The advancement of robotics technology has been on an upward trajectory for the last few decades. Automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning have all contributed to the development of more sophisticated robots designed to perform various tasks. As the robots become progressively advanced, the question arises; what is the impact on human labour and jobs?
There are two opposing views on the impact of robotics on jobs, one being optimistic and the other being pessimistic. The optimistic view is that robots will help create more jobs than they replace. The pessimistic view is that robots will render human jobs obsolete, resulting in widespread unemployment.
It is true that robots are increasingly replacing human labour in factories, warehouses, and other industries. Automated machines can perform tasks that are too dangerous, too repetitive or too strenuous for humans. The deployment of robots in these tasks has resulted in higher efficiency, improved productivity and reduced labour costs. However, the job loss due to automation is a concern. Robots do not require wages or benefits, and they can work around the clock. Once they are set up, they will continue to operate for long hours without any human intervention. The result is that companies can cut labour costs by replacing human workers with robots.
The optimistic view is based on the belief that robots will create more jobs than they replace. Increased productivity leading to lower prices will spur economic growth, which will create new jobs. For example, as robots take over manual labour tasks, people can shift to jobs that require more human intellect. Jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will see growth. Engineers, developers, and technicians will be required to design, build and maintain the robots.
Robots will also create new job opportunities in areas such as teleoperation, data analysis and robotics programming. Robots cannot operate autonomously and require human intervention in some tasks, such as remote control, maintenance and supervision. Therefore, the deployment of robots will create job opportunities in fields that require human intervention. The development of robots may also lead to the creation of new industries that did not exist previously. For example, as the use of drones becomes more common, new industries will emerge to support their deployment.
Another potential positive impact of the deployment of robots is that it may increase job satisfaction. Many manual labour jobs are dull, monotonous and offer no challenge to the workers. By deploying robots in these tasks, humans will be freed up to work on tasks that require more intellect and problem-solving skills, leading to more job satisfaction.
In conclusion, the impact of robotics on jobs is multi-faceted. It cannot be denied that the deployment of robots is leading to job displacement in some sectors. But, it is also opening up new avenues for job creation, especially in the STEM fields. The challenge for governments, companies, and individuals is to adapt to the rapid changes brought about by the evolution of robotic technology. To make sure that society benefits from robotics, governments must create policies and strategies that support the development of new job opportunities and re-skill the workforce. It is essential to create guidelines that ensure that we maximize the benefits of robotics while minimizing the societal cost.