The robots are coming and they want your job
“The next wave of economic dislocations won’t come from overseas. It will come from the relentless pace of automation that makes a lot of good middle class jobs obsolete” – President Barack Obama
Industrial robots have been in manufacturing and related industries for decades, reducing the need for human labour, especially in manual and routine tasks. These robots don’t require rest, can be easily replaced and upgraded, and don’t demand higher wages or join pesky unions.
However, in recent years, scientists in robotics and artificial intelligence are beginning to tread into cognitive and non-routine occupations as well. In Japan, for instance, robots were used in rescue missions during the 2011 earthquakes.
Japanese inventors are building robots that are set to transform personal relationships. Pepper, a robot which is fancied for its ability to experience and generate human emotions and used not only in shops to assist customers but also as companion robot at home, is being sold in thousands.
Jia Jia the robot goddess can speak, and her creators at a Chinese university are working on developing her learning and interactive abilities. Furthermore, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University are talking about the human-robot partnerships, as if we are already living in the “I, Robot” world.
These advances demonstrate the phenomenal rate at which technology is progressing.
Nevertheless, there are certain questions that need to be answered, especially when errors occur, such as the incident where a tele-operated robotic construction machine accidentally hit an oxygen cylinder at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in 2011, causing the cylinder to explode – who should be held accountable for this?
If Mako makes an irreversible or fatal error during an orthopaedic procedure, replaced by robots and making their skills redundant? And, how should our education policies and systems change with the robotic age?
It’s true. Robots are getting ready to take over the world. Artificial intelligence researchers believe that robots will not only perform better but exceed humans in their chosen capacity, whether that be manual labour, information processing or creative pursuits.
Is your job safe? Odds are it’s not. Unlike previous technological revolutions in which machines produced more jobs than they consumed – first by shifting human workers from the fields to factories and then into offices – this revolution will not leave many jobs left for us to do.
So, what will you do when a robot takes your job? Hopefully, you’ll just get to take the day off.
Learn all about Robots at the RoboModo online course. Enroll your child today, visit www.heymodo.com
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