Saturday, November 18, 2023
HomeRobotics3 Societal Drivers Pushing the Adoption of Automation

3 Societal Drivers Pushing the Adoption of Automation

By: Henrik Christensen, PhD


Qualcomm Chancellor’s Chair of Robotic Techniques and a Distinguished Professor of Pc Science at Dept. of Pc Science and Engineering, UC San Diego, ROBO World Strategic Advisor


For over three a long time, I’ve labored with robotics and automation, carefully watching the adjustments and, maybe most apparently, the general public notion of the expertise.

Not way back, the general public was not paying a lot consideration to the chances forward. Regardless of the exponential development occurring, it appeared that discussions about robotics, automation, and AI have been largely tutorial. That was…till a world pandemic modified issues.

Just like the flip of a change, our worlds have been challenged, and our cultural norms have been remodeled. The workforce each bodily and mentally pivoted. Our shopper calls for have been challenged. The availability chain uncovered its weak spots. All of the whereas, technological developments continued to progress, a lot of which we now have solely begun to bear witness to. We’re in fascinating occasions, certainly.

These societal drivers are shifting the best way we work, dwell, and play. In addition they impression how we make investments as each company entities and (hopefully!) as people. Let’s dive slightly deeper into components which are driving the demand and adoption of automation in lots of elements of our lives.



The residual results of COVID-19 and the necessity to keep at house have created a labor disaster with no proof of restore. In contrast to the 2008 recession, we discover ourselves with a labor scarcity, not a job opening scarcity. That is particularly prevalent within the fields of producing and logistics the place the variety of unfilled roles far outpaces the unemployment charge.

What do you do when there aren’t any folks to fill the roles? It’s important to add extra automation. Each giant and small corporations are investing now greater than ever in expertise to fill within the gaps. This determination shouldn’t be a selection however somewhat a necessity to outlive in a tricky aggressive panorama.

One of the vital essential issues we will do to construct sustainable financial development is to advertise schooling within the fields of producing, logistics, and the like. Extremely, many of those paths to success and profession growth don’t require a university diploma. These are STEM roles that may usually be acquired by commerce faculties or certification packages, dramatically decreasing the barrier to entry. These new positions make the most of our uniquely human administration abilities, overseeing the robots doing uninteresting, soiled, and harmful jobs.

As a professor, I’m seeing a lot of my college students laced with concern over the present job market and tech layoffs. We’ve the expertise; now we simply must allow them to pursue the brand new roles being created by demand. This isn’t only a message for the re-training of college-educated college students although; that is additionally an amazing job alternative for folks of all ages seeking to develop a brand new talent set or enter a brand new area. Within the meantime, we’ll proceed to see corporations investing in expertise to fill in for the thousands and thousands of unfilled jobs. 



Covid demonstrated what huge firms might do when push got here to shove with on-line supply. At present we now have come to count on a bundle on our doorstep a mere two hours after clicking “Buy.” The demand for e-commerce and fast supply has soared because the starting of the pandemic, with no indicators of slowing, creating an fascinating problem for success. 

Corporations each huge and small don’t simply wish to get in on the motion, they NEED to. We count on to see increasingly more automation in success, be it out of a again room or entrance and heart down a grocery aisle. Localized supply may also acquire traction as corporations proceed within the race to maintain up.

We’ll see comparatively smaller companies getting concerned within the recreation too, with options starting from conventional automated storage to automated packaging to cell platforms driving round out on the ground. 

A lot of this automation is being made doable due to robotics corporations that are actually offering extra versatile deployment on a smaller scale when it comes to the minimal variety of programs wanted. These choices may also come at an inexpensive value with straightforward person interfaces for present employees to study.

In contrast to the fastened, cumbersome, and costly infrastructure of the previous, enterprise homeowners don’t have to fret as a lot about making the fallacious selection in terms of automating. Now they will use the very best expertise for the job with out having to purchase into one explicit ecosystem.

In the case of right this moment’s logistics automation, fast success and the necessity to fill jobs are driving inevitable funding into tech.


Almost all of the world has lately witnessed the beautiful capabilities of generative AI in some form or type whether or not they’ve realized it or not. From the storm of AI portraits that swept Instagram feeds in all places to the mainstream makes use of of ChatGPT for easy content material duties to this yr’s Sony “Image of the Yr.” Sure, the artist introduced that the photograph was in truth generated by AI. To say that we now have barely scratched the floor of what generative AI can do can be an understatement. 

We’re solely on the very starting phases of this highly effective expertise’s attain and the function it would play in our lives. Up till now, a lot of our focus has been on producing info. With the general public adoption of generative AI, we’ll begin to see our focus shift to the verification of data. We used to have to sit down down and write a narrative; now you may ask generative AI.

One main hesitation we’re seeing proper now’s across the reliability and factual nature of the fabric. Can we belief it? How do we all know that it received’t lie? That’s the place the verification of data is available in, remaining an essential piece of the puzzle. One other enormous problem is plagiarism. How can we guarantee that the scholar’s work is authentic? How will we take care of the replication of singers’ voices? Whereas there are numerous potential obstacles certain to emerge from using this expertise, the promise is infinite. Generative AI is de facto going to vary how we function at a foundational degree.



These are merely three components pushing us right into a extra automated world. In my eyes, there isn’t any doubt that this adoption will generate vital development throughout all sectors of the market. The query is: how do you make the proper guess? With the ROBO index (robotics & automation) and the THNQ index (AI), buyers can acquire diversified publicity to each the builders and customers of those unimaginable applied sciences. In spite of everything, these technological and societal adjustments are only the start of how our world is altering to regulate to new person calls for―and the way we’re utilizing expertise to satisfy these calls for.



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