Will robots steal our work?

Answers from the Rome Maker Faire’s event of December 1-2-3

 

Many are trying to answer the question “Will the robots steal our work?”.

The reason is naturally linked to the ever-increasing development of technologies related to Robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and their implementation on every field.

 

Examples are the SpeedFactory of Adidas where the shoes are built almost without human intervention; Amazon stores where products are taken from automatic carts, or the japanese hotel completely managed by humanoid robots opened its doors.

 

The reasons for this increasingly high demand of automation certainly depend on 3 determining factors:

 

  • A drastic reduction of production costs
  • The capacity of Artificial Intelligence to evolve exponentially
  • As Luca Foresti of Il Sole 24 Ore indicated “Since people above all have a method of historical learning, they do not believe in change until it happens and when it happens, its speed does not allow them time to adapt. So they react like in emergencies: bad “

 

Between apocalyptic visions and trust in progress, the debate is becoming increasingly intense. It remains a fact: according to the University of Oxford, 47% of jobs and professions will be at risk of robotization and automation in the coming years, including legal professions, accounting and other professions normally related to office work.

 

Among the sectors that will undergo this change most certainly are: agriculture, construction, industry, hotel industry, public administration, army and police.

 

On the other hand, a positive figure is linked to the areas of training, health and culture which, although they also need to be adapted to the changes underway, will be the driving sectors of human experience and skills.

 

But there are also positive visions, including several authoritative voices such as that of Larry Page, founder and CEO of Google that the question “The robots will steal the job?” Replies: “We could probably solve a lot of the issues we have as humans.

 

Of course if we look at history we can not ignore the fact that the revolution we are going to meet is certainly not the first and will not be the last: “between the mid-nineteenth and the late twentieth century the number of American workers employed in agriculture has gone from 60% of the total to less than 2%. However, the share of those operating in new sectors that did not exist in the previous century grew from 20 to 90%: from the automotive industry to the service sector and services. “(Rebecca Mantovani, Focus.it).

 

But what do the new generations think about this change?

On the occasion of our participation at the Maker Faire in Rome in 2017, we took the opportunity to ask companies (including many startups) that as we are part of the Alan Advantage network an opinion.

 

Here’s how INNAAS, Is Clean Air, FILO, Oreegano, KPI6, Solenica, Hearth, YHOP, Dynamitick, Spin Vector and the same Alan Advantage answered the question: “Will robots steal our work?”

 

The answers are varied and articulated: Giovanni Caturano, founder of SpinVector, with optimism claims that “We should want the robots to do the hardest jobs in our place”, while Vincenzo Gioia, senior manager of Alan Advantage, argues that “there is no competition at all, there is a necessary symbiosis between man and machine “.

Surely, Diva Tommei, CEO of Solenica warns us “everything will depend on how we face the initial set-up period. There will be targeted work to be done. The workforce will again be trained in new ways to create value and how to be present in the labor market. “

Gaetano Masi, Head of Marketing at KPI6, was also positive in arguing that “there will be more space for the human being for art, culture or to go to mars!”

 

These young entrepreneurs all respond positively, a sign that confidence in the possibilities of progress and in human abilities is still alive and present.

Surely it will be necessary not to passively accept this change. The transition phase will be very delicate and as many warn, the ability of man will be to reposition himself and give value to his intellectual skills as well as the ability to carve out spaces of autonomy and a renewed interest in free time.

Interviewed after his speech on the current status of Artificial Intelligence R&D in Italy, Alfredo Adamo (CEO of Alan Advantage) appears very confident on the direction taken “… today it is possible, and by many companies already adopted, to replace people with machines in many repetitive and boring areas of work. An advanced economy and society must see this possibility as an opportunity to focus our capabilities and skills in more stimulating tasks. In this sense, it is necessary for the labour work to be completely refounded, for the good of humanity itself “.


The robots are coming, we are ready and you?