Advancement in technology has transformed and revolutionized the workplace in many ways. One of these technological developments is the increasing popularity of robotics or artificial intelligence which has made various aspects of work easier but also brought worries as to how it will affect human workers. With the workforce experiencing such drastic changes in a short period, it is important to understand what effect robotics will have on future jobs. While some people believe that robotics or artificial intelligence in the workplace may interfere with jobs for humans, others believe that robots will free them from tough jobs and result in the creation of high-tech industries (Rotman par. 4). Though there are worries that robots will interfere with jobs for humans, they can be beneficial to various industries in the world. In fact, robots are not taking up jobs for humans, but they are complementing them and increasing productivity.
A few years from now, the number of companies using robots to carry out various functions may increase. Currently, the Henn-na Hotel in Japan claims that robots run 90 percent of its operations with only ten human employees running the remaining 10 percent (Rajesh par. 5). The robots are responsible for welcoming and checking in guests, and while doing that, they will be establishing eye contact and react to body language. Apart from the Henn-na Hotel, the YOTEL hotel in New York also uses robots to carry out various activities of the hotel. The robots are responsible for managing guests belongings, delivering laundry, making coffee, cleaning rooms and performing other related jobs (Klausner par. 1). A common industry where robots are common is the manufacturing sector which mostly needs precision and consistency with minimal labor costs. Apart from hotels and the manufacturing industry, robots are also used in hospitals, in warehouses and many other areas. In fact, recent estimations show that robots will perform many tasks that are currently carried out by humans.
Based on the information above, there is a higher chance that ten years from now robots will spread to more industries and perform tasks that are currently done by humans. Though most economies still have many things that are difficult to automate, the increasing research on the area of robotics and artificial intelligence will change the way work is conducted in the future. For instance, there is a robot named Ellie that can diagnose post-traumatic stress and depression by using sensors to track emotions (Smith par. 4). Such developments will result in more companies bringing in robotics to do work that is currently performed by humans. The takeover will increase productivity and improve the overall economy. Some jobs have a higher likelihood of embracing robots in their operations as compared to others. Apparently, the prospects of a teaching assistant job to be replaced by robots is 55.7 percent ("Will Your Job Be Done By A Machine?"). The prospects are based on four factors; if the job needs one to come up with clever solutions, if the job requires one to help others personally, if the job needs one to squeeze in small places, and if the job requires negotiation. Personally, I do not agree with the results since a teaching assistant job requires personal assistance to other people and negotiating on various issues, which were the aspects rated as having a higher likelihood of automation for the job.
With the increasing penetration of robots in the workplace, some people may be planning on ways to equip themselves so that they can succeed in a highly automated workplace. However, this is not necessary as the robots will not be replacing human jobs but rather reposition humans into jobs that may not be currently existing. When looking at the history of the transformation of jobs, the repositioning aspect becomes clear. For instance, in the late nineteenth century, more than 70 percent of the population was employed in the agriculture industry, but today, it consists of less than 1% of the population (Martech 14). Also, unlike previous years where people had to go to a physical workplace, there is an increasing number of individuals who perform their jobs online at the comfort of their homes. Jobs are changing and by the time robots will replace humans in the workplace, people will have acquired new skills and reposition themselves to other careers.
There are various reports that talk about this issue. One of these reports is the Pew Research Centers report on artificial intelligence, robotics and the future of jobs. The key findings of the report show that vast majority of people agree that robotics and artificial intelligence will penetrate to wide segments of the daily activities of human beings (Smith and Janna 4). The industries that will be more affected include customer service, the healthcare sector, transport and logistics, and home maintenance. But though most people agree that evolution of technology will change the workplace in many industries in few years to come, they are greatly divided on the way robotics and interfacial intelligence will affect employment and the overall economy (Smith and Janna 5). The findings show that many people agree that robots will permeate most segments of the workplace in years to come. However, the different opinions on how robotics and artificial intelligence will affect employment, and the economy calls for more education to prepare people for the future.
Another article that talks about robotics and future jobs is titled Positive Impact of Industrial Robots on Employment by the IFR International Federation of Robotics. The article suggests that jobs can either be directly or indirectly created due to the use of robotics and artificial intelligence. 150,000 jobs are generated directly as a result of using robots (Martech 2). The types of applications where robotics and artificial intelligence directly creates or preserves jobs are the ones that can only produce satisfactory results by the use of robots. On the other hand, use of robotics and artificial intelligence creates many jobs indirectly. The main source of employment is the newly created activity of supporting manufacturing processes that can only be carried out by robots (Martech 3). The study which was carried out in 2011 found out that one million robots in industries created about three million jobs. The authors further went ahead and identified the industries which will have a rise in employment rates as a result of robotics use. These industries are renewable energy, electronics, automotive, robotics, skilled systems, and food and beverage (Martech 7s). The findings of the study show that people should not be worried about robots taking their jobs as they are bound to make life easier and create new jobs. People should instead look forward to robots creating new opportunities that do not exist today.
Advancement in technology has changed the ways in which jobs are done. Unlike previous years, today, robots have permeated various sectors and are performing tasks that were previously reserved for humans. Such penetration of robots in the workplace has created diversified views on its effect on employment and the overall economy. While some people view that robots will result in job losses, others view that it will make work easier, increase productivity and create new jobs both directly and indirectly. With such diverse views, the educational system should be improved so as to prepare people for the jobs of the future.
Klausner, Alexandra. "New York Hotel Employs A Robot To Help Visitors With Their Luggage". Mail Online. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
Martech, Metra. "Positive Impact of Industrial Robots on Employment." International Federation of Robotics (2013): 62-63.
Rajesh, Monisha. "Inside JapanS First Robot-Staffed Hotel". the Guardian. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
Rotman, David. "Will Advances In Technology Create A Jobless Future?". MIT Technology Review. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
Smith, Aaron, and Janna Anderson. "AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs." Pew Research Center (2014).
Smith, Stacy. "How A Machine Learned To Spot Depression". NPR.org. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
"Will Your Job Be Done By A Machine?". NPR.org. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.
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