top 10 robotic machines that have stolen jobs from people
Don’t look now, but the scary, dystopian themes of a futuristic robot takeover might be slowly playing out in front of our very eyes. As we grow increasingly reliant upon technology, automation and even robotics have taken on a more significant and present role in our everyday lives. Our phones recognize our voices and talk back to us, our cars can remember trips that we’ve previously taken and our computers customize information to better suit our needs. Automation has taken over for human employment in so many ways, as we order lunch from a touch screen, buy groceries at a self-checkout machine and do our banking at an ATM or online.
Robotic technology in the workforce isn’t simply here to stay, but boasts a growing presence. Observers at the forefront of technological development have predicted that humans will end up using robots for a wider variety of tasks that will only grow in complexity as their capabilities continue to advance and their skill set expands to even include responsibilities that demand creativity and recognizing human emotions. If you’re thinking about robots in a Hollywood cinematic sense, think of this new reality as less of a Terminator-style doom and gloom scenario and more of a WALL-E type of gentle, opportunistic takeover.
According to a 2015 report by the Bank of England, robotic machines are poised to take over 80 million American jobs and 15 million British jobs over the course of the next 10 to 20 years. That would represent 50% of the workforce in each of the two countries. Through this scenario, the Bank believes that administrative, clerical and production workers will be the first roles to be wiped out by the rise of automation as humans adapt their skills to fulfill duties that can’t yet be handled by robots. While the Industrial Revolution forced manual laborers to improve their skills to take on more sophisticated, complex jobs, this new era of mechanized development would see the robots use their advanced programming to just replace their human counterparts.
While the report may seem dramatic and shocking, particularly given its two decade or less timetable, it becomes less so when you realize that we are already well into the predicted rise of the machine. In various sectors of employment, jobs are already being done effectively and efficiently by mechanisms possessing artificial intelligence. From multi-billion dollar corporations like Amazon to technology companies like iRobot to even the United Stated military, robotic technology is being looked to as an increasingly viable, cost-effective means of skilled labor as opposed to using a human workforce.
It’s an amazing time that we currently live in, even if we don’t quite realize it yet. Over the past decade or two, technology has evolved at such a remarkable rate that we have come to expect regular new innovations and technological developments to hit the market in rapid succession. Now, we hardly bat an eye if confronted by, say, a prescription-filling robot pharmacist or even a Jeopardy-playing IBM computer named Watson. This might well already be a robot’s world, and we’re just living in it.
The Robots Are Anxious About Taking Your Job
It’s a typical scene — a patient lays on a couch talking to his shrink. He was forced to sing and dance in front of a crowd, you see. There were so many people, some of whom were singing in an unfamiliar language.
“All the people, people everywhere, pushing things at my screen, laughing at me,” the patient says with a metallic nervousness.
Fairly ordinary — were it not for the fact that the the patient is a telepresence robot who, earlier that day, had acted as the medium for an Israeli couple attending their grandson’s bar mitzvah in San Francisco.
The tongue-in-cheek video, posted earlier this year on YouTube, shows glimpses of a talis-clad robot dancing the hora. The psychiatrist pronounces the robot to have a multiple personality disorder.
The shrink is Joanne Pransky, the self-proclaimed World’s First Robot Psychiatrist®. Pransky has seen other patients with similar turmoil — an industrial robot-turned-bartender, a robot receptionist with social anxiety. And though Pransky does her work at least part in jest (indeed, she is not a licensed psychiatrist, at least for humans), she aims to reveal issues with the “human operating system” — that is, compatibility issues between human and robot.
“I try to bridge the gap between the fiction and reality of robots,” Pransky says. “I try to create awareness [about robots], which can lead to their acceptance.”
Robots, for better or worse, are making their way into our lives, but for many people, the technology has advanced faster than our ability to cope with it. Which can, and does, cause anxiety. To help ease it, roboticists and communicators such as Pransky are addressing these uncomfortable feelings in order to create a bridge between technology and the people wary of it.
If they succeed in bringing harmony between the machines and humanity, the robots may ultimately make our lives better and easier. At least, this is what they promise.
Robots are now really stealing jobs as Japanese firm replaces staff with AI
Though we’ve always assumed certain crafts will forever remain immune to automation, it seems nowadays nobody is safe from the looming artificial intelligence invasion.
While a few years back the prospect of robots snatching jobs from humans might have seemed like a hackneyed plot twist from a cheap science fiction flick, this scenario actually turned into reality for the staff of Japanese insurance firm Fukoku Mutual Life.
The BBC reports the company has made an executive decision to lay off more than 30 employees and replace them with an artificial intelligence system that can calculate insurance payouts. With this move, Fukoku Mutual estimates it will increase productivity by an impressive 30 percent.
To give you some more context, the firm additionally expects to save approximately in $1.2 million (or 140 million yen) in expenses by swapping out its human workers with AI.