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How Human is the Future of Robots?

*Header Photo Credit: Cyan Robotics

Robotics is constantly evolving, and machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies are set to make robots more sophisticated and advanced than ever before. However, robots should not be thought of as intelligent beings or intelligent things, which is a trap for which many people fall.

Instead, think of robotics affecting your life the same way that a computer does. Your computer cannot solve general questions, and neither will robotics. But if you know its purpose and make precise queries of it in clear, understandable ways, it will execute repetitive tasks efficiently.

Robotic Arms

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Do more robotic arms mean fewer human jobs? Or, more efficient manufacturing?

These are questions we get asked a lot. However, it’s clear that more robotic arms don’t mean fewer human jobs. In fact, they may lead to more human jobs. According to a report from the World Economic Forum,  robots may displace 75 million jobs globally by 2022, but in time create a net positive of 133 million new ones!

Take the example of a spreadsheet. Prior to its existence, accountants spent a lot of time adding numbers manually. The advent of the spreadsheet made work so much easier for accountants, who were now able to spend their time making informed business decisions, improve communications, increase reporting, and streamline efficiencies. 

These advancements increased profitability which actually created way more jobs, although programmatically, the responsibility for the person that added the numbers no longer existed.

The idea that robots are going to come and “take everyone’s jobs” is incorrect. In fact, the future of robots and humans very much go hand-in-hand.

Present and Future Applications of Robotics

A funny thing happens when you take motors and put them in a configuration that looks like an arm. People suddenly humanize it and think it’s somehow autonomous.

Yes, in the future robots will be functionally capable of taking over most of if not all automation. However, we are still several major advancements in machine learning away from that – and even then there will be limitations. 

Here’s another historical example for context. There was a time that weekends in the workforce didn’t exist the way they did now. Then along came Henry Ford and his assembly line model that was able to produce incredible numbers of cars in short periods of time. Suddenly, there was a lot more flexibility.

The workforce is always changing and humans adapt to it. If and when robots in the future get to the point where they can do most things that humans do autonomously, we’ll adapt again. The evolution of work will continue. Maybe it opens up more time for us to pursue our passions and hobbies.

Robotic Fleets Should Empower Humans

When talking about fleets that are useful, you should start with valuable applications. Ensure the robots are doing narrow, specified things, and doing them reliably. Then, we need to make sure we manage them by observing sets of information on logs, fixing problems, and running analytics. Effectively managing a robot fleet is about taking a problem from a robot and getting it to the right person through a smart alert system.

In fact, we’re already seeing deployments of robotic fleets like this in spaces like hospitals and automotive manufacturing with great success. We’re using robots to solve previously unsolvable problems, like cleaning all of the trash in the ocean. This is only possible with fleets of robots working together to build a better life for humans.

 

Robotics is evolving, and Freedom Robotics can help you be a leader in the robotics revolution. Sign up today to the world’s leading API-first robotics control, monitoring, and management platform.9 Steps to Monitor and Scale Your Robot Fleet

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