Conversations about automation and employment often circle around the idea that machines, robots, and automated systems will eventually replace the need for human workers. Some suggest that this fate is reserved for those in manufacturing and service industries, while others suggest that no job is safe from automation.
It’s not a one-sided argument, though. Some believe that while robots will displace workers, humans will continue to find new ways to be useful. The support? There have been concerns about technology ousting human workers since the industrial revolution, and people continue to be employable.
Still, many believe that machines will ultimately be able to completely replace the need for human workers. The “if/when” conversations are interesting and important, but we can’t forget about the “how”.
Is the fate of human workers up to humans, or is it out of our hands?
The capabilities of automation limit what we can automate. It goes without saying that we can’t automate a task, job, or function unless we have the technology to do so.
That’s not the only determining factor, however. Humans have the ultimate say in how we choose to implement automation. So, the question becomes will we allow ourselves to be unemployable?
The reason that we continue to implement automation is to improve our lives. The point of machines is to make our jobs and lives easier, safer, more convenient, and more efficient.
If we reach the point where automation starts making our lives worse – mass unemployment, poverty, meaningless existences – will we continue to automate everything?
Will it take someone saying, “Hey, we have the potential to put a lot of people out of a job with these robots. Let’s not do that even though machines are more efficient and more profitable.”?
Is it up to people to say, “OK, this is a job done by machines now. Let’s find a new way to be useful and do something that machines can’t do.”
Or will machines be too obvious a choice to pass up, regardless of the effect on humanity?
Whether or not humans will still have jobs is entirely up to humans. Both developing the technology to automate every single task, and making the choice to automate every task, are within our control. Whichever way we go, automation will continue to be essential in manufacturing. Call 479-422-0390 to keep your Indramat servos running smoothly.