Journal of Business and Economics, 1(2), 54-68. Retrieved from