It’s done, robots have entered our world. Not all are yet autonomous. They are not intelligent, as was portrayed in science fiction movies, probably because it’s reality, not fiction. After machines copying human activities requiring force – loading, welding, transporting, the time has come for more subtle substitution – clicking, copying, comparing, and to do that, robots have taken the form of computer programs.
Robotic Process Automation – RPA. It is an element of the fourth industrial revolution, which, as any revolution has its followers and enemies, threatening with negative consequences of letting AI into our world.
But this has already happened and regardless of our opinion on the matter, there is no turning back.
So who should really be afraid of robots?
In fact from the very beginning of the industrial revolution in 18 c. one could hear warnings and concerns that machines will eliminate humans, taking over their jobs.
As we know, this was not the case. It’s not jobs that disappeared, but some professions. The methods and even the philosophy of production have changed. Right now, before our very eyes, rapid changes in information technologies are followed by new forms of services, their delivery and squaring, emerging on a daily basis. The development of electronic banking and the introduction of cash machines have not reduced the number of banks, and the transition to emails has not rendered the deliveryman obsolete. On the contrary – there is a shortage of postmen.
Will then machines, robots, artificial intelligence take jobs away from humans?
For sure they will change it. For sure they will change the world. We are already seeing huge areas of social exclusion – people without access to technological solutions or unable to use them.
However, it is a problem not with the machines, but with humans. Certainly, ethicists, philosophers and lawyers will have a hard time figuring out how to settle the relations between us and the machines, how to compensate the potential loss in employment with taxes. But frankly, these issues have always been around.
It is worth noting that RPA, Robotised Process Automation, applies to activities that are, in essence, automatic, repeatable, looped. These are actions indispensable from the point of view of the organization processes, devoid however of the creative aspect, the need to use emotional intelligence or communication skills. Paradoxically robots do not take labour away from people, they reclaim it, allowing living employees to use their skills and qualifications where they are actually needed.
According to research, companies that introduced RPA show higher productivity, quality and customer satisfaction level. Also thanks to redirecting salvaged human resources to direct contact with contracting parties.
It turns out that introducing robots increases competitiveness not just on the level of companies, but also on the level of personnel. Skills, qualifications, experience and personal characteristics become valuable.
For some, the need to improve their qualifications and competition skills will surely pose a challenge.
But isn’t this already the case?