Dawn of the Robots - is 2012 the Year of Less Human Productivity?
Filed under: Technology
Economies around the world are beginning to see a recovery from the Global Financial Crisis. Productivity in America is back to the level it was before the economic downturn which occurred in 2008, however, there are seven million fewer jobs. Investment in capital is the primary cause of this. Due to the rising costs of hiring, companies are now looking to invest in machinery as an alternative to workers in a vast array of industries.
The fear of job extinction is not a new thought. We have seen this in the past when the industrial revolution began. However, the industrial revolution only resulted in a higher demand for product meaning worker demand rose simultaneously in new areas and industries. It is important to note that these machines were introduced as a tool to aid and enhance productivity levels. The difference these days is the fact that machinery is becoming increasingly sophisticated and more and more jobs may be completely eradicated. The question is, will new jobs be created from this impressive new technology or will the technology simply take over?
Machine intelligence is the main difference between the past and the future. It is hard to predict how the implementation of this technology will affect the economy. The problem is machinery is advancing at an astounding rate and has become more than just a tool in the workplace. The technology is evolving and becoming more autonomous; meaning less control by humans is required.
Currently, investment in this type of technology is being employed by the Rio Tinto-operated West Angelas iron ore mine near Newman, Western Australia. Are robots the future of the WA mining industry? Rania Spooner February 7, 2012.
Rio Tinto backs ‘driverless’ train plan Peter Ker February 20, 2012.
It’s a Man vs. Machine Recovery Lynch January 05, 2012
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