Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeRobotics3 Societal Drivers Pushing the Adoption of Automation

3 Societal Drivers Pushing the Adoption of Automation

By: Henrik Christensen, PhD


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 World Strategic Advisor


For over three a long time, I’ve labored with robotics and automation, intently watching the adjustments and, maybe most curiously, the general public notion of the expertise.

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 worldwide 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 availability chain uncovered its weak spots. All of the whereas, technological developments continued to progress, a lot of which now we have solely begun to bear witness to. We’re in fascinating instances, certainly.

These societal drivers are shifting the way in which we work, stay, and play. In addition they impression how we make investments as each company entities and (hopefully!) as people. Let’s dive just a little deeper into components which might be driving the demand and adoption of automation in lots of facets of our lives.



The residual results of COVID-19 and the necessity to keep at house have created a labor disaster with no proof of restore. In contrast to 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 fee.

What do you do when there aren’t any folks to fill the roles? You must add extra automation. Each massive and small firms are investing now greater than ever in expertise to fill within the gaps. This determination just isn’t a alternative however slightly a necessity to outlive in a troublesome aggressive panorama.

One of the vital vital issues we are able to do to construct sustainable financial progress is to advertise training within the fields of producing, logistics, and the like. Extremely, many of those paths to success and profession improvement don’t require a school diploma. These are STEM roles that may usually be acquired by way of commerce colleges 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 boring, soiled, and harmful jobs.

As a professor, I’m seeing a lot of my college students laced with worry over the present job market and tech layoffs. We’ve the expertise; now we simply have to 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 area. Within the meantime, we are going to proceed to see firms investing in expertise to fill in for the thousands and thousands of unfilled jobs. 



Covid demonstrated what huge firms might do when push got here to shove with on-line supply. Right now now we have come to count on a package deal 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 attention-grabbing problem for success. 

Firms each huge and small don’t simply need to get in on the motion, they NEED to. We count on to see an increasing number of automation in success, be it out of a again room or entrance and middle down a grocery aisle. Localized supply can even acquire traction as firms proceed within the race to maintain up.

We’ll see comparatively smaller companies getting concerned within the recreation 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 attainable because of robotics firms that at the moment are offering extra versatile deployment on a smaller scale by way of the minimal variety of techniques wanted. These choices can even come at an affordable value with straightforward consumer interfaces for current workers to be taught.

In contrast to the fastened, cumbersome, and costly infrastructure of the previous, enterprise house owners don’t have to fret as a lot about making the unsuitable alternative with regards to automating. Now they’ll use one of the best expertise for the job with out having to purchase into one specific ecosystem.

In terms of in the present day’s logistics automation, speedy success and the necessity to fill jobs are driving inevitable funding into tech.


Almost 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 yr’s Sony “Image of the 12 months.” Sure, the artist introduced that the picture was the truth is generated by AI. To say that now we have barely scratched the floor of what generative AI can do could be an understatement. 

We’re solely on the very starting levels of this highly effective expertise’s attain and the position it should 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 data. We used to have to take a seat down and write a narrative; now you’ll be able to 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 data is available in, remaining an vital piece of the puzzle. One other big problem is plagiarism. How can we guarantee that the scholar’s work is authentic? How will we take care of the replication of singers’ voices? Whereas there are lots of potential obstacles sure to emerge from using this expertise, the promise is countless. Generative AI is actually going to alter how we function at a foundational degree.



These are merely three components pushing us right into a extra automated world. In my eyes, there is no doubt that this adoption will generate vital progress throughout all sectors of the market. The query is: how do you make the appropriate wager? With the ROBO index (robotics & automation) and the THNQ index (AI), buyers can acquire diversified publicity to each the builders and customers of those unbelievable applied sciences. In any case, these technological and societal adjustments are only the start of how our world is altering to regulate to new consumer calls for―and the way we’re utilizing expertise to satisfy these calls for.



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