Will robots take over our jobs?

woman working between robots looking here

Do you also have the same question in your mind? If yes, then read this post until the end. Here we are discussing whether or not robots will steal our jobs.

The world is changing, and with that changing the whole work environment. The news that Robots will take over most of the jobs is taking rounds. People are afraid of losing their jobs, as already full-fledged automation has started in many industries, including transport, health, food, construction, etc. Robots can do anything and even more precisely. What will be left for humans to do when machines can do the tasks just as well, if not better? What will happen when artificial intelligence becomes superior to our own?

Robots and machines are expected to replace humans in the workplace, as artificial intelligence improves. Society is now facing radical changes, and revolution at all levels is taking place, silently!

Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution, which means things will be taken care of by machines. It is the latest trend in automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. Artificial intelligence has already gained ground.

Manufacturers are now trying to develop computers with ears, hands, and feet along with the ability to reason. Today, already systems with cognitive intelligence and greater ability have been introduced in the market, like automated cars, automated trucks, automated warehouses, and automated health care systems. Undoubtedly, robots work better and with greater precision than humans. Industry 4.0 is the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, using modern smart technology.

Business owners have now started to feel that machines are better designed to do most jobs than humans are. Does that mean that soon intelligent robots and machines will replace people in the workplace? Well, before we discuss whether or not automation will take over our jobs, let’s see the industries that have been automated.

I. Automation in the Transportation Industry

AI or artificial intelligence is continually gaining ground and has already revolutionized the means of transportation. Many countries have already started testing autonomous buses, such as the Swiss community of Sitten has already extended the test phase of the autonomous buses, called SmartShuttle. The Chinese train manufacturer has manufactured an autonomous tram, which not only operates without a driver, but it runs without rails too. NTU’s and Volvo Buses have launched an autonomous electric bus equipped with sensors and navigation control systems managed by a comprehensive AI navigation system. This driverless bus can move through dense traffic and under all tropical weather conditions. This bus has already undergone many rounds of testing at the autonomous vehicle test centre at NTU, and very soon, it will ply the roads.

Apart from this, ST Engineering has collaborated with the Sentosa Development Corporation and Singapore’s Ministry of Transport to develop Mobility-on-Demand-Vehicles (MODVs). Commuters can call for the MODV via an app on their smartphones or through information kiosks. These autonomous buses will be plying public roads in Singapore by 2020. Many other countries are trialling autonomous buses, and soon, most states will have autonomous buses running in the cities.

Likewise, many countries have introduced driverless cars or Robo taxis. Didi’s Robo-taxis are already deployed to carry passengers on the roads of Shanghai. This is the first self-driving taxi in the world. Didi’s Robo-taxis are equipped with cameras and sensors to easily see nearby traffic and monitor a conventional vehicle’s blind spots.

Apart from this, Tesla, BMW, Fiat, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, and many other companies plan to launch autonomous cars shortly.

II. Automation in Construction Industry

The construction industry is considered one of the least automated industries, as most of the work is done by labour. Whether it’s constructing a new house, commercial building, renovation, or demolition of buildings, humans are required. Still, many companies have started deploying robots in place of human labour. However, currently, robotics is not used fully in construction. The complete automation of construction will take time, as construction tasks are challenging to automate fully. 

A US-based company ‘Construction Robotics’ has developed a bricklaying robot, called SAM (semi-autonomous mason). SAM is used to lay bricks. Besides, the Australian company’ Fastbrick Robotics’ has also developed a bricklaying robot that has been used in several projects. Many other companies are developing robotics and 3D print to take the construction industry to the next level. Besides precision and efficiency, robotics in construction can provide myriads of other benefits. 

III. Automation in the Food Industry

The major reason for the food industry’s automation is the outbreak of the coronavirus that made hygiene and safety the most important components. Potential contamination can only be eliminated by minimizing the workforce. This is possible when robots replace humans, so many restaurants and farm owners have started using technology. Farmers have started deploying autonomous tractors that can be used to plant, fertilize harvesting, and many more. John Deere Autonomous Tractors, Autonomous Tractors by Rabbit Tractors, Agricultural Robots, Drones, etc. are already in use.  

