Human jobs have been sacrificed through every major industrial revolution and this change will be no different. Unfortunately, the speed at which this next displacement is taking place exceeds the speed at which people are being retrained for the new factory roles that are now required. In this environment, technology companies will have new responsibilities to reskill their workforce and the workforces impacted by their products.
Though tech companies are building cost-efficient and highly productive solutions, the unintended consequences of displacing factory workforces will gradually leave a sizable dent in the global economy.
While one worker might manage 1-2 machines today, that worker might handle 10 or 20 when CNC machines, 3D printers, robots, AGVs, automated warehouses, and intelligent software become more pervasive in factories. As a result, robotics and automation could lead to the displacement of 20 million manufacturing jobs by 2030, according to Oxford Economics.
For those with an aptitude for Computer Science, “learn to code” is still an option. For everyone else, you’re going to have to “learn to serve” in your current workplace or change fields altogether to something an AI or bot won’t be able to do competently over the next couple of decades. On a positive note, there will probably be technical assistant certifications that will help land you jobs that pay above minimum wage.
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