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Will a robot make you homeless?

-By: Mohamed Adel The growing dependence on technology and robotics has increased exponentially in the past few years. So much so that almost every aspect in our lives has a robot carrying out a certain function or task. But this high increase has put some people at alarm as they claim that robots may next take over jobs and the need for human workers will diminish until maybe at some point, completely disappear. It is true that some companies and factories around the globe have begun implementing robots in place of human worker. Ford, for example, has begun integrating robots working side by side with their workers in their factories in Germany and a Chinese electronics company, Foxconn which is the supplier for Samsung and Apple, has announced its plans to replace 60000 of its employees with robots by 2020. This certainly raises questions. But the shift maybe for the better for these companies. During production, robots cost much less. They don't take days off because of sickness or unexpected circumstances. They can work with extreme accuracy and copy the product with almost impeccable accuracy which is what these companies desire. It can also work in extreme conditions and dangerous environments with the same accuracy, something that is not feasible for human beings. The robots also don't have a problem with age, so the robot that starts carrying out a task can perform the same job for approximately forever. If the cost for a human worker to carry out a task is approximately 40$ then using a robot can decrease to even 8$ or maybe even less. So why haven't companies replaced humans with robots already? For one thing; the acquisition cost of a robot that can withstand working in factories and companies will be high. That is the reason why only big companies and providers are the ones considering this shift. Not to mention that the maintenance cost for these robots will cost the factories, so if the workplace, whichever it is, does not meet the expected goals of profit then the cost may become too high for them. Smaller companies and factories can not take that risk and will therefore be satisfied by the old fashioned human worker. But even that's not the case and the acquisition and maintenance costs are taken out of the equation, this will also not signal the end of the human worker. Instead of depleting the employment opportunities, implementing robots will just cause the need for people to shift to other occupations and even creating new positions in the process. A position like a Data Scientist which mainly does analysis and forecasts, is an example for these new positions which have been coined due to the interference of robots in the industry. There is no need for panic or distress. The human element is essential in any process especially those that require creativity and outside-the-box thinking. People just need to learn to adapt and learn new skills and that will definitely be enough to assert their position and confirm their importance in the market.

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