Previously, only routine physical work could be automated. However in the past decade, we’ve developed technology that can execute even unpredictable cognitive work, like driving a car or managing a project.
Automation is different in today’s world due to advances in machines and artificial intelligence. The number of jobs that humans can do better than machines is going to dwindle. The primary thing which makes humans useful in the workplace is our brain, and now many of its functions can be emulated by machines.
CGP Grey illustrated the problems with this:
Imagine a pair of horses in the early 1900s talking about technology. One worries all these new mechanical muscles [automobiles] will make horses unnecessary. The other reminds him that everything so far has made their lives easier⎯ remember all that farm work?