JULY/AUGUST 2019 COMMENT
You’ll be back
CHRIS BECK, EDITOR email@example.com
Growing up, the Terminator fi lms were the closest I got to the
idea of robots – a seemingly unstoppable time-travelling robot
on a never-ending mission to kill Sarah Connor and, ultimately,
wipe out the entire human race.
The Terminator himself comes back to the mid-1980s from 2029,
which is just 10 years away. While, touch wood, we don’t seem to be
heading towards such a dystopian future just yet, if a recent report
by Oxford Economics is to be believed, our lives will still be altered
dramatically in that time by the rise of the robots.
It predicts that by 2030, just one year after Arnie and Skynet, up to
20 million people globally could be out of a job because of automation.
In manufacturing, ‘each robot will replace 1.6 jobs’, mainly in low-skilled
roles in China and the Far East. The unstoppable rise of the machines is
seemingly continuing apace – just without a murderous cyborg.
However, what sets this latest report apart is the fact it acknowledges
the benefi ts automation can bring. The productivity benefi ts from the
Fourth Industrial Revolution will actually see just as many jobs created
as are lost, but in higher-skilled, higher-paid roles. A 30% rise in robot
installations worldwide would add $5 trillion in global GDP.
But how are we going to capitalise on this potential? Well, to its credit,
the government has committed to retraining any workers whose jobs are
lost to automation. This is the kind of proactive action that may go some
way to improving the image of robots and automation in the eyes of a
public that too often equates technology with impending doom – as long
as it is applied correctly, and isn’t terminated before it gets going. C.Beck
Editor Chris Beck
Assistant Editor Amy Best
Art Editor Neil Young
Production Manager Chloe Jeakins
Circulation Manager Chris Jones
Sales Director James Slade
Publisher Luke Webster
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