The introduction of robotics into manufacturing was a revolutionary process that produced controversial results. For some, the automation of certain manufacturing processes meant fewer jobs. For others, the implementation of new technology meant forward progression in the human evolution.
The robotics industry encompasses far more than production assembly nowadays and can be found in many personal and household items. However, one of the many directions that robotics is heading (and quickly) is the incorporation of artificial technology, or AI for short.
Artificial intelligence is the science of creating a technological entity that can process data in a similar manner as that of a human. These AIs will be able to formulate opinions and ideas about a range of subjects, and from an external standpoint would in all appearances act as if burdened with free-will.
However, while the technology is being strongly researched and tested in many labs, it is far from being as perceivably organic as something you might see in popular films such as The Terminator or iRobot.
Which isn’t to say that it may not get there one day. Advancements in AI technology are happening at a growing rate and if anything is to be learned from the history and evolution of robotics, it’s that such achievements aren’t just possible: they’re probable.
Today, there exist many impressive creations within the robotics industry that have already implemented AI technology on a rudimentary scale (in juxtaposition to the end product).
Robots such as Sophia have been given the use of AI are making a lot of noise in the industry as well as receiving an array of feedback from the social masses. The fear of artificial intelligence is quite common and is founded on reasonable assumptions and principles.
Many believe that if a robotic organism gained the ability to learn and increase their knowledge, then they would soon realize there would be no need for the human race.
While this may sound like science-fiction, many of the advancements being made today are manifestations of conceptual creations made by past innovators and artists.
Cell phones and digital assistants, which were depicted in shows such as Star Trek, were viewed as theoretical technology at best. Now everyone has a cell phone and most of them come with a digital personal assistant who has speech recognition and access to the infinite troves of data on the internet.
So there is some justification for those who oppose the advancement of AI technology if based on nothing more than human persistence. Though it isn’t just the ‘regular joes and janes’ that fear what AI might entail. Accomplished pioneers in the technological industry such as SpaceX and Tesla founder and CEO, Elon Musk, who also share concerns about artificial intelligence.
In his South by Southwest appearance, he stated that “I am very close to to the cutting edge in AI and it scares the hell out of me,” according to a CNBC Make It article.
The article reports further on Musk’s concerns, in which he wants specific “oversights” to manage the maturation of AI tech. Such governing bodies would oversee the proper and safe development of artificial intelligence, and if this were a sci-fi movie — make sure no one built a malicious robotic supervillain.
Each side of the fence has their defendants and even some who are batting for both sides, albeit with extreme care. So if AI becomes as incorporated into daily life as programs such as Alexa and Google Home, what are the expectations?
According to Forbes, robotics and artificial intelligence might mean more jobs. As previously stated, there are many concerns with the adoption of robotics within the workforce. Primarily the loss of jobs for the living, breathing men and women. What Forbes suggests in their article is that the integration of AI and robotics will actually create a demand for jobs based on the implementation.
The article quotes statistics gathered by Capgemini, a tech consulting group, in which they state that 83% of the businesses that implemented AI declared that the adaptation created jobs, as well as 63% of those businesses, said jobs remained intact after the incorporation of AI.
Other sources such as Gartner state that by 2020, AI will form more jobs than it phases out. Technology specific positions will be in demand for companies who begin adopting artificial intelligent systems and robotics on a larger scale.
In the present and immediate future, many companies are only implementing AI as a beta to test to the possible benefits and plausible problems they might encounter. As the number of those companies increases as well as the increase of use to a full-scale incorporation, those systems will need to be created and monitored.
As time progresses in unison with the advancements in artificial intelligence, you can expect to see more esoteric jobs opening as well as growth in the industry overall.
You might also see education opportunities in the field of AI become more common and encouraged in response to the large quantity of those jobs being created. Artificial is just one step forward in the world of robotics, though it certainly won’t be the last.
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