Is Automation a boon or a bane?

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When we are going through an uncertain economic environment, some companies think that the implementation of automation will help to overcome the challenges of the pandemic. But recently Georgia State University, in their studies predicted that even though the pandemic speed up the shift towards automated technologies rapidly for social distancing and so on, once this period comes to an end, these technologies leave a question behind us; whether automation creates jobs or kills jobs.

To have an insight into the current problem, we need to realize what existed before the crisis. There are ongoing discussions and arguments resulting in a number of varied opinions. But these are all educated conjecture on what might happen. What really had happened?

The past data and studies expertise that automation has worsened inequality, wages and productivity since the 1980s. But it is evident that the nature of automation is changing very drastically, even without eliminating any job scope. While citing examples from industrial revolutions, technology leads to job destruction, but ultimately ended up creating new jobs.

Also, most of today’s technologies are designed to assist the workers to lessen the burden, not at all like earlier ones where machines totally replaced auto assembly workers. Since the pandemic, the nature of the work has a tremendous change, which forces us to reassess on the future of automated technologies.

It is seen that the present social constraints like social distancing, work at home, etc. are accelerating the adoption of automation. Many sectors are using automation in their field to ensure safety. During this Covid-19 crisis, the automated services can spare workers like nurses, secretaries, police officers and so on from additional human contact. The efficiency created by the technologies is also positively affecting Covid-19 pandemic.

Using the existing data on the efficiency of the automation we are able to foresee the opportunities of automation. There are people who think jobs will be created, or changed, or destroyed, or some combination thereof. Even if there are uncertainties about the outcome, some studies have announced that millions of jobs are at risk due to the pandemic. Automation has been used to make jobs safer, still, it ensures no guarantee.

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