Everyone has seen or knows someone who has a bot for vacuuming the floor, cleaning the pool, or mowing the lawn. We’ve all heard of robotic process automation in surgery, making cars and their maintenance devices (here’s the best fuel system cleaner), and in military use. Even Amazon uses bots. Automation has spread into every nook and cranny of life.
The fascinating thing is watching it take over the world. It depends on the industry and just what tasks the bots will be performing. Their basic purpose is to do the repetitive, systematic tasks it takes people hours to complete.
No employer wants to harm his people. However, the automation craze isn’t about taking away their jobs. It’s about helping them become more efficient and timely in their production. With that said, this is how automation got so fascinating.
Humans Are Still Necessary
Americans are returning to a simpler time to a certain extent, a time in which Mom and Pop restaurants sourced their food from local small farms. Small and microbreweries and wineries are exploding in popularity because tours of the facilities show the human touch in their products and services.
Etsy, eBay, and other online shops are exploding due to their handmade items. Banks still need tellers, hospitals still need nurses, and farms still need farmers. These illustrate how some industries can’t be run strictly by automation, although some features of their business are.
Automation vs. Human
Not all automation is quite there just yet. In the battle between autonomous cars and human drivers, for example, the car came off as somewhat less than perfect, according to a California study. The Great McDonald’s Kiosk-Burger Battle showed many people that humans were still necessary as cashiers. So it’s not necessarily about losing jobs as it is about redefining them.
Even though machines take the vital signs, there’s still a drastic shortage of nurses. Artificial intelligence performs some surgeries, but doctors are still needed. Automation fills in forms, takes inventory, and delivers some aspects of customer service, but personal assistants and technicians still need to perform business tasks.
Creating New Jobs
Instead of automated production, service is the area showing intense job growth. Analysts of all types, assistants of all kinds (mainly medical), service technicians, installers and repairmen, financial analysts and advisors, and much more are gaining in the battle between automation and humans.
Even production jobs are somewhat safe since there are human-related tasks that artificial intelligence can’t perform. Maintaining business integrity and customer relations come to mind. On the other hand, there’s a joke that the hours allotted for work are filled with work needing to be done. As AI takes over the world, there will still be work to do, and in some instances, new jobs grow out of automation.
It’s unlikely that automation will ever displace humans working in think tanks, research and development, creativity, or even something as ordinary as the police and fire fighting professionals. Teaching can’t be automated (despite AI in machine learning,) nor can CEOs, engineers, and architects.
The Future Of Automation
Automation still has difficulties to overcome, such as training the machines in algorithms and making sense of machines’ interpretations of algorithms. Massive amounts of data processed opens the door to hacking, malicious applications, and security questions.
Meanwhile, while professionals tackle these questions, organizations are finding it challenging to make automation work across technology, people, and data availability in specific sectors. China ranks as the largest country using automation and making it work, followed by the United States and Japan.
It’s not a question of displacing workers. It’s more a question of reassignment of the workers. Someone has to develop the apps for the automation to operate within. A worker has to direct the physical arms of robots performing a task. Then, an employee has to take the data processed and classify it, analyze it, and lead it to an end-user.
But It’s Not So Bad
By 2030, it’s expected that 15 percent of jobs will be automated or 400 million workers out of jobs. However, it’s also expected that over 800 million jobs will be created by automation. Labor-market figures, wages, associated things like taxes, and insurance all have a place in adopting automation. While these are ironed out, let automation take over the world. It still needs people to administer it.