What skills do these robots possess?
Robots can be very skilled with the right programming, and can do almost any job a human can without getting tired. According to an article by Mauldin Economics,”Machines excel at doing the same thing over and over again. They don’t get bored or tired. They don’t need coffee breaks or demand raises. They work 24/7 and never complain.” These machines outwork humans in every way and don’t require pay, breaks, or any time off in general. They even have the capability of having the same knowledge as some of the smartest people in the world. In the same article it is stated that, “at some point, education won’t matter. Even with three doctoral degrees and speaking 5 languages, you’d still be “low-skilled” compared to the AI.” These are just some of the many working skills robots possess for workforces.
How does this affect humans?
With the amount of companies using robots rising, it looks like there is soon to be some major job loss. More and more companies are realizing the benefits of robots. Therefore more employers are starting to fire employees in hope of replacing them with a much cheaper robot. According to Patrick Durkin of the Australian Financial Review, “Robots are projected to take about 40 percent of low-skilled jobs.” Although this is a large percentage of jobs, most of the jobs that have been factory jobs and various cashier jobs. In a history channel article it is stated that “a drop in low-skilled jobs will boost high-skilled jobs.” This may be true in some instances but what if these low skilled workers can’t adapt or get accepted into a higher skilled job? This is where we meet the large amounts of job loss due to robots which has in return granted us with a small number of higher skilled jobs.
What types of jobs are these robots taking?
With the number of people losing their jobs due to robots increasing, there are many types of jobs that are at risk or are soon to be at risk. One industry that is soon to be run by robots is the taxi industry. Uber is one of the many companies that is at the forefront of this technology with their new self driving cars. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, “1.7 million drivers could potentially lose their jobs due to this new advanced technology.” Drivers aren’t the only industry in danger, robots can be programmed for just about any job in the near future. Some robots can even be programmed to perform medical operations. They haven’t been trusted to perform major surgeries but have been a big contributor to cancer screening in the last couple of years like at some hospitals where “robots are diagnosing lung cancer more accurately than humans.” This task takes years to be perfected by humans but the robot can be programmed to do this in just a couple hours. These are just some of the many jobs that robots pose a threat to.
How much do robots cost and what has driven down the cost?
Although robots can be a cheaper alternative over time, the cost of buying them can run up quite a bill. Many car companies have automated their car making and have seen a major return on investment. Honda is one company that has done this and “has invested $345 million into robots at one of their facilities.” This is a very large price for these robots but the only money they have to put into them now is repairs. No salary or breaks, they work for free and work without breaks. This is why many companies have been itching to take part in this robotic movement. The price of robots are dropping too with the creation of more companies and competitive pricing between them. In an article by Marian Stinson it is stated that “while the price of robots is going down, the cost of labour is going up which is why companies have started to lean towards the use of robots rather than human employees.” This has sparked the huge movement to automate businesses and save lots of money, but it leaves these let off workers in the dark with no where to go because robots have taken their jobs.
Is there still hope for these newly unemployed?
While robots may take generally lower-skilled jobs, at the same time they’re creating higher skilled jobs. Although the number is far smaller than the amount of jobs lost, it can only be helpful for a few that are skilled enough for those types of jobs like in an UK Times article where it states that “this technology also helped create 3.5 million higher skilled jobs.” This number of jobs created doesn’t come close to the 40 percent of lower-skilled jobs that have been lost due to robotic technology. Another example of a company getting rid of human workers is Capita, “Capita announced that 2,000 of its staff are to lose their jobs and be replaced by robots.” This company like many others are choosing this new technology over human workers. Many management jobs are safe from robots but any factory job is at major risk of being lost. And for the people that were newly unemployed, they better hit the books because those low-skilled jobs are becoming very scarce.