The Negative Effects of Robots Entering the WorkforceOctober 2, 2017 No Comments
Featured article by Rick DelGado, Independent Technology Author
Automation within the workplace is a concept that workers can expect to see a whole lot more of in the days to come. From simple software scripts that are able to automate a wide range of digital workflow process to sophisticated robots capable of performing an ever-growing number of manual tasks, automation continues to provide new solutions and alternatives throughout many different industries. While there are numerous potential advantages and long-term benefits, there are also a number of concerns associated with automation which must be addressed. Examining the ways in which workplace automation is transforming the way we do business highlights a number of negative effects that may be brought about by robots entering the workforce.
Higher Maintenance and Installation Costs
Unlike digital and software-based automation which may be setup with minimal overhead, making the switch from a conventional workforce to a robotic one often entails considerable expense. While commercial and industrial-grade equipment will no doubt fall in price as it becomes more commonplace, the total costs needed to bring automation into a working environment continues to create obstacles for smaller organizations and those that have only limited financial resources. Purchase, installation and long-term upkeep costs are all something that employers and business owners would do well to consider carefully prior to investing in the resources needed to automate even small-scale workflow processes.
Enhanced Risk of Data Breach and Other Cybersecurity Issues
Replacing conventional workers with software applications or equipment that may be accessed wirelessly may result in an increased risk of a data breach. Enhanced automation is not without risk and businesses that utilize smart-devices and computer controlled equipment to manage or perform the bulk of their operations and workflow can often become an inviting target. While new digital technologies that will be able to address security concerns will continue to be developed, businesses that elect to automate without addressing safety concerns and those who fail to make digital security a top priority could be making a costly misstep.
While a robotic workforce may have vastly improved efficiency, enhanced productivity is not without its cost. Automated equipment is often very limited in terms of its scope of use and businesses that need to quickly respond to changing circumstances or new developments may find themselves at a real disadvantage. While employees may be able to shift their focus and attention without issue, an automated workflow process may be little more than a liability should change occur too quickly.
Anxiety and Insecurity Regarding the Future
Loss of employment due to workplace automation is significant concern for a growing number of today’s workers and professionals. Automation promises to be nothing short of a revolution, one that may be just as significant as the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. The anxiety and insecurity caused by such sweeping change is not something that should be taken lightly. Communities that have been built around a specific industry may need time to adjust to the concept of robots entering the workforce in greater numbers.
The Future of Workplace Automation
New technologies always have the potential to make lasting changes to a society. While autonomous vehicles are already poised to transform a number of industries, next-generation robots may create an even bigger impact on fields like healthcare where they offer a number of key advantages over their human counterparts. Automated care providers can reduce or even eliminate instances of malpractice and robots have no need ongoing training like CPR and ACLS recertification.
Loss of Jobs and Reduced Opportunities
Loss of employment opportunities due to widespread automation promises to create a number of potentially serious social issues. Self-driving vehicles are poised to eliminate countless positions within just a few years and that may prove to be only the beginning. As technology becomes more advanced, the range of potential uses and roles that robots will be able to fill is only expected to grow. Even specialized fields and professions like medical diagnostics and even surgical care providers may not be safe from the effects of widespread workplace automation.
by Rick DelGado, Independent Author
“I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I’ve started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.” – Rick DelGadoSOCIAL BUSINESS