HomeRobotics3 Societal Drivers Pushing the Adoption of Automation

3 Societal Drivers Pushing the Adoption of Automation

By: Henrik Christensen, PhD

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


For over three many years, I’ve labored with robotics and automation, intently watching the modifications and, maybe most apparently, the general public notion of the know-how.

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

Just like the flip of a change, our worlds had been challenged, and our cultural norms had been remodeled. The workforce each bodily and mentally pivoted. Our client calls for had been challenged. The provision chain uncovered its weak spots. All of the whereas, technological developments continued to progress, lots of which we’ve got 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. Additionally they influence how we make investments as each company entities and (hopefully!) as people. Let’s dive a little bit deeper into components which might be driving the demand and adoption of automation in lots of features of our lives.



The residual results of COVID-19 and the necessity to keep at dwelling have created a labor disaster with no proof of restore. Not like 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 are not any folks to fill the roles? You need to add extra automation. Each giant and small firms are investing now greater than ever in know-how to fill within the gaps. This determination isn’t a alternative however somewhat a necessity to outlive in a tricky aggressive panorama.

Some of the vital issues we will do to construct sustainable financial progress 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 school diploma. These are STEM roles that may typically be acquired via commerce faculties or certification packages, dramatically decreasing the barrier to entry. These new positions make the most of our uniquely human administration expertise, overseeing the robots doing uninteresting, soiled, and harmful jobs.

As a professor, I’m seeing lots of my college students laced with worry over the present job market and tech layoffs. We now have 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 incredible job alternative for folks of all ages trying to develop a brand new talent set or enter a brand new discipline. Within the meantime, we are going to proceed to see firms investing in know-how to fill in for the hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs. 



Covid demonstrated what large companies may do when push got here to shove with on-line supply. Immediately we’ve got come to anticipate a bundle on our doorstep a mere two hours after clicking “Buy.” The demand for e-commerce and speedy supply has soared for the reason that starting of the pandemic, with no indicators of slowing, creating an fascinating problem for achievement. 

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

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

A lot of this automation is being made potential because of robotics firms that at the moment are offering extra versatile deployment on a smaller scale when it comes to the minimal variety of techniques wanted. These choices may come at an affordable price with straightforward person interfaces for present employees to study.

Not like the fastened, cumbersome, and costly infrastructure of the previous, enterprise house owners don’t have to fret as a lot about making the mistaken alternative with regards to automating. Now they’ll use one of the best know-how for the job with out having to purchase into one explicit ecosystem.

In the case of immediately’s logistics automation, speedy achievement and the necessity to fill jobs are driving inevitable funding into tech.


Practically 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 every single place to the mainstream makes use of of ChatGPT for easy content material duties to this 12 months’s Sony “Image of the Yr.” Sure, the artist introduced that the picture was actually generated by AI. To say that we’ve got barely scratched the floor of what generative AI can do can be an understatement. 

We’re solely on the very starting levels of this highly effective know-how’s attain and the function it is going to play in our lives. Up till now, a lot of our focus has been on producing data. With the general public adoption of generative AI, we are going to begin to see our focus shift to the verification of knowledge. We used to have to take a seat down and write a narrative; now you may ask generative AI.

One main hesitation we’re seeing proper now could be 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 knowledge is available in, remaining an vital piece of the puzzle. One other large problem is plagiarism. How can we guarantee that the scholar’s work is unique? How will we cope with the replication of singers’ voices? Whereas there are various potential obstacles certain to emerge from using this know-how, the promise is limitless. Generative AI is admittedly 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 important progress throughout all sectors of the market. The query is: how do you make the appropriate guess? With the ROBO index (robotics & automation) and the THNQ index (AI), buyers can achieve diversified publicity to each the builders and customers of those unbelievable applied sciences. In spite of everything, these technological and societal modifications are only the start of how our world is altering to regulate to new person calls for―and the way we’re utilizing know-how to fulfill these calls for.

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