Automation can be a scary idea, for certain. Not only is it a new concept, but certain jobs may become obsolete in the coming years due to automation. However, that is not at all surprising; certain jobs have been made obsolete for years, Jeff Hawks notes, but that does not mean that the process is bad.
Jeff Hawks: What automation does for industry and employee
Automation is being increasingly employed in various industries, which in turn, contributes to increased productivity, according to Jeff Hawks. It can also help with jobs that may be deemed too unsafe for human workers to do. Automation is employed in industries as common as food service (with kiosks where people can order their food from) to industries where a person’s life may be otherwise at serious risk. For instance, automation has proven to be incredibly vital in fire fighting, policing, bomb disposal, and others. For example, firefighters employ robots to assess burning buildings to determine various obstacles that may be in their path, and generally give a structural layout. Jeff Hawks notes that this not only helps firefighters avoid potentially lethal situations for them, but also that it helps get to those trapped in the building more efficiently than if they had to make educated guesses. There are also new robotic applications specifically geared towards wildfires. Robots aren’t influenced by fatigue, thereby allowing them to more efficiently handle wildfires quickly and early.
Jeff Hawks: How to avoid the downfalls of automation
No system is perfect, and that goes for automation as well, so you need to be mindful of how it is employed. For as much as people talk about the flaws of automation, they miss the fact that automation is not taking jobs, but rather, supplementing jobs, making them easier for the employees to do and freeing their time up better. When automation is implemented, it is paramount that employers be mindful to ease such fears in their workforce and make sure they are properly educated on what automation will entail for them.
The way automation is implemented can also vary. For instance, in the event that janitorial work becomes automated, that does not mean that 100% of janitorial work is now done by robots, Jeff Hawks points out. It can be that automation is employed for certain aspects of the job, while other aspects are left in charge of a human. It creates a symbiotic relationship that, instead of replacing a worker, makes things easier for them. In the event that replacement does occur, you can also provide training to help them get on their feet, Jeff Hawks notes. This often comes in the form of training, ensuring that your workers are capable of learning new areas of this profession. You can even train them on maintenance of automative processes that have been added.