Robots relieve a person from heavy and monotonous work and provide them with an opportunity to engage in creative work. Robots "are getting smarter" and come into those areas where their application only yesterday seemed unthinkable. Today, robots are able to perform surgery, answer the phone, engage in office administration and more.
Robotics at a glance
There is no world statistics on industrial robotics use in production yet. For example, according to the American Association of Industrial Robotics, after the economic disasters in 2008, from 2011 to 2012 the number of robots engaged in production increased by 17%.
According to some reports, in Japan for every 10,000 workers there are 300 robots. The record holders seem to be South Korea: there are 350 robots for every 10,000 workers. However, this figure is constantly changing. It is believed that in China in industrial production, the robots used are three times less than in the U.S. or Germany. But the demand for robot technology in China is actively promoted by the government and is growing at a crazy pace - up to 25% annually. And this process will continue for at least another 10-20 years.
- Economics. The cost price of industrial robots has been steadily declining. They become more functional and versatile almost every day. On the other hand, labour costs conversely increase. For management of many businesses, this was the main reason for implementing robots. Thanks to robotics, production costs are decreasing while economic efficiency increases.
- Social factors. The population is aging, and not only in Europe. Moreover, young people are not attracted to heavy and monotonous work anymore. Hence, a shortage of manpower arises. The introduction of robots can reduce labour shortages in heavy and hazardous work and redistribute it in other industries.
- Demographics. The reduction in the number of able-bodied persons in different countries due to aging has already been mentioned. There is another factor. The world today is open. Nothing prevents people moving from place to place. The outflow of labour to other countries, not only for intellectual jobs, but also for heavy industry is a real "headache" in some countries. The introduction of industrial robots gives, to some extent, a solution to the problem.
What kind of future awaits us with the widespread introduction of robotics in manufacturing and in life? Estimates of futurologists differ. Undoubtedly here's one. The scope of application of robotics is expanding and the technique itself improving. Some experts say that by 2018 some office professions may have disappeared. For example, right now, IBM is introducing technology, where the role of the clerk of the support system is done with artificial intelligence. Such systems can successfully replace secretaries, operators, call-centres and a number of specialists. This suggests that the tendency towards "extinction" is observed not only among working class professionals. Even workers in "mid-level" roles are already coming under attack.
Thus, by 2025, when, according to the same forecast, machines may enter into such areas, which today we do not even suspect.