Automation is a complex issue. As robots, artificial intelligence (AI), and other automated technology becomes more prevalent in our society, the impact is raising a lot of new questions.

How will we interact with robots and AI on the road, at home, and, perhaps most concerning, at work? It seems whenever a new technology is introduced and put in a real world application, one of the first questions is how many human jobs will be rendered obsolete.

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Proponents of automated innovations, however, are changing the question by asking how many new jobs will be created as a result of technology.

A Capable, Non-human Factor 
Robots can do a lot of things that were once strictly human tasks. The mechanical arms that assemble the body of an automobile are familiar, but in just the last few years we’re seeing technology that makes it possible to carefully package products, locate items on store shelves, deliver pizza, answer questions and translate language on the spot, and even care for humans with mobility limitations.

Once robots and AI systems are able to proficiently perform a task, lots of us wonder how much longer we’ll be in the picture.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Creating Jobs And Careers
In both marveling at and fearing more advanced automation, it’s easy to forget that humans are the factor that make this revolution possible, and will continue to be essential to its development, implementation, and operation. There are already examples of robot, AI, and other technological implementations that are not only creating new jobs, but careers.

Image Source: Singularity Hub 

Growth And New Hires
At Amazon, a growing robot workforce that helps transport and stock goods also resulted in increased human employment to oversee, manage, and fill in the gaps created by the newly automated warehouse systems systems. Last year, Amazon increased its robot workforce from 30,000 to 45,000. That expansion didn’t lead to layoffs of thousands of people in turn, but instead resulted in new hires to help Amazon keep up with the growth that resulted from better automation.


Helping AI Engage Better
Humans from all manner of professional backgrounds are now needed to help AI based resources complete functions more effectively.

Microsoft has been working with writers, linguists, physiologists and other experts to help make their new digital assistant, Cortana respond to human needs and requests in a more effective and engaging way.

Credit: Dienislabutin

Technology And The Human Touch
As technology like this is introduced, the need for a human touch becomes more apparent.  Though the types of jobs needed along side robots and AI systems will be different from the jobs that humans no longer need to do, it appears that we’re not in danger of becoming obsolete.

Instead, it seems like we’ll see new opportunities to function in a different capacity, along side automated systems that work faster, easier, and more predictably.

Do you feel optimistic about AI, robots, and other automated technology becoming more integrated into society? Have you already seen changes in your industry? Comment and tell us what you think.

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