More and more in the news we read about a new robotics invention. We read on the web about Google buying out another robotics company and the speculation of how these robots will be used.
It is the eighth robotics company that Google has acquired in the last half-year. Executives at the Internet giant are circumspect about what exactly they plan to do with their robot collection. But Boston Dynamics and its animal kingdom-themed machines bring significant cachet to Google’s robotic efforts, which are being led by Andy Rubin, the Google executive who spearheaded the development of Android, the world’s most widely used smartphone software.
The deal is also the clearest indication yet that Google is intent on building a new class of autonomous systems that might do anything from warehouse work to package delivery and even elder care.
In an article called "Robots Have Taken Over the Internet", there is a chart showing the results of a study that was done that states there is more non-human traffic generated on the web than human traffic. I realize this is slightly different than robots taking over jobs, but still it's showing how robotics are taking over marketing that used to be done by humans even if on the web.
We hear about employers replacing their employees with robots. We hear how robotics is good for an employer as they no longer have to pay a salary and-or offer benefits. Robots can work 24-7 and rarely have any failures as indicated in an article on "Industrial Robots".
Modern industrial robots are true marvels of engineering. A robot the size of a person can easily carry a load over one hundred pounds and move it very quickly with a repeatability of +/-0.006 inches. Furthermore these robots can do that 24 hours a day for years on end with no failures whatsoever. Though they are reprogrammable, in many applications (particularly those in the auto industry) they are programmed once and then repeat that exact same task for years.
Farms are replacing labor force with bots ranging from the field hand, drivers, seed planters, fertilizers, field inspectors, and who know what. This article by NovaNext "Farms of the Future Will Run on Robots and Drones" gives an excellent description on farming in the future. Technology of this sort is not cheap so only those farms who have the money to pay for this technology will be able to invest in this kind of farming. Where does that leave the farmer who has earned their livelihood through their own blood, sweat, and tears? Even with availability of goverment grants, some of these smaller farms may not be able to take advantage of this technology.
Despite the drastic changes, the near future of American farming may, in some ways, more closely resemble the distant past. Instead of a massive machines slowly combing over vast swaths of land, scores of individual laborers will work their own small sections, one row, one plant at a time. The only difference is they will be robots, working day or night, continuously streaming data about growth rates, soil fertility, water usage, and more to the farm office.
With drivers out of the equation, robots will grow smaller and more nimble. “You can imagine a future where you’d have huge numbers of small robots swarming over a field,” says Martin Ford, an entrepreneur and author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future.
Here's a list of Nine jobs that Humans May Lose to Robots...Click on the link to find out how robotics may overtake or have overtaken some of these jobs.
- Lawyers and paralegals
- Store clerks
- Sportswriters and other reporters
Sometimes it appears that a robotic invention is a good thing like having a telepresence robot in your office for colab meetings. It saves on travel time and airfare for those who need to attend a meeting especially if it's located in a different state or even a different country. I see this as a great invention, but now let's talk about the trickle-down effect of using these robots.
- AIRLINES. I believe much of their traffic has to do with business people traveling from place to place. If these telepresence robots become the norm as I think they will, airlines will lose more business travel meaning they will need less planes which in turn means less pilots, other plane staff, and support staff. I think much of this, though, has already occured with the advent of web meetings.
- WEB MEETINGS. Since there usually is a yearly and-or monthly service fee involved in hosting a web meeting, I foresee many will stop using this service and utilize the telepresence robot instead. Actually, I find this to be a good thing. We are being bombarded with service fees from all over the place.
In all of the Sci-Fi shows we've seen such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, etc. we see a lot of living, breathing entities along with the robots. In these Hollywood productions, there also seems to be training centers and ground support services to go along with the actual space exploration, itself. In many of the examples I've listed above, I wonder what types of jobs will be created for all of those who lose theirs will come from. IMO, this is not only affecting blue-collar workers, it's also going to affect white collar workers and small-business owners who do not have the funds to upgrade the technology used in their business.
What I see as the end result of robotics is some of what is already happening. We are going to end up with even less small-business owners and more big business that will be able to use all of the technology the world has to offer in their field. More and more people are going to be left without a job no matter what efforts they have put into trying to get another one.
I ask you again...Is Robotics really good for mankind if the world goes all out in using them? I am a firm believer in technology, but see where some of it can do more harm than good. Is it really worth putting so many out of a job? Please don't say it won't, because it will, at least in the US; otherwise some employers and businesses would not be looking into robotics for cost savings outside of the other reasons. I personally feel there should be some controls on how much in the way of robotics we should have, at least in the US. For the life of me, I just can't see how it can be good for the internal economy of the US. Businesses want people to spend money on their products. Well, if there are only a select few jobs available to build and maintain the robots which apparently hardly need repair, there will only be a select few people that will be able to purchase their products or utilize their services.
Please abide by the CoH and UA and be civil to each other.
This article "Robotics. Is it Good for Mankind?" was authored by ©PonGoad 2013. All Rights Reserved.