I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First. ...

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I work at ValueFirst Digital Media Private Ltd. I am a Product Marketer in the Surbo Team. Surbo is Chatbot Generator Platform owned by Value First.

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Who is afraid of automation?

By satyamkapoor |Email | Apr 11, 2018 | 10848 Views

Robots are increasingly being perceived as a threat for the job market and lot of people are trying to analyze and calculate this risk. There is a website- that attempts to give a realistic estimate of an individual loosing his job to a robot. The risk estimation is based on the premise that certain job profiles requiring repetitive tasks are most likely to be replaced by robots. Such jobs include job of a cashier at a retail shop or clerical level jobs. However jobs requiring intellectual inputs like that of an editor of a magazine has low likelihood to be replaced by a robot.


Automation is already affecting the job scenario in many of the developed countries like United Kingdom. Though automation does result in a significant loss of the recursive jobs, it also results in creation of new job opportunities with new job requirements. A 2015 report by Deloitte quoted that while automation resulted in the loss of 80,000 existing jobs, it also created almost 3.5 million new jobs. Additionally the new jobs were on an average paying almost ten thousand pounds more than a existing job thereby eventually boosting the economy by one hundred and forty billion pounds. However, within the United Kingdom, there is a regional variation in this scenario with Northern Ireland boosting the economy by less than five billion pounds and Scotland by nearly ten billion pounds. Overall though the economic boost may be minimal to moderate in most of the regions, no region has  recorded an actual decline in economy as a result of the automation.


These figures should come as a respite to the common man who is flooded with all kinds of scary media reports related to automation. One of such news highlights that "Almost 30 percent of jobs in towns including Sunderland and Wakefield are at risk by 2030 due to automation and globalization". So, such one sided presentation of facts without highlighting the economic benefits of automation is unfair.


The first to be affected by automation are the low paid non-skilled jobs. According to the analysts, jobs paying less than thirty thousand pounds are five times more likely to be replaced by automation than jobs paying over ten thousand pounds. Personal assistants, bank clerks and retail cashier are the jobs more likely to be replaced by robots.


In a nutshell automation process is more likely to tilt the balance in favor of more job creation and economic growth in the end. Almost three fourth of business owners in the United Kingdom believe that the new technology and automation is likely to play a significant role in their business and they are likely to adopt them. However, to preserve loss of jobs many of the unskilled workers will require retraining and adoption of new job profiles. One of such practical example is that of storage workers in Amazon who were challenged by the robotic arms performing the stacking and movement of wooden pallets. However, the same workers who were replaced by the robots are actually handling them and now they find their jobs more interesting and challenging than their previous tasks.


So the pessimism attached to the process of automation needs to be replaced by optimism and enthusiasm. Based on our past experience where the advances in technology has benefited the society and improved quality of life, we should hope the same with automation.

Source: HOB