Robotics are the future: Should we be afraid?

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Policy makers should be embracing new technologies, as these are the key to the jobs and challenges of the future, says Paul McNeil.

WE SHOULD PREPARE ourselves wisely for the future as robots have already made their landing and are arriving.

Robots should not be feared providing technology and correct policy are intertwined as a dual force working in harmony.

Policy makers from across the globe should welcome with open arms the benefits of technology. There is also a need to enable citizens to enjoy the benefit of the know-how and tools necessary in adjusting quickly to economic changes that arrive rapidly from the force of technological advancements with unprecedented speed.

One special subject where people need preparation and must be nurtured during the process, is how robots are set to eliminate many jobs.

Countries around the world need to conduct research and hold discussions focussing on this advancing technology’s implications on the growth of the global economy. As well, the troubling issue of economic difficulties already plaguing our way of life and those resulting after robots become commonplace will need to be addressed.


What we have in terms of growth around the world is currently in the background. This may be described as fragile and, at times, significantly insufficient. One year, we may witness growth only at a certain percentage, but nothing more significant the next year. That is the nature of today’s economy. This extremely low and far too slow growth is, unfortunately, only benefitting the super rich few and acting against a receptive envornment for change.

Technology is – and should be – one of the driving factors in the pursuit of innovation. This should, hopefully, lead to productivity improvements, as the fact that the global economy is lagging in this regard is common knowledge.

Technology should also be a driver behind further investments, which unfortunately are at a low rate as we speak. We know that technology can be a very significant stimulating force behind productivity and investment, transforming into further and enhanced innovations. This is crucial for the future of global economy.

In today’s world individuals and businesses must constantly innovate. Not abiding by this very important law literally means we are dying. Drive for change in any industry must always be a motto. While we cannot see everything in the marketplace, there is a need to set a forward path. Many companies are forming partnerships, making acquisitions or investing in others. This allows you to remain at the leading edge of where the world is going and leads to methods of changing the world.

Fear and anxiety

Robots, as welcoming as they may seem to some, are on the path of forcing many to say goodbye to their careers. Many accountants, lawyers and even surgeons will see their roles automated and taken from them. And there are more and more people feeling their line of work is the next target.

After Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer as its first web browser many years ago, journalists saw their positions being threatened. When people can go online and read about anything they wish, including the news, without paying for a paper, what do you need journalists for? As a result, the number of journalists have been decreasing steadily ever since.

Major innovations can cause people to lose their incomes. If you are fired and then replaced by a tiny gadget doing exactly what you did even better than you, this can also affect self-worth and identity.

Half of Australia?

A 2016 CSIRO report shows up to half of Australian jobs face the risk of ultimately being automated and computerised. 20 years from now, Australians will either see their jobs being carried out by robots, or will become casual workers sharing offices with strangers. At the release of the report in February, Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash indicated as much as 44 per cent of the Australian workforce is under threat.

As the economy across the world and Australia is in serious and ongoing transition, this country must begin upskilling its workforce today to be prepared for future jobs.

Any optimism to go around?

There are those “always optimists” who believe advancing technology will make some jobs disappear eventually, while replacing them with many new jobs. That is very true for journalists, as public relations professionals are now outnumbering this field 4.6 to one in the U.S. alone, while also being paid better. However, if you decide to stick to your field of work, you may find yourself forced to work for a lesser paycheck  or lose your job entirely in the long run.

The benefits of advancing technology are many to go around, and policy makers need to realise this growing trend for the better good. If embraced correctly, our society will most definitely be heading in the right direction in this regard. If not, rest assured we will only add to our already growing number of political, economic and social dilemmas.

You can read more from Paul McNeil on his blog TechMoralitics or follow him on Twitter @mcneil_lfc.

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