Worried that a robot might take your job? Perhaps you should be.
Machines are now getting so advanced that they’re soon going to be better than human beings at doing, well, everything, suggests Martin Ford in his book The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future.
At the Flextronics solar panel factory in San Francisco, there are robots everywhere and few human workers, according to the New York Times.
All of the heavy lifting and almost all of the precise work is done by robots. The human workers trim excess material, thread wires and screw in a handful of fasteners.
"As production speeds continue to increase, there has to come a point where the only option is to get the humans out of the loop," Ford predicts. "In many industries, automation may penetrate more rapidly than we expect simply because a threshold is reached where people can no longer keep up."
But it's not only about large manufacturers.
In New York, courts are using predictive coding, a computer-assisted document review that turns much of the legal grunt work currently done by underemployed lawyers over to the machines.
Has automation meant displacement where you work? Or have things actually improved as a result?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money