Are robots a threat to workers?
Artificial intelligence, robotics, telecommunications and other forms of high technology are rapidly replacing human labour in most manufacturing, distribution and logistics processes, even reaching the services sector.
The result: employment is always and everywhere a political decision, not merely a function of private enterprise, boom and bust cycles, and automation.
There’s not enough work to go around, and what there is of it won’t pay the bills - unless of course you’ve landed a job as a drug dealer or a Wall Street banker.
From drones to medical equipment, robots are increasingly becoming a part of our everyday life. But although some 1.7 million robots already exist worldwide, their use is still not properly regulated.
If you are one of those who think that a robot can hardly replace you in your work, perhaps this article will demonstrate to you that you are wrong. Technological improvements are occurring that will allow the robotization of non-repetitive tasks that until now were the exclusive domain of people.
In August 2016, the American consulting firm Gartner in its annual model of the Emerging Technologies Over-expectation Cycle grouped a set of technologies in the age of intelligent machines.
On the subject of robots and work, we could speak of that fourth revolution that the reader will surely have read about. You will have seen that report from Davos at the World Economic Forum (a couple of years ago) that tells us that, in only 5 years, 7 million jobs will be lost and only 2 million new jobs will be created.
It does not seem likely. Since the crisis of 2008 to 2014, according to ILO data 212 million net jobs have been created in the world. Each year, around 40 million jobs are created around the globe. There are 823 million more workers than twenty years ago.
A graduate of Harvard in engineering and economics, Andrew McAfee is currently directing the prestigious MIT Digital Economy Initiative. their research has led him to reflect on the transformations of companies as a result of digitization and new technologies.
Generally, in the past every technological revolution in the medium term has ended creating more jobs than it destroyed. However, such is the socio-economic transformations brought about by robotics and artificial intelligence, that it raises doubts about whether this maxim will be fulfilled now.
The three laws of robotics are a set of rules described by American science fiction writer Isaac Asimov aimed at delimiting the basic behaviour of robots in their interactions with humans and other robots.
At least six research fields today give structure to advanced robotics: the one that relates the robot to its environment, behavioural, cognitive, epigenetic or developmental, evolutionary and biorobotic.
Fear of the disappearance of work because of technological progress is a recurring theme. Recently Louis Anslow published a post that reviews all the occasions in which it has been announced that the machines would do away with human work.
The countries with the largest stock of active industrial robots are also the most industrialized: China, Japan, USA, Germany and South Korea.
Robots are increasingly popular, the term robot appears every time in more places and applications, and is also used to refer to increasingly diverse devices and concepts, and society has different reactions to it.
The rapid evolution of robotics requires setting common standards throughout the EU to impose, for example, ethical standards and to determine liability in case of accidents with driverless cars, the Parliament pointed out in a resolution adopted a few days ago.
Innovation is supposed to be the remedy for economic quagmire. What if, on the contrary, it was in fact the cause? More concretely, is it possible that the increasing automation that affects all sectors, from factories to retail to journalism, was actually destroying more jobs than it creates?