News & Events

Robots will cut out the middleman

MICHAEL MERCIECA'S BLOG FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST UK

“China to replace its entire workforce with robots!” proclaimed a headline recently.

Most people clicked to the next story, but I’ve become increasingly fascinated by the endgame of robotics in the workplace. What I read confirms that we’re still in the disbelief phase. We still treat the idea of robots doing our jobs as science fiction. And so do the journalists who write about it. But isn’t it time to take it seriously? Let’s start with Google.

Government by Google

Face it, without Google we’d all be lost. The phrase ‘Google it’ is now part of our everyday language, and the search engine is embedded in the way we work. In the workplace across the country people are conducting research by Google; in business, in education – and in government. There’s no obvious harm in this. Or is there? What if much of our policy is, in fact, not created by in depth, thoughtful, considered, human analysis of cause and effect, but actually through research on Google? Think about it.

Made by Robots

Robots are now increasingly prevalent in manufacturing. They have improved efficiency and accuracy hugely. They have lowered the cost of household items and improved many aspects of the working day for millions of employees round the globe. There’s nothing wrong with robots — they can do the dirty, dangerous, repetitive jobs that previously were potentially detrimental to employee health and well-being. But robots are not something you can put back in the box. That’s because they rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning, and we’re on the cusp of an explosion in these areas that will make today’s robots look very old-hat indeed.

Read the full article on the Huffington Post website.