Automation is being employed to solve many of the challenges of the present day. In a sense, it is liberating us humans from menial or even dangerous tasks in favour of more stimulating exercises. For example, putting your life in the possibly dangerous environment of an ammunition factory was the only way for poor families to sustain themselves. Robotics and other technologies are not only putting unsafe jobs out of the list, are increasing productivity considerably. There are also societal changes that we are only now starting to foresee. Analyses show that certain dynamics are going to shift as demographic and economic factors evolve. For example, a number of countries with an aging population will need an increase in caregivers. Automation is already bringing to market solutions for human-machine relationship robots to take care of this. This trend is putting under the spotlight how technology is making certain jobs obsolete, inflating the already present preoccupation of joblessness. However, studies conducted by automation technologies show that however permeating these are, humans will not only always be required for complex and open-ended tasks, the new framework brought about by automation will create new jobs, such that never even existed before.
Robots Have Replaced Humans in 25% of China’s Ammunition Factories
Speaking with the South China Morning Post (SCMP), Xu Zhigang, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Shenyang Institute of Automation, said that nearly 25% of China’s ammunition factories have had their human workers replaced with “smart machines.” Interestingly enough, China didn’t turn to AI simply because it wants to lead AI adoption. It was instead because the factories were lacking in people who actually wanted to work in such dangerous environments.
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Can Robots Tighten the Bolts on a Rickety Caregiver Sector?
In 15 years, the percentage of the population over 65 will more than double in Europe, Japan and the U.S. A tenfold increase in care workers will be required, at a time when the sector is relentlessly shrinking. At first glance, this could be a perfect opportunity for robots to fill a genuine social need—entrepreneurs and tech evangelists frequently talk of machines tackling the “dangerous and demeaning work” of carrying and cleaning patients.
Read the full article here.
Could Self-Driving Trucks Be Good for Truckers?
Uber does not believe that self-driving trucks will be doing “dock to dock” runs for a very long time. They see a future in which self-driving trucks drive highway miles between what they call transfer hubs, where human drivers will take over for the last miles through complex urban and industrial terrain. […] Basically, if the self-driving trucks are used far more efficiently, it would drive down the cost of freight, which would stimulate demand, leading to more business. And, if more freight is out on the roads, and humans are required to run it around local areas, then there will be a greater, not lesser, need for truck drivers.
“If you believe the [automation] narrative that’s out there today, it is especially counterintuitive,”Alden Woodrow, the product lead for self-driving trucks at Uber, says, “because the more self-driving trucks you have and the higher utilization they have, the more jobs it creates.”
Read the full article in the Atlantic.
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