What Would Happen If Robots Took Over The World

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What Would Happen If Robots Took Over The World – Pepper, a robot that can be used in industries such as healthcare, technology, education and retail. Photo: Christopher Jue/EPA

Two-thirds of Americans believe that robots will do most of the work that humans do, but 80% also believe that their jobs will not be affected. Time to think again

What Would Happen If Robots Took Over The World

What Would Happen If Robots Took Over The World

The McDonald’s on the corner of Third Avenue and 58th Street in New York is no different from other fast food chains around the country. Inside, however, hungry guests are greeted not by a cashier waiting to order, but a Create Your Taste kiosk, an automated touchscreen system that allows customers to create their own taste. burger without other people.

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It’s impossible to say how many jobs were lost when the automated kiosks were launched – McDonald’s predictably refused to release figures – but the innovation will become a more common sight in Trump’s America.

Once stuck on the pages of futuristic dystopian fiction, robotics promises to be the most disruptive technological change since the Industrial Revolution. While robots have been used in many industries, including the automotive and manufacturing sectors, for decades, experts are now predicting that the tipping point for the spread of robots is near – and most of the developed world is not ready. radical change.

Many are aware that robotic automation is an inevitable disruptive force. However, in a classic example of optimism, while nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that robots will definitely be doing most of the work currently done by humans within the next 50 years, 80% also believe that today’s jobs will “definitely” or “probably” be in the current form at the same time.

How we believe our lives are safe. They don’t: every commercial sector will be affected by robotic automation in the next few years.

Will Robots Take Over The World?

For example, the Australian company Fastbrick Robotics has developed the Hadrian X robot, which can lay 1,000 standard bricks in an hour, a task that requires two masons a day or more to complete. .

In 2015, San Francisco-based startup Simbe Robotics introduced Tally, a robot the company described as “the first autonomous shelf audit and analytics solution” that roams supermarket aisles with shoppers during normal shopping. working hours and ensure the product is reasonable, located and priced.

Swedish agricultural equipment manufacturer DeLaval International recently announced that its new robotic milking cows will be deployed to a small family dairy farm in Westphalia, Michigan later this year. The system allows cows to come independently and be milked at any time.

What Would Happen If Robots Took Over The World

Data from the Robotics Industry Association (RIA), one of the largest robotics advocacy organizations in North America, shows how many robots will be in the workplace tomorrow. In the first half of 2016 alone, North American robotics technology vendors sold 14,583 robots valued at $817 million to companies worldwide. The RIA further estimates that more than 265,000 robots are currently deployed in factories across the country, making the US the third largest robotics deployment in the world behind only China and Japan.

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In a new report, the World Economic Forum predicts that robotic automation will cause a net loss of more than 5 million jobs in 15 developed countries by 2020, according to conservative estimates. Another study by the International Labor Organization said that 137 million workers in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – about 56% of the total workforce in these countries – are at risk of being replaced by robots, especially manual labor. in the clothing industry.

A young woman visits a newly opened store with a robot, where the robot welcomes customers who want to buy mobile phones. Photo: Franck Robichon/EPA

Proponents of robotic automation often point to the fact that, for the most part, robots can’t move or program themselves — yet. In theory, this could create new high-skill jobs for technicians, programmers and other important new roles.

However, for every job created by robotic automation, many more will be eliminated. At scale, this disruption will have a devastating impact on our workforce.

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Few people understand this tension better than Dr. Jing Bing Zhang, one of the world’s leading experts on commercial applications of robotics. As director of research at global marketing analytics firm IDC, Zhang examines how commercial robotics will shape tomorrow’s workforce.

IDC’s FutureScape: Worldwide Robotics 2017 Predictions report, by Zhang and his team, shows the scale of future transitions that will threaten the livelihoods of millions of people.

Reports say that by 2018, almost a third of robots will be smarter and more efficient, able to cooperate with other robots and work safely with humans. By 2019, 30% or more of the world’s leading companies will employ robotics executives, and many governments around the world will develop or implement specific legislation related to robotics, safety, security and privacy. By 2020, average salaries in the robotics sector will increase by at least 60% – but more than a third of available robotics jobs will remain vacant due to a lack of skilled workers.

What Would Happen If Robots Took Over The World

“Automation and robotics will definitely affect people with low skills, which is bad,” Zhang said by phone from his office in Singapore. “I think the only way to rise or adapt to these changes is not to expect that the government will protect their jobs from technology, but to find ways to change their skills. No one can rely on the same things throughout their lives. This is not the case again.”

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Meanwhile, advances in motion control, sensor technology, and artificial intelligence will inevitably lead to a new class of robots aimed primarily at the consumer market – robots we’ve never seen before. Vertical bipedal robots that live next to us in our homes; robots that interact with us in more sophisticated ways – in short, robots that used to be the sole province of science fiction.

According to Zhang, this is an unprecedented opportunity for companies to take advantage of this transition, but it also poses serious challenges, such as the need for a new regulatory framework to ensure our security and privacy – very important regulations created by Trump. vocal during the election campaign.

According to Zhang, the field of robotics actually contributes to what Trump promised on the campaign trail – to bring manufacturing back to the US. Unfortunately for Trump, robots won’t help him fulfill one of his big promises, which is to create new jobs for low-skilled workers. The only way companies can reduce rising US labor costs without hurting their bottom line is to automate low-skilled jobs.

In other words, we can bring manufacturing back to the US or create new jobs, but not at the same time.

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With millions of jobs at risk and a looming global labor crisis, we must turn to education as a way to understand and prepare for tomorrow’s robotic workforce. In an increasingly volatile job market, developed countries need more graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, often abbreviated Stem, to remain competitive.

For the past eight years, science and technology have taken center stage in the White House and in public forums. Core education has been a cornerstone of Barack Obama’s administration, and he has promoted core education throughout his presidency.

On Obama’s watch, the US will train 100,000 new Stem teachers by 2021. For the first time in the country’s history, American universities are starting to produce 100,000 engineers a year. High schools in 31 countries introduced computer science classes as required courses.

What Would Happen If Robots Took Over The World

Like many Cabinet picks, the President’s appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education bodes ill. DeVos, one of the nation’s most vocal charter school cheerleaders, has no experience with public education that cannot be considered a product of government overreach.

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DeVos and her husband, Dick, have spent millions of their personal fortunes fighting regulations to make charter schools more accountable, tirelessly fighting to expand charter school voucher programs, and seeking to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of teachers unions, including rights. to attack. . Despite this troubling flaw, Trump seems convinced that a billionaire with no interest in public education is the right choice for the important role.

There is no doubt that this appointment will have an impact on the opportunities for students who want to start their careers in Stem. Private schools like Carnegie Mellon University, for example, may offer state-of-the-art robotics labs to their students, but the same cannot be said for community colleges and vocational schools, which offer a curriculum that can be used by workers displaced by robots. forced to rely on.

With staggering student debt and an increasingly volatile job market, many young people are rethinking their options. For most workers in their 40s and 50s, the idea is to get tens of thousands

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