How can the President of the United States promise more jobs in terms of percentages or numbers without qualifying those numbers by stipulating that robots, and not humans, may fill many of those positions?
As we continue to advance technologically, an increasing number of robots are performing tasks that people once performed. With every new robotic innovation increasing the abilities of -- and the consequent applications for -- machines in general, there are fewer jobs remaining for biologically challenged human beings.
Considering efficiency factors alone, robots are approaching 100% utilization for on-the-job availability and performance. Aside from its near 0% absenteeism, a mechanical device does not require benefits, counseling for conflict resolution, more than the minimal amount of square footage to operate, or facilities like restrooms, cafeterias, and vending machines; indeed, every square foot of space occupied by these human-serving amenities could be converted to additional space for factory and production. Thus, in addition to the significant work efficiency gain, robotic technology yields tremendous space efficiency gains that can reduce overhead costs associated with building maintenance, leasing fees, and insurance premiums -- all based on square footage.
Cost concerns exist throughout the supply chain, so wherever productivity can be increased for the same cost and time, the business conclusion is straightforward: If robots can do the job, then robots should do the job. Now we can modernize the much-overused quip, "The best man for the job is a woman" to "The best man for the job is a robot." And with that, we have just identified two additional areas of improvement for the Human Resources department: no gender discrimination claims, and no ageism lawsuits. The robotic factory has pretty strong appeal from many management perspectives.
If I were a robot manufacturer and I wanted to sell to a company that required highly repetitive processes for production operations, I would study the movements performed by the humans doing the job and then determine how many of those movements and decisions I would be able to incorporate into a machine. I would not want my basic robot to be customized to just one company's product line, however; instead, I would expand my research to include fundamental practices across a large industry sector. The price and feature set of my introductory-level robot would cover 80% to 90% of all the tasks required.