American Expectations for Automation in the Workplace

Will you lose your job to a robot? Are you going to work with a robot? Are you going to work for a robot? Automation is already present in many different industries, but as technology improves, and as automation gets more affordable and more capable, we should expect even more automation in the workplace. Here’s what Americans think the future holds for workplace automation, based on surveys from the Pew Research Center.

Anything you can do… machines can do in 30 years.

82% of survey participants said that machines will perform much of the work that humans currently perform by 2050. 52% said this will “probably”happen, and 30% said it will “definitely” happen. Only 37% said that machines would perform, “the type of work I do”.

It’s just like Metropolis

Metropolis, released in 1927 and regarded as one of the most influential science fiction films ever made, depicted a stark divide between the upper echelons of society living lavishly in high-rise towers and the working class who toiled in dangerous working conditions underground. According to 76% of Americans, automation in the workplace will worsen economic inequality. Two-thirds said that automation won’t create new, better-paying jobs for workers.

The good, the bad, and the benign

Fewer than one-fourth of Americans (22%) believe that automation benefits workers in the United states. Almost half of U.S. adults (48%) believe automation has already hurt American workers. The remaining 28% say that, so far, automation has neither hurt nor helped U.S. workers.

It’s up to us humans

Almost 60% of Americans believe that there should be some time of regulation limiting the number of jobs that a business can replace with automation. A whopping 85% are in support of restricting automation to the types of work that present health risks to human workers. When it comes to who exactly should be responsible for taking care of displaced workers, however, Americans were split almost evenly on the issue; 49% said it’s up to the individual to care for their own well-being, and 51% said it’s on the government.

Things don’t always turn out the way we expect them to. We do know for certain, however, that automation is the future as well as the present. This is especially true in industry. Make sure that your machines keep working like they’re meant to work. Call 479-422-0390 for service, support, repair, and retrofitting for Indramat industrial motion control systems.