“People usually say they want a human element in their interactions, but Covid-19 changed that.”
At a time when the coronavirus is hitting the world, several questions arise. In particular, the place of the robot in our daily lives. To prevent the transmission of the virus, analysts are studying the question of artificial intelligence to replace employees on the front line in the face of the virus.
ROBOTS FASCINATE AS MUCH AS THEY WORRY
It is in these moments of uncertainty that the question of robots resurfaces. Do they have a place in our daily lives? Are we ready to be replaced by machines? The BBC is studying the issue and sees the rise of robots as an inevitable threat.
Analysts reveal that the coronavirus epidemic is accelerating the rise of robots in human life. Futurist Martin Ford tells the BBC that “people generally say they want a human element in their interactions, but Covid-19 has changed that”. He continues: the coronavirus “will change consumer preferences and open up new opportunities for automation”. Is there anything to worry about?
In the event of an outbreak, for example, robots help maintain the social distancing required to avoid contamination. In addition, employees who are essential to the smooth running of the country during containment could stay at home instead of going to work in dangerous conditions.
IMAGINE ROBOTS IN OUR DAILY LIVES
The arrival of the coronavirus has shaken up our daily lives and allowed robotics companies to see their sales skyrocket. Disinfection (mostly in hospitals), cleaning, and sanitization are tasks dedicated to robots for the moment. The American retailer Walmart already has robots that clean floors, while South Korea uses them to take the population’s temperature and distribute disinfectant. Analysts predict that robots will be cleaning schools and offices very soon!
Another area where artificial intelligence is of great help is warehousing (to sort and ship faster) and catering as a server. Its use makes it possible to respect the social distancing required during a health crisis such as the one we are experiencing. Problem: many employees will find themselves unemployed. More expensive to manufacture, but profitable once operational, the robot will have no problem replacing a human worker.
However, there are still limits. When robotic equipment doesn’t work, customers immediately turn to humans. According to a 2017 report by McKinsey, machines will replace workers by 2030 in the United States. However, it is up to us to decide when and how artificial intelligence will help us in our daily lives. More importantly, what happens to the humans that are replaced.
Source : BBC