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Robot Makers Spread Global Gospel of Automation

New York Times Article Debunks Robot Job-Killing Myth

Apex, NC,  February 4, 2013
 

At the recent 2013 Automate Show in Chicago, IL, a yearly event that showcases the full spectrum of automation technologies and solutions, a presentation was given by Henrik I. Christensen, the Kuka Chair of Robotics at Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Computing. He sharply criticized a recent “60 Minutes” television report on automation, disproving an alarmist article that predicts a robot is about to steal your job.

During his talk, Dr. Christensen said that the evidence indicated that the opposite was true. While automation may transform the work force and eliminate certain jobs, it also creates new kinds of jobs that are generally better paying and that require more skilled workers. In fact, “We see today that the U.S. is still the biggest manufacturing country in terms of dollar value,” Dr. Christensen said. “It’s also important to remember that manufacturing produces more jobs in associated areas than anything else.” Despite this, the automation debate has sprung back to life in the United States. The International Federation of Robotics chairman, Andreas Bauer, states, “This is not happening in either Europe or Japan.” He focused on how automation is not a job killer, but instead a way for the United States to compete against increasingly advanced foreign competitors.

The federation held a media event at which two chief executives of small American manufacturers described how they had been able to both increase employment and compete against foreign companies by relying heavily on automation and robots. The robotics industry is now generating $25 billion in annual revenue. The federation expects 1.6 million robots to be produced each year by 2015. All of which will add to the creation of new jobs that pay better and require a highly skilled workforce.

You can view the complete article here.



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