Drives & Controls magazine polled readers with a simple question: do robots destroy jobs or create them? Readers could answer “either” or “both” as well.
It’s an important question to many Americans. Economists are claiming that automation is an important factor in the decline of manufacturing jobs. Researchers have identified a fairly long list of jobs that should be entirely turned over to robots within the next 20 years. While employment is increasing across the United States, there are still enough people unemployed or underemployed that it makes sense to ask whether robots are taking jobs away from Americans.
So far, respondents to this poll see both sides of the question, with half of those answering saying that robots take jobs away and also create new ones. 27% see robots primarily as job creators, so when we add these two groups together, we have a resounding pro-robot vote.
Those of us who work in motion control know that our jobs aren’t threatened by automation. What jobs are under threat? Jobs that don’t involve creativity, problem solving, knowledge, manual dexterity, or social skills. In many cases, these are poorly paid, repetitive jobs combining hard physical work with tedium.
Let’s let the robots have them.
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