Category: automation

Are robots replacing managers?

This is an introspective article that comes at automation from a different angle. We have mostly heard of robots replacing jobs that are boring, dangerous, or repetitive. This article shows that a piece of software called Orchestra is able to corral contract employees, mainly freelancers, size up their specialty, hire them for the duration of the project, and then be able to provide feedback on these workers.

One quote I thought was especially appropriate was, “Leaders can oversee as many as 20 projects at a time, offering guidance to their team, recommending bonuses to people who are doing well, coaching, training and jumping in when an issue is escalated,” he wrote in a recent blog post on LinkedIn. “Companies are then able to hire an entire team of freelancers to manage a project, knowing that there is a hierarchical structure in place to support them.”

Sounds a bit futuristic, but it is here now. Enjoy!

Quote for the Day from Kahlil Gibran:

“Work is love made visible.

And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

All work is empty save when there is love;

And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.”

Robots are replacing managers, too

 

Employees Fear Robots May Take Jobs or Does Amazon Have it Right?

Here are two very interesting articles that show the pros and cons of robots. Bottom line, it is whether you have a positive attitude toward technology and automation or you fear both technology and automation. As you have the opportunity to read the first article take note of what is causing the fear, so then when you read the second article, you can then sense that robots are helpful and do take away dangerous and boring jobs.

So, find your easy chair, pick up your iPad or laptop, grab yourself a Pepsi, Coke, or water and take a little time reading. I think you will find these fascinating.

Fears of Robots

Amazon Robots, 1,500 Humans together

Quote for the Day: “The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” — Joseph Addison

Robots are not the cause of unemployment

PricewaterhouseCoopers (dba PwC) researched and wrote a report that said over a third of jobs in the United States were ripe to be replaced by automation. PwC is a consulting firm that was acquired by IBM and folded into IBM Global Business Services unit in October 2002. Eventually PwC began to rebuild its management consulting practice by acquiring firms such as Bearing Point and PTRM.

Because it gained experience and knowledge in the areas of automation and artificial intelligence within IBM, it has been able to use its research arm to develop reports of interest like this one. One of the key facets of the report is that those that could be at risk of automation are those that do not have as high an education level as others. The “high risk” industries include finance, hospitality, and transportation.

Robots were not deemed to replace that many human workers which runs contrary to other reports that have been seen on this site. The main reason is the cost of the robots, including repairs and maintenance, would be too expensive compared to human workers. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that artificial intelligence is not “even on my radar screen. I think it’s 50 or 100 more years.” This will come as a pleasant surprise for employees in some industries.

His take is that automation would enable human workers “to do more productive jobs at higher wages.” His focus is to ensure the U.S. is investing in education and training for the American worker.

And that’s the rub. Most industries have begun to hire more workers at lower wages than before 2008. Yes, more people are working, but for families it is almost a requirement for both the husband and the wife to work to make ends meet. Robots have become a secondary discussion since wage growth has been so anemic.

Quotes for the Day:

“All the technology in the world will never replace a positive attitude.”— Harvey Mackay

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances.”— Martha Washington

 

What has had the greatest impact on manufacturing job loss in the U.S.?

America has lost several millions of manufacturing jobs over the years according to a study produced for Conexus Indiana by Srikant Devaraj, PhD and Michael J. Hicks, PhD from Ball State University.

The authors state that about 87 percent of the job losses were due to productivity gains,  technology gains (robots), and better supply chains. What was quite interesting was that about four percent of manufacturing jobs have been lost to international trade (aka outsourcing).

This is somewhat hard to believe when you look at the shuttered factories, demographic changes, and an overall lack of students entering technical schools.

The report also found that:

• Since the end of the recession, the economy has added 750,000 manufacturing jobs.
• Biggest job losses occurred in low productivity sectors with low transportation costs.

The report points out the baby boom generation retirees are leaving behind solid, well-paying jobs and younger workers are filling those jobs at an unprecedented rate. Recent new hire salaries averaged $20.06 per hour — almost $42,000 a year. “As millennials move into the workforce, wage gaps between new and existing jobs are primarily age- and tenure-related.”

Despite this, I thought it was an interesting read and you can access it right here: 2017-0107-conexus2016-advmfg.

 

Quote for the Day:”Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”  — F. Scott Fitzgerald, US author

 

2016 Wrap-up

It is a few days shy of the end of 2016. Various authors have summarized what they felt the most important events that occurred over 2016. Since this is a blog about robots and motors, the link below will take you to an article that is one of the best. Enjoy the remainder of 2016 with an eye on a most fabulous 2017!

 

2016: The Year of Drones, Cars, Bots (and Less Jobs…)

 

Quote for the Day: “I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.”  —Audrey Hepburn

Follow-on to Recent Articles of “Will Automation Take Jobs?”

Seems there has been more written on this topic ever since the U.S. decided to raise the minimum wage from $7.50 to $10.10 with the view of moving it to $15/hour by 2022. Just read that Wendy’s restaurant chain has announced that it will roll out kiosks where you place your order without the help of a human in order to reduce payroll expenses. Other areas are starting to talk about using kiosks to get blood drawn and have lab work thus eliminating labor expenses.

On the flip side, this article does show that automation is nothing new. Concerning manufacturing employment as a percent of overall employment, that percent has been declining. It has been happening since 1954.

Here’s the link to the article from The Lane Report that is published from Lexington, KY.

Quote for the Day: ““Better questions to ask regarding a career or job choice would be: What was I born to do? What would be my greatest contribution to others? What do I really love to do (and when I’m doing it, time just flies by)? What are the recurring themes that I find myself drawn to? How do I want to be remembered?”  ― Dan Miller, Author of 48 Days to the Work You Love

Is there a ‘best’ way to use automation in business?

In a recent article, CIO Magazine attempts to answer this question using artificial intelligence (AI). The ensuing discussion comes down to what Andy Wilton, chief information officer  (CIO) at Claranet said about how CIOs should always be on the lookout for ways to reduce expensive resources. An example he gives is that of a “cloud-hosted AI answering machine” that can listen, recognize, and then respond to a person asking a question or speaking. His take is by installing this automation in a customer call service center, it can replace the repetitive process that drives agents to leave. Customer calls centers have high turnover and in the case of Xerox, it costs $5,000 to train a good call center agent. Anyway you can help eliminate problems and help the customer will be positive for the company and for its customers.

Wilton goes on to say, “Earlier in my career, when I worked as a system administrator, my mantra was ‘once, twice, then automate’, and this holds true today,” he says. “Any CIO’s time is precious and manually repeating operations is simply a waste of time. The development of a scheme to automate and improve repetitive tasks is a huge value proposition, and is a key ambition of any CIO.” Here is the link to the article.

Embedded in the above article is a separate article that has forecasted the first 10 jobs that will be automated by AI and robots. Here is their prognostication. You may want to consider finding another career for your children. It reminds me of those that used to make buggy whips. They had to find a new way to create income and that is what needs to be done for the future.

  1. Assembly line worker
  2. Field technician
  3. Call center worker
  4. Sorter
  5. Data entry
  6. Insurance underwriter
  7. Tax preparer
  8. Sales representative
  9. Translator
  10. Fast food employee

We should not be afraid of the future, we should be prepared by being well read and make the decision now to ensure you can be gainfully employed.

 

Quote for the Day: “The world doesn’t pay you for what you know; it pays you for what you do.” — Jack Canfield, author The Success Principles