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Hot off the presses: Things are beginning to hit critical mass as more companies are quickly adopting self-driving technology for their fleets – the self-driving revolution is here. As a matter of fact, no industry is in more danger of mass job loss than the transportation sector. Alex Roy is a former race car driver, but he had this to say about the rise of the driverless car, “Workers have been affected for decades already.”

Roy explains that there are some companies that are trying to stem some of the harm that automation is creating, especially in the transportation sector, by shifting employees responsibilities from driver to drone operator. Roy mentions a company called Starsky Robotics that is a drone operation facility which are using drivers to operate their drones.

Around 49 Percent of Jobs Can Now Be Automated

Besides drivers, there are about 70 other types of jobs that could be directly affected by Artificial Intelligence software. Among some of those in the greatest danger are tire repair employees, mail clerks and ophthalmic lab technicians. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, “A Future That Works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity,” an estimated 49 percent of workplace activities can be done by robot aids or machines powered by AI or ML.

The manufacturing industry has long been party to automation, especially in the automotive sector. Now, according to bedtimesmagazine.com, automation has finally come to that industry as well. But this sort of automation doesn’t get rid of the human element altogether, but augments it.

As per the the article, “For example, the 1367 Motorized Carousel stands behind the quilter, holding and automatically positioning the rolls. Its roll capacity ranges from one to several dozen, depending on the carousel size, which can be configured as a single, dual or triple tower from 10 feet to 25 feet. It can hold enough fabric for an entire shift or longer, increasing machine runtime and reducing handling. Operators easily can run the quilter without the need for heavy lifting.”

This means the next time you’re laying on your Amerisleep, if you are wondering who produced it, it was most likely a robot. And this will most likely become the case for most things we use in the near future.

What Companies Get From Automating Their Processes

For companies, automating their manufacturing or clerical processes have potential benefits that outweigh their concerns for the jobs lost by adopting such technologies. An organization’s primary objective is to increase its bottom dollar, and for most, automation is the key element. Here are some stats and figures from supplychain247.com:

  • Businesses can reduce errors and improve quality and speed, as well as achieve outcomes that go beyond human capabilities. If companies are able to produce better quality at a faster rate, this could eventually boost economies and bring about a longer lasting prosperity. This could offset any impact on the declining work-age populace.
  • According to Supply Chain’s analysis, about half of the jobs people do, or $15 trillion in wages, have the potential to become automated in the near future. Less than five percent of occupations can be totally automated. The rest of those occupations only have the capability to be partially automated.
  • Realistically, only those jobs that involve physical activities in highly structured and predictable environments, along with jobs dealing with data collection, can truly be fully automated. Already, about 51 percent of economic activities are automated by software like SAP Treasury Management.
  • Though it may be clear for businesses what the benefits are, policy makers are having a harder time. While they should embrace these technologies and the benefits they bring, they must also keep the greater good of society in mind. They must come up with innovative policies in order to help workers and companies adapt to these new changes.
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