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7 Roles That Robots Will Never Fill (Although We Kind of Wish They Would)

There have already been scores of articles written about the horrifying times ahead, when robots steal all the jobs that we humans are used to doing. Blah blah blah robots are smarter, yada yada yada we’re all doomed.

You don’t want to read about that anymore. You want reassurance. You want to read about the kinds of people who can’t be replaced, because there are some things even a robot can’t manage to mess up as well as a human.

That’s why we here at Yahoo Tech don’t ride the trendy wave of doom-and-gloom articles. As a public service to our readers, here is a list of people that robots will never replace. Although it would be kind of nice if they did.

1. Network TV programming executive. No robot could come up with a season this bad. Also, FOX-TV’s Dads. What the hell happened, Seth MacFarlane? How are racist, homophobic attempts at humor a television show?

Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane


2. Ann Coulter. The fact that robots operate using logic would be problematic here, and robots don’t spew refuse unless they’ve sprung an oil leak. Also, we’re fairly certain that robots are morally neutral on the subject of soccer.

Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter


3. Restaurant cashiers who ask you, “Is this to go?” when you’ve just told them, “It’s for here.” Because we would all miss that when the robots show us that they are actually listening by getting it right every time.

Smiling cashier
Smiling cashier

(Kris Krüg/Flickr)

4. The kind of person who waits until you’re almost done telling a joke and then says, “Wait, is this the one where the doctor says, ‘There’s my thermometer! Now what did I do with my pen?’ Yeah, I’ve heard that one already.”



5. NYC taxi driver. Robots and robotically driven cars exist, but a robot will never be able to give you a ride like the guy who can simultaneously yell at you in Kyrgyz while blowing through red lights going the wrong way down the street at 3 a.m.

Cab driver sticking out his tongue
Cab driver sticking out his tongue


6. The person at your job who talks in nothing but corporate-speak. Because robots are incapable of just making up meaningless words and stringing them together to hide their insecurities.


7. Journalist. Because robots could never write headlines like “There is a lizard sex satellite floating in space and Russia no longer has it under control.” For a paper as highly regarded as The Washington Post, yet. Only a human has that kind of touch.


(Frank Wouters/Flickr)

That leaves us human journalists to write stories like this one. I feel better already, don’t you?

Is there something weirdly popular on the Internet that you’d like explained? Write to Deb Amlen at and let her know. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@debamlen).