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Understanding Automation vs. Human labor | Can They Co-Exist?

Automation and robots are often seen competing with humans for jobs. While it is true that automation has transformed the way some industries hire and operate, it has also opened the gate for many new types of jobs to be created. In this article, we look at how far automation has come and its effects on the job market. Additionally, we discuss how humans and machines may coexist in the future.

What is intelligent automation?

Also known as cognitive automation, intelligent automation combines artificial intelligence and automation technologies. This technological innovation can provide us with advanced tools that complement human intelligence.

Organizations can drastically improve operational efficiency and simplify routine tasks by implementing intelligent automation solutions. Thanks to the recent advances in human-computer interactions, we can take human activities such as work, study, and entertainment to a whole new level.

Intelligent automation consists of three main components:

  • Artificial intelligence: AI technologies like natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and deep learning help computers understand the meaning of human communication.
  • Robotic process automation (RPA): This component uses software robots, commonly called “bots.” These can extract data, fill out forms, and perform similar repetitive tasks.
  • Business process management (BPM): Also referred to as business workflow automation, the purpose of this component is to streamline workflows to provide improved agility, accuracy, and consistency.

How does automation affect human labor?

The evolution of technology has always gone hand-in-hand with the creation of new forms of labor. As tools like the wheelbarrow and the abacus allowed our ancestors to improve their daily tasks, so will intelligent automation change employee experiences.

Since AI can potentially gain vast knowledge about any field of study or profession, everything that the human brain can learn can also be learned by AI. The last time we experienced a technological leap of this magnitude was the industrial revolution, so we can expect our concept of work to change substantially.

For example, the future of health care is deeply connected to human-robot interactions. Digital technologies such as robotic process automation, natural language processing, and machine learning have played a key role in identifying symptoms, communicating between healthcare workers and patients, reducing human error, and developing more efficient healthcare services. Automation solutions have even been used to simplify the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines (source).

Does automation replace human labor?

Similarly to other disruptive technologies, automation will change the nature of work. While we can’t rule out the possibility that many types of work will be made redundant by AI, we can also expect it to create many more new occupations.

Many aspects of everyday life are already experiencing considerable changes due to automation. Industrial robots can already handle a considerable portion of supply chain activities. Chatbot solutions are becoming proficient enough to take customer calls and answer common queries without human supervisors.

Due to being a new type of technology, we cannot envision the true scope of the new jobs AI will create. However, research shows that the increased productivity created via automation can correlate with greater labor demand (source). According to the World Economic Forum, 97 million new jobs that require the collaborative intelligence of man and machine will be created by 2025 (source).

There are certain occupations where the human touch seems indispensable and less likely to be replaced by AI. These include teachers, therapists, lawyers, writers, editors, social workers, and medical professionals. Human workers in these fields can still work in tandem with AI solutions, which take the role of personal assistants.

Can AI and humans coexist?

The purpose of AI is not to replace us but to empower us through cooperation. While AI excels in performing data gathering, analytics, and other repetitive tasks, it can’t match a human’s ability to make meaningful decisions. Due to this, automation is much more likely to lead to advanced tools that improve our quality of life rather than machines that replace us.

In the years to come, we can expect the traditional networks and services that make our daily lives to be considerably more efficient. The “smart cities” of the future will have improved urban transport networks, upgraded water supplies, and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings, all made possible by artificial intelligence.

Podcast About Automation Technology Trends 

The New Level Podcast is a new channel sponsored by Vantree Systems, where you will get to hear a lot about automation technology trends. The show, presented by Philip Aguib and Theresa Forman, focuses on inviting industry experts across multiple sectors to share new ideas and concepts to help humans elevate their businesses. The podcast aims to transmit knowledge about technological trends and understand how they affect us.

Two passionate industry leaders host the podcast. Theresa Forman has been a marketing consultant in the IT industry for over 20 years, is now the Chief Strategy Officer at Acart Communications, and has expertise in building brands and global customer experience. The second host, Philip Aguib, is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Vantree Systems. Philip has over 15 years of experience in food and beverage and technology. They invite us to join them on a journey to gain industry insights with special guests who are experts in core sectors that drive automation worldwide. Their views on topics and trends are independent of Vantree’s and bring a broader perspective and value on how technologies affect humans. The podcast is a dedicated platform where leaders spread ideas and concepts to bring the business world to a New Level.

The podcast is now available on more than seven online platforms, including Spotify, Breaker, YouTube, Google Podcast, and more. Every discussion focuses on a current trend about which the special guest is interviewed for 30 min to 1 hr. Each podcast discussion highlights automation trends, delves into more in-depth topics and questions during the interviews, and gives advice and insights to business leaders and professionals who want to bring their businesses to the Next Level.

In Episode 2, “Business Intelligence Discussion,” the hosts welcome Corey Mendelsohn, a specialist in consulting with IBM Cognos BI for more than 25 years and President at NewIntelligence. Among many other topics, Corey gives the listeners his views on how we can help companies adopt an organizational philosophy that empowers users through business analytics tools and the benefits they can expect.

In Episode 5, Phil and Theresa welcome Elizabeth Sinclair, Director of Marketing at BarTender® Software by Seagull Scientific, to discuss new label software industry trends. Topics discussed are new technologies in supply chain operations, label regulations, label content control, and good practices. Elizabeth shares with the hosts her view on adopting this type of software technology and making the best of an investment in digital transformation.

In Episode 6, the team invites Tim Hughes, Co-Founder and CEO of DLA Ignite, who has over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, and business development. He talks to us about social selling and the significant impact social media have on organizations. This episode highlights substantial changes at the seller and buyer’s level since digital transformation began and how individuals can implement automation techniques in social selling while always keeping the customer at the center of each engagement. Tim also shares his opinion on a more humanistic approach to selling, taking a stance on social issues, and employee and customer well-being during the pandemic.

The New Level Podcast has covered other trends and topics, including cybersecurity, cloud migration, digital transformation in wholesale distribution, and much more. If interested in these topics, please subscribe to your preferred platforms and get the most up-to-date content about our industry.

You can like and share podcast content with friends and business partners and suggest new topics you want The New Level Podcast to discuss next!

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