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Robot Takeover or Helpful Automatons?

Image via Miso Robotics

Each year new technology brings us closer to the futuristic society we’ve all dreamed of. A know-it-all, do-it-all electric system that can answer any question or complete most simple tasks you throw at her, Amazon’s Alexa has revolutionized the American robot industry by making it a home accessory. Car companies like Honda have enterered the market with their lawn mowing bot that can cut grass for close to an hour and send itself to the charging station before its batteries die. China is taking the lead on robot advancements as they produce robots that can diagnose patients with illnesses and even robots that teach kids to paint. China expects that robot manufacturing will be a major factor in future boosts in their economy - They predict that half of all robots sold in China will be produced in the country by 2020.

Image via Reuters

The robotics market will provide new economic growth for many nations and corporations, but are these robots displacing humans from the workplace? AI can be a more cost-efficient investment, with no need for breaks. Major players in the service industry are already testing out a non-human workforce: At food retailers like McDonalds and Panera Bread, self-service kiosk take the job of a cashier, and at CaliBurger their new line cook is a burger-flipping, grill-cleaning robot named Flippy. Most of the restaurants claim that their new machine employees simply fill gaps in the fast food labor market and allow the human workers to spend more time preparing food or serving customers. Only time will reveal if more robots will be behind the counter than humans at our favorite shops and restaurants, but hopefully human workers will always have a place in the job market, regardless of their skill level.

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