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| 1 minute read

Robots: Friend or Foe

A fascinating report from commodity.com entitled, "US Cities With the Most Workers at Risk of Automation", projects the likelihood of what jobs and what geographic areas are most prone to replacing human employees with robots and other technologies.  Some of the findings are quite disturbing.  For example, "Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics combined with automation risk data from a University of Oxford study shows a correlation between the risk of automation and annual median wages."  The lower the median wage, the higher the likelihood you'll be replaced by a machine.  Further, the more rural your location, the more your job security is at risk.  Aside from the profound societal issues this presents, the legal issues are daunting and complex.  Keep in mind that lower salaries and rural areas have demographics that include a predominance of minorities and significant poverty levels.  Indeed, one of the unintended consequences of the pandemic, as reported by commondity.com, is the acceleration of society turning to automation and replacing the workforce with machines.  That leads me to the conclusion that the promise that robots will advance our needs may face serious legal challenges as technologists try to convince us that replacing humans with machines is a good thing.

 

In the last few years, it has become more common to order food from a kiosk, see machines cleaning airport floors, and talk to a chatbot instead of a customer service agent. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these technologies as well as others, many of which can be used to perform tasks that humans used to do. Machines do not call out sick or spread disease and can replace workers to aid in social distancing.

Tags

technology, automation, robots, discrimination, employments

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