Robots And AI: Are We Going To Lose Our Jobs?

What sort of future do you imagine? Do you want a life of leisure and machine produced wealth? Do you want a world in which humans and machines merge or coexist? Do you think that humans will be controlled by machines? This debate on what will it mean to be human in the age of artificial intelligence and robots is of much speculation.
Artificial intelligence can be defined as any task executed by a machine or a robot that would’ve formerly been known to demand human intelligence or it’s an artificial creation of human like intelligence. There are two types of artificial intelligence. One is known as narrow AI, which may surpass humans in specific tasks such as playing a chess, solving an equation, internet searches, facial recognition, driving a car, and the other one as strong AI that would excel humans in every cognitive task. Artificial intelligence is altering and advancing expeditiously every walk of life for example email filtering, fraud detection, personalization and speech recognition. Cultural impact of introducing automation which is appearing everywhere in the world needs to be understood and realized that change of culture takes time. Innovations like AI, medical sensors, 3-D printing, computerized algorithms, robots, autonomous vehicles and machine to machine communication is incessantly transforming the global economy.
Before machines, people used their own energy to complete the tasks. Economy is always adapting overtime, it’s evolving and creating new jobs for everyone. One classic example of that is agriculture. Before mechanization, people used to work on farms and with machines, economy is just getting better. Food is now cheaper as compared to what it was. Industrial revolution marked a shift to astounding, exceptional machineries and factories. Every industry requires productivity and efficiency and so does the logistics industry. Companies that want to stay ahead in the field must invest in automation and robotics for their growth. A business expands when automation is conform in its culture by engaging its employees to elevated tasks. Successful companies like apple, google, Facebook, Netflix etc. don’t need as many workers as they are making billions of dollars by applying automation. They are not in the business of creating new tasks for humans.
Robots are playing an indispensable role to keep companies competitive and growing. Robotic systems can be exorbitant, many e-commerce companies using robots believe that benefits exceed the heavy prices as they assist to enhance productivity by automating monotonous tasks, emancipating humans to focus more on intellectually stimulating tasks making companies more efficient and increasing worker wages. It’s believed that AI and robots will soon overhaul our economy as companies are advancing their AI and robotic proficiencies with the idea that through these technological innovations they’ll be able to enhance effectualness, cut costs, introduce new value propositions and implement new business models.
Robots or machines make the processes remarkably proficient thus making it easier, faster and inexpensive to create, deliver and capture value for the organizations that utilizes them. For example, amazon has employed more than 200,000 robots in its warehouse and at the same time it has increased its workforce by more than 90,000. This human machine partnership works in such a way that humans do the picking and packing of goods and machines move orders around the warehouse, making humans less exhausted and ship customer orders at speed.
A French company introduced a PostBot robot, which with the help of AI carries letters and packages throughout the city to make humans less tired who walk miles and miles with heavy mail and packages.
Few companies have robots to greet visitors and to notify the related person about the arrival of their guest. These robots can entertain by informing about weather forecast or prepare and serve coffee. Instead of miners, machines are now digging in many places. Many companies are now employing robotic cleaners which can detect dirt or waste that needs to be cleaned. As trains have become automated in Europe, subway train drivers are now working as route optimizers. Flying drones have replaced camera man. Cloud connected home robots, setting up vacuum cleaners, scheduling home cooked meal, robotic cookers and many other technologies are becoming a part of our lives.
Many companies deployed robots as a response to Coronavirus to reduce contact between humans resulting in zero risk infection. They were put to clean floors and take people’s temperature at the airport. Many universities and hospitals deployed salad-making robot to replace dining hall employees, malls and stadiums put robots to patrol. Café’s introduced robots which can make you a drink. Call centres turned to chatbots which respond to customer service inquiries. Hotels have hired mechanical butlers to welcome guests with newly sterilized keys. From making and serving coffee to flipping large number of burgers a day, robots are no longer controlled to environments in which they interact only with other machines. Humans and machines are increasingly working alongside in social and business settings as our next generation co-workers. The reason why so many companies are employing robots is that they don’t get sick and don’t need to isolate or take time off work to protect peers. As long as you keep nurturing it, it’s there to work on daily basis. Robots outperform humans in repetitive and mundane tasks such as data entry, administrative support, and other jobs which are predictable and require no emotional intelligence.
Robots will have a profound impact on the workplace of the future by being able to do multiple roles. If robots replace humans in certain jobs such as administration, logistics, insurance underwriters, telemarketers, tax return preparers, food services, customer service and sales etc, they will definitely create more jobs for humans as someone has to program these automated machines which requires creativity, interaction, management or team work. Driverless cars might replace cab drivers in the future. There might be robots who will check the condition of the patient and determine the need for further appointments. Pharmabotics will be like ATM’s for medicines which will be a huge change for emerging world where agitation of talking to a stranger about health issues will be avoided. On the other hand some AI robotics are programmed to do something catastrophic. To avoid being defeated by the enemy, these AI robots armed forces are designed to be extremely difficult to turn off which could inadvertently lead to war and result in massive casualties.
There is no doubt that robots, AI and machine learning are progressing swiftly, but little light has been shed on its ramification on employment and public policy. The worldwide number of robots is escalating which can operate all day without interruption making them competitive with human workers. Computer algorithm can carry out stock trades in a fraction of seconds in service sector. There will be more demand of these applications in the market as these technologies become cheaper, capable and global.
Different scenarios have been proposed regarding unemployment to introduction of AI and robotics in the world. Some fear of staggering unemployment, others believe technology will create new jobs for displaced workers but for that they have to hone their super human reasoning skills and some say that technology will have little effect on employment in the future. If people are skeptical about job security, flexible security is one way to provide education, healthcare and housing assistance to someone who is employed or unemployed. In case of interminable unemployment, expansion of earned income tax credit, basic income provision and corporate profit sharing needs to be considered.
Because of the robot revolution which is creating new industrial revolution, workers are terrified of losing their jobs to machine. There is a need to understand that robots are tools designed to automate certain tasks, so they will take on some tasks, but they are not designed to automate jobs. Automation doesn’t mean loss of jobs but rather an improvement of job opportunities. For centuries, humans have feared that progression in technology would produce a workless world and that never happened. ATM’s didn’t promptly lessen the number of bank tellers. A toaster popping up by itself doesn’t mean that machines can’t be accepted and trusted. There was never a fear that an electric drill would take over the job of a builder, and same goes for the robots, no matter how human- like they are.
A lot of technology doesn’t look human and by that it’s easier for humans to understand their place. With automation and mechanization, we’re looking at more enjoyable, fast and convenient future for ourselves. Aren’t you eager to be a part of it?