Automation is coming for our jobs: are we ready? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 54)

Automation is a process that’s being on-going for the past 40 years to take ever more complex tasks and have machines take over. This means that a lot of manual, repetitive tasks have been handed over to robotic arms and minds, freeing the humans to do something more elevated, and possible more stimulating. This will constitute a monumental impact on society, with as many as 800 million workers projected to be displaced by 2030. Nonetheless, there are a few key issues in the way of that vision: skill gaps make it hard to change careers, our social systems aren’t suited to support workers through these new shifts and this phenomenon could accentuate present issues that we are pressing to eliminate, like gender and racial discrimination in the form of pay gaps. For its promises of utmost freedom, there are a few angles to iron out before it becomes reality, creating a suitable environment to guarantee innovation and social welfare (like Sweden!).

Automation Could Displace 800 Million Workers Worldwide By 2030, Study Says

A coming wave of job automation could force between 400 million and 800 million people worldwide out of a job in the next 13 years, according to a new study. A report released this week from the research arm of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company forecasts scenarios in which 3 percent to 14 percent of workers around the world — in 75 million to 375 million jobs — will have to acquire new skills and switch occupations by 2030.

“There are few precedents” to the challenge of retraining hundreds of millions of workers in the middle of their careers, the report’s authors say.

Read the full article here.

How Robots Could Make the Gender Pay Gap Even Worse

A new report published Thursday suggests that robots could make the gender pay gap even worse, stoking existing fears and uncertainty around the concept of automation. In a paper titled “Managing automation Employment, inequality and ethics in the digital age,” the Institute for Public Policy Research argued that a greater share of jobs that women hold—46.8% versus 40.9% for men—have the technical potential to be automated since female workers are more likely to hold low-skill “automatable” occupations. Paired with women’s underrepresentation in high-skill occupations that may be complemented by technology, that means that automation could exacerbate gender inequality.

Read more here.

The Robots Are Coming, and Sweden Is Fine

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Sweden’s famously generous social welfare system makes this a place not prone to fretting about automation — or much else, for that matter.

Mr. Persson, 35, sits in front of four computer screens, one displaying the loader he steers as it lifts freshly blasted rock containing silver, zinc and lead. […] He is cognizant that robots are evolving by the day. Boliden is testing self-driving vehicles to replace truck drivers. But Mr. Persson assumes people will always be needed to keep the machines running. He has faith in the Swedish economic model and its protections against the torment of joblessness.

“I’m not really worried,” he says. “There are so many jobs in this mine that even if this job disappears, they will have another one. The company will take care of us.”


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Preparing for Next-Gen Manufacturing (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 31)

Over the course of the last century, manufacturing has begun a downward dive in reputation, leading to less interest in the industry as a career path and, consequently, to broader ignorance in its developments, but there are ways to fix that. As a result, the industry is experiencing a skill-gap in its prospecting professionals who are not being prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. This is apparent in AM, as businesses are still encouraged to “work with the willing, and go from there”, but a lot of projects are starting to deal with this lack in education. Automation is engulfing the production pipeline and many businesses are not sure where to even begin investing their time and resources to start embracing IIoT and other smart technologies.

How to Fix Manufacturing’s Poor Image

How to Fix Manufacturing’s Poor Image

U.S. manufacturing suffers from an important image problem that undermines its competitiveness, according to a new survey released on July 13 by Deloitte, along with the Manufacturing Institute. Only 50% of Americans think manufacturing jobs are interesting and less than 30% are likely to encourage their children to pursue a career. However Americans have not yet given up hope on the industry and in fact are overwhelmingly optimistic for its future […] much needs to be done to make sure that the public, including educators and those in a position to guide talent to the industry, understand the facts, the report concludes.

Read more about the findings in the Deloitte report here.

Overcoming the Additive Manufacturing Skill Gap

Chris has been working as a machinist in the advanced manufacturing realm for 47 years. He’s regularly involved in Imperial’s most difficult Additive projects.

How does a company owner find experienced talent in an industry that’s only a few years old? This is the problem early adopters of Metal Additive Manufacturing are trying to solve. […] Indeed, additive is already playing an important role in the advanced manufacturing world, but there’s an unresolved pain-point felt across the industry; a small pool of skilled AM professionals, trying to satisfy the workforce needs of a rapidly growing industry.

Read the full article here.

Automation in the Warehouse: Asset or Obstacle?

Automation is a powerful tool and comes in many shapes and forms. In the warehouse, automation is generally used to make gains upon existing processes by improving efficiency, speed, reliability, accuracy and (eventually) cost savings. Gone are the days of thinking that paper-based processes are enough. Automation is at everyone’s disposal, yet investing in it doesn’t mean it will solve every goods-handling issue or be the right fit. Humans are still better at a lot of things.

Read more on smart automation deployment here.


As always, we hope to see you next week for another edition of the News-In-Review! In the mean time, our Twitter feed will keep you topped up on AM and IIoT related news, so check that out as well!