“More Robots Means Fewer Jobs”, “Jobs that Humans Will Lose to Robots”, “Robots Taking Over Jobs” – these are just a few of the headlines I’ve seen recently surrounding robotics and their threat to human jobs.
However, I disagree. I don’t believe robots will steal our jobs. I believe they’ll provide the opportunity for us to take on higher impact jobs or at least offload some of our less desirable workload. They will create growth and introduce more opportunities for the human workforce. Robotics will automate mundane tasks, allowing humans to spend more time on more important tasks. If they can collaborate with the human workforce in manufacturing and on production lines, it will reduce lead times for small and large businesses, and even reduce physical injuries and efforts by taking on the heavy lifting. This automation will spur the growth of job transformation, not job replacement.
There are also many cases where there is no replacement for a human. Take Mercedes Benz for example. They recently removed robots from their manufacturing unit in Germany because the robots were unable to “work with all different options and keep pace with changes.” When it comes down to it, humans offer a level of specialized skills, flexibility and dexterity that today’s robots have been unable to replicate.
It is important to think of robotics and other technological advancements as an opportunity for collaboration. If we design and program them to work with us, there is no problem we can’t solve. Artificial intelligence might be able to beat the human grand master, but human grand master along with AI can beat the AI on its own.
What are your thoughts on technological advances like robotics – do they take jobs or create them? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.