An MIT engineer has founded a mechanical engineering company named Rethink Robotics that has developed an industrial robot which doesn’t take months to install and program. [The robot] can simply be plugged in and made ready to assume production-line functions in less than an hour - at a price of just $22,000 (€16,700).
The digital revolution is destroying jobs faster than it is creating them.
But wait … there’s more… snippets from Schulz’s review of Brynjolfsson & McAfee, 2011.
The Taiwanese electronics-manufacturing giant Foxconn, which makes products such as the iPhone, has announced that it intends to gradually install over 1 million robots. Already now, local media have reported that three-quarters of Foxconn workers have been replaced by machines in some departments.
According to the usually accepted rule of thumb, when the economy rapidly grows, unemployment should decline, often by 1 percent for every 3 percent increase in GDP. According to this formula, the US should have almost full employment by now. Instead, even before the financial crisis, no additional jobs were created, although productivity surged at the fastest pace since World War II.
McAfee says that he has no doubt that “the list of activities in which people are better than machines is rapidly shrinking.”
Andrew McAfee: Are droids taking our jobs? (n.d.). Video on TED.com. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_mcafee_are_droids_taking_our_jobs.html
Brynjolfsson, E., & McAfee, A. (2011). Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. Digital Frontier Press.
Schulz, T. (2013, March 5). Speed of Innovation and Automation Threatens Global Labor Market. Spiegel Online. Retrieved from http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/speed-of-innovation-and-automation-threatens-global-labor-market-a-897412.html