COLUMNS: What does the future hold as automation becomes more prevalent

Robots are taking over some jobs now and it’s expected that 20 years from now, 40 per cent of the work force will be robots.

Robots are taking over some jobs now and it’s expected that 20 years from now, 40 per cent of the work force will be robots.

What will happen if automation does become a much larger work force?

What will the people do for work in the future?

In the U.S. approximately eight million people work as retail clerks and cashiers.

I suspect many of those jobs would go down the drainpipe.

There are lots of examples of routine middle skilled jobs that involve structural tasks and those positions will be eliminated the quickest.

Robotics do a lot of work in warehouses, and sometimes perform operations under the care of a surgeon.

Robots can dispense multiple error-free medications in a varied medical environment.

For those who own body works and paint shops,  robotic spray painters are available.

You also eliminate the need for protective gear and supplied air respirators normally worn by human painters.

A hotel has a guest robotic bellhop that delivers items to the room and at a large retailer in Japan has a robot babysitter.

This machine talks to the kids, gives them riddles and has fun with them.

Automated cars are the next big happening in this techno crazy world.

Google and others are competing for the riches that would come with a successful vehicle that will drive itself.

This ‘robotisizing’ of our universe will unfold with a lot of publicity as businesses are now assessing their needs for these new mechanical helpers.

You have seen the move into robots over the years but now the pace to build these non-people workers will certainly accelerate in the next five years.

Are you ready for it?

Are you ready to talk to a robot the next time you walk into a bank or talk to one while in the café  where you go for a burger and fries?

Bill Gates has suggested that governments start taxing robot workers the same way we tax human workers.

I like Bill’s suggestion.

I believe robotics will be just the next phase of an evolving workplace.

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.

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