There’s currently a misleading rumour doing the rounds that suggests robots are going to take our jobs. We’ve been led to believe that the human race will be left to fend for itself in a dystopian future made up of dancing humanoids that can climb stairs and serve us Jägerbomb cocktails.
The beginning of the end all started with Asimo, the humanoid robot developed by car manufacturer Honda. The friendly looking robot precariously climbed, and subsequently fell down a flight of stairs, as far back as 2006. Despite this, developers kept at it and we’ve seen all kinds of robots since. From a troupe of miniature robots busting a move on the dance floor, to more full sized robotic bartenders that can tirelessly serve drinks all night, surely the future of the human workforce hangs in the balance?
This is simply not true. While the robotisation of our manufacturing sectors will continue to deliver improvements in efficiency, it’s the development of software automation in financial services, healthcare, logistics, retail, and defence that will truly transform our society and enhance – not replace – us mere humans. Combine artificial intelligence with cloud computing and you create powerful software that can sort emails by keyword, create appointments in your calendar, translate languages and convert files on the fly, as well as track down leads, and connect you with sales people in real time.
And, unlike the unavoidable visual impact robots will have on the working landscape, software automation will quietly run in the background to simply make our working day easier. Imagine a situation where a new customer contacts a business asking for a product demo. Software automation will read the email, pick out the keywords ‘demo’ and ‘appointment’, update the CRM database with the customer’s details and book in an appointment with the best person who’s free on that day. And no, you don’t need to worry that you’ll be out of a job. After all, no amount of automation will replace the value of the human touch in all aspects of business and life. Although, it might be able to recommend a good cocktail on a Saturday night!