29 Mar Are Robots Going To Take Away our Jobs?
Blog by Oluwasegun Oke
With the transcending rate at which AI-powered automation technology is taking over, the overall management solutions capacity, and technological innovations processes, in as many large and medium-sized enterprises, including production assembly lines, provides us with the general view, as we continue to collectively plunge forward into the nuances and career anticipations of a robotically inspired future.
While on paper, emerging questions have logical answers. This concept may however be too soon to be applied to a case where entry-level jobs and repetitive tasks are being targetted by robots, thereby obliterating career boundaries, and forcing us to adapt to new world order.
And the recent pandemic has not lightened the heavy debate either. More repetitive or routine jobs are being threatened annually, on a large scale. And this can be further corroborated by reports that the introduction of robots to take up certain jobs has doubled in the last couple of years. Therefore in an effort to weigh the pros against inherent cons and thoroughly analyze what is playing out, we will locate how we’ve faired through this advancing technology, and rediscover what the future holds.
The First Automation
It came into recognition during the industrial revolution, when the global automobile sectors and investing houses found a goldmine in AI-based tool’s ability to integrate complex processes, thereby augmenting mass production capacity while stimulating exponential growth. It was a welcome development at this point in human history. With massive jumps in sales ever guaranteed, no wrong was therefore perceived by critics, in this first disruption of the labor force. Fast-forward to a new era, looking to explore cloud 9, the dollar tree, and the great potential AI and automation may present.
COVID 19 Robots Initiatives, Movements, and Introductory Campaigns
Since the emergence of the virus, which resulted in countless business closures, around the globe. As social distancing was increasingly gaining prominence, while stay-at-home orders continued to limit public movements, critical transportation networks, were grounded to a standstill. The food, beverage, and alcohol industries were severely affected. Once again, robots from the stables of advanced technological alliances were introduced to ease tension in various unskilled labor capacities, such as cooks, waitresses, barmen, among others. After all, no risk of infection is possible, and replacing humans, by taking their jobs, was not looked upon once more, as being callous, inconsiderate, or impulsive by critics.
And even most importantly, it was obvious that the healthcare, hospitality, and travel industries had not been spared either. Many workers were relieved of their duties, and installed robots were assigned to different roles, which includes providing toilet tissues, towels, as well as welcoming incoming guests, in a bid to give the advantage of not risking their lives, through any possible exposure to the dreaded virus.
During all these uncertainties, there seemed to be a well-thought-out strategy to sustain the effort and escalate its advances to significantly create a shift that would accommodate a hybrid mutually beneficial, long-lasting harmony between both humans and computers, just as portrayed in many science-fiction movies. But many critics were not optimistic, as they saw another case study of failed experiments and unaccomplished dreams. With references to what were once self-driven vehicles, that had been relegated into oblivion, due to risk to human life, after several unsuccessful launching attempts.
Regardless, more robots were further developed to care for patients, and clean hospital halls, all augmenting the edification of the ever-booming AI-powered automation software solution market, that has seen the ascension of robotic process automation (RPA), voice assistants, predictive analytics tools, bots, and automated social media text generating software. All initiated, with the aim of rolling out, and cushioning the effects of every lack or inadequacy of geographical, technical, financial, scientific, and other transitional influences, which could stir up knowledge and demands for automation. All these factors combine to play a major role in the ever-increasing applications and the widespread adoption of this AI-powered technology.
As evidently dominant and in-demand across different regions, facing a plethora of both similar and unique challenges, that are commonplace, in all aspects of human endeavors. And here in no chronological order, are the major industries that Robots have disrupted.
Manufacturing Sectors and Robotic Disruption
Again, the manufacturing sector’s production capacity has gained significant advantages, due to being augmented and complemented by robots, on assembling lines. Consequently, huge automobile brands now leverage AI automation to streamline processes, and help workers both fast-track and improve the quality of more aligned parts, by relying on collaborative robots (Cobots), to give their products a supreme edge.
Mining Industry Robotic Disruption
A considerable amount of new AI-based robots are being developed, and a few had been put to test in a variety of dangerous mines across the globe. Despite the risk and terrifying uncertainties that go with mining. Many believe a renaissance of all abandoned mining projects where operations were previously intensive, is imminent, given the level of success recorded at each excavated site, by tested robots. And most importantly, to sustainable source for rare earth elements, without exposing miners to severe injuries and fatality. Given the precarious state of most excavated sites, of which structures are usually unstable for divers and other workers to navigate, without risk to life.
Warehousing Robotic Disruption
More accurate stock counting is possible by setting up an automated inventory system, in a warehouse. Given how much can accelerate and standardize the counting process, thereby assisting in saving precious time, by leaving no error behind. Unlike the application of manual labor, which is prone to human misjudgment. Also, warehouse representatives of big corporations like Tesla, Amazon, and Apple, now apply automated systems to ease up the formally energy-intensive pickers’ job, which demands a lot of walking around, by introducing robots that cover long distances to collect items for shipment. By doing this, pickers can focus more on some other specific needs or pressing tasks, thereby salvaging crucial hours.
Healthcare Robotic Disruption
To assist in spearheading more successful medical operations, modern floods of exceptionally advanced and uniquely intensive hospital emergency Cobots have reached target marketplaces and have been aligned at will, by pioneering medical research institutes, and renowned medical facilities. With the reassuring hope of fast-tracking medical procedures and augmenting major operations, while keeping away or eradicating, life-threatening factors, such as risk of contaminants and lack of precision, that are commonplace during mostly correctional procedures and critical operations.
How does Robots Disruption Affect the Workforce?
Whether introduced due to a tsunami, pandemic or revolutionary movements, or advocacy, robots often do not assume a particular career opportunity, without leaving out mostly outweighing surpluses. This has been widely documented in relation to how much they can influence human capacity, and intellectuality, to discovering new fields of study and expanding both the length and breadth of our scope of the future. There was a particular case where robots filled up and displaced 40 percent of the workforce in the United States, only to make up for this, by creating a staggering 20 percent jump in employment opportunities, during a space of two years.
Are there Nuances to Robots Disruptions, if so, is Our Future at Stake?
Most Science Fiction has covered impressive episodes of possible dimensions, and parameters that may overturn the above notion that has been placed out over the years — of robots disruptions being futuristic and solution-based. However, caution cannot be overlooked, and that’s why we have several NGOs, government agencies, renowned critics, and environmental advocates, whose jobs go a long way to upholding only humane technological inventions, through the issuance of necessary patent certifications, creation of public knowledge about prestigious awards receptions, and the decisive influences of good reviews.
Self-help Against Robotic Disruption
Continuous learning and enrolments for both online courses postgraduate programs must be envisaged, to gain an upper hand and swiftly be in a better position of proffering not just up-to-date solutions, but ones equally with powerful means of enriching lives, and engaging with the future to come. Lack of wherewithal or capacity to further acquire knowledge is known to escalate the possibility of introducing robot solutions, into the mainstream of any society.