Besides, more and more restaurateurs are deploying technology in their restaurants. Restaurant automation is now gaining ground. Many players are already leading the market; the most significant example of restaurant automation is “SPYCE.” SPYCE is the first of its kind restaurant, which uses technology for everything from placing an order to serving meals. Besides, Zume Pizza, Briggo, Chowbotics, Blendid, Wilkinson Baking Company, Takeoff, and Kiwi Campus are also using robotics to make things easier for their customers and themselves too. 

IV. Automation in the Warehouse Industry

It may seem unbelievable, but the truth is we have automated warehouses too. Most of the tasks in automated warehouses are taken care of by robots. Most warehouse owners believe that robots perform tasks better than humans. Automated warehouses are fast, flexible, efficient, and more reliable. Processes like the storage, retrieval, and relocation become way too easier with automated warehouses. Automated warehouses reduce errors to a minimum and are way too faster than the traditional warehousing systems.

The best example of an automated warehouse is Ocado’s New Age WarehouseOcado’s warehouse is in Andover, UK. It has thousands of battery-operated robots whizzing around a grid system to pack groceries. The thousands of robots at Ocado’s warehouse can process over 60,000 orders every week. They communicate on a 4G network, and the air traffic control system controls them. These robots act as a giant goods-to-person system. They bring crates of products to pick stations and then assemble the orders. These robots simplify the entire warehousing process. Amazon and Walmart are also at the cutting edge of warehouse automation. 

V. Automation in the Healthcare Industry

The outbreak of the coronavirus and medical understaffing worldwide made it apparent that we need additional help. And Artificial Intelligence is the only solution to tackle the situation. Autonomous robots will perform every duty, from checking a patient’s pulse to reading case notes and performing surgeries. That is the reason many companies have already started developing autonomous healthcare systems. Not just that, many hospitals have already deployed robotics to make things easier for their patients. 

There are different kinds of robotics, such as care robotics, hospital robotics, surgery robotics, etc. Medical robotics is booming! And, it is believed that soon Healthcare and technology will become more prominent fields of investment. Pepper – the caring, humanoid robot was significantly in use in Höpital Pitié Salpétriére in Paris. During COVID – 19, Pepper helped patients in the intensive care ward communicate with their families, who were not allowed to visit. 

Another example of medical robotics is the Da Vinci surgical system. Da Vinci makes the surgery easy and convenient while ensuring the patient’s safety. It is specifically designed to facilitate surgery using a minimally invasive approach and is controlled by a surgeon from a console.

Undoubtedly, robots make things easier and faster, so more and more healthcare systems are using robotics. 

Automation and its impact on workplace

There is no doubt that all five industries mentioned above are the most significant. These are the industries that employ most humans. And if you think that automation of these industries is going to impact the labour market, then I think it’s highly unlikely!

Why I am saying so – because that has never happened before with technology, it just changed the jobs you do. However, this time there will be an increase in unemployment that can’t be ruled out completely. But complete automation of any industry will take time. Humans will still be required to oversee things in the workplace. Automation at the most will change the skills, the tasks, and the job that humans do.

I shall discuss this in detail in the second part of “Will robots take over our jobs.” Meanwhile, I want you to know that even if you are on the verge of losing a job, you don’t need to worry. There is a way out. You can still be employed and earn your livelihood.

How do you ask?

By learning a digital skill set!

Yes, learn a digital skillset. Whether you are aware or not, the internet is constantly gaining ground. The world is moving towards digitalization. More and more companies are looking for professionals with digital skillsets. Learning a digital skillset can be conducive to you. Believe it or not, the future belongs to those who possess digital skillsets. So, instead of yearning for your job, you can consider learning a skill set to earn your livelihood and become your boss. 

You can choose to learn anything from affiliate marketing to digital marketing. Later, you can start your own online business or work as a freelancer. Moreover, you don’t even need to be highly educated or tech-savvy to learn digital skills. It’s easy to become a digital marketer; trust me!

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