Will Robots Replace the Human Workforce?
Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technology is developing rapidly, and its impact is already noticeable across a variety of industries including industrial manufacturing, self-driving cars, surgical robots, and drones.
Much of the discussion around robots & AI focuses on the emerging technology’s impact on the work force – namely, if robots will lead to the end of jobs. In an effort to tackle this question, McKinsey Global Institute recently produced a report called “A Future That Works: Automation, Employment, and Productivity.”1 In the report, the authors noted that while “less than 5% of occupations could be fully automated, about 60% [of occupations] have at least 30% of activities that can technically be automated by existing technologies.” In short, demonstrated technologies are not ready to replace large sectors of the job market, but they could take off our hands specific tasks that tend to be more repeatable and predictable. In turn, this would free up workers’ time to work on higher value-add tasks that require creativity, dexterity, nuance, and expertise.
AI in Action
To put this theory to the test, we asked a robot article generator from Articoolo to be a “guest blogger” and write a few hundred words given only the prompt “Robotics Investing.” Is its output a finished product? No. Is it something we can work with? Absolutely.
Below is the output from our blogging research robot from Articoolo:2
“You’re probably aware that robots – once the only area of futuristic animations, movies, and literature – are bursting to the scene. The gadget lover in you may find all this cool, whilst the investor in you ought to know four key things if you are considering investing in robotics stocks. Shield robots – part of the second class – are occasionally broken out individually. Industrial robots are utilized in industrial automation since their introduction in the late 1960’s, so this category is rather mature. Some robots in the professional service category, particularly defense associated ones, have been around for some time, while others, like telepresence robots for the medical care industry, are fairly new.
Google robots may ultimately be joining the services robots category. Google hasn’t said much about what it’s planning to do with its growing military of robots – it got eight robotics firms last year, most significantly Boston Dynamics and Schaft, which make the most sophisticated humanoid robots this side of the silver screen. This is sensible, as there appears to be significant synergy between robots and Google nascent delivery service, its Uber vehicle service business acquired last summer, and its driverless car attempts.
Overall, the consumer robotics marketplace – which include robots used for domestic jobs and amusement – is the newest. About $8.5 million is a great consensus amount for sales of industrial robots in 2012. When the expenses of applications and engineering systems are tacked on, that number leaps to $26 million, in compliance with the International Federation of Robotics. The IFR evaluates that the professional service robots and customer robots produced sales of $3.4 billion and $1.2 billion, correspondingly, in 2012.
What is the projected growth of the robotics market? The IFR tasks the commercial robotics marketplace may grow about 6% annually through 2017. There doesn’t appear to be a great consensus estimation for growth in the other robotics markets. The general view is the non-defense part of the professional service marketplace and the customer market may encounter faster growth than the commercial marketplace. Growth in the consumer market is designed to be especially strong. This is an eclectic lot with regard to kind of robot products, as well as the size and profitability.”
Investing in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
Global X recently launched the Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic ETF (BOTZ), which provides access to a basket of high growth potential companies around the world that are involved in the ideation, design, creation and application of programmable automated devices.
For BOTZ’s current holdings, please click here.