Automation is slowly becoming part of nearly every industry, from assembly to manufacturing and everything in between. It’s also changing the way we look at parts of our daily life. How is automation improving human lives, and how can we expect to see this technology applied in the future?
1. Safer Workplaces
Automation often gets a bad rap for stealing jobs or eliminating low-skilled positions, but bringing automation into the workplace is making it safer. This technology can take over risky or repetitive tasks that could lead to injury or death, effectively removing human workers from dangerous situations and preventing the 2.9 million accidents that happen every year.
2. Increased Productivity
Automation doesn’t necessarily mean massive robotic arms and assembly lines that stretch as far as the eye can see. It can be as simple as automating software tasks that don’t require human oversight. This frees up employees to focus on the tasks that require their attention, instead of spending their time doing repetitive things that can be better carried out by a computer.
3. More Accurate Microsurgery
Surgery is a sometimes necessary part of medicine, and automation may soon play a large part in this industry. The demand for microsurgery robots is growing exponentially. Globally, the industry was worth $0.7 billion in 2017. By 2024, it’s expected to be worth $1.7 billion, a growth of 13.9%. Robotic microsurgery and related automation software improves outcomes, reduces hospital stays and minimizes scarring.
4. Saving Lives in Hospitals
Automated robots may soon play a role in healthcare and you might see them at a hospital near you before too long. One hospital in San Fransico is using robots to deliver food and medicine to patients. They can even use the elevators to move between floors. While they aren’t a replacement for human medical professionals because they don’t empathize — at least not yet — they can help save lives and make the job of caring for patients a little bit easier.
5. Improved Pet Care
While this might not directly affect human life, it can affect the lives of your pets and most people consider their furry friends to be four-legged family members. In the wild, dogs and cats don’t often experience dental problems unless a tooth gets broken during a fight. Domestication has created dental problems in our pets that automation could assist with.
6. Shifting from Doing to Thinking
For the last few decades, careers have been focused on the idea of ‘doing’ — if you’re not doing something constructive, regardless of the field, then you’re not succeeding at life. Automation will cause us to shift from the ‘doing’ mentality to one that focuses on thinking instead. Cerebral pursuits will become the norm and will change the way we work and the way we build our careers.
7. Expanded Product Variety
New products won’t need to go through multiple prototype stages once automation becomes mainstream in manufacturing. Instead, designers will simply need to plug their designs into the computer and the automated systems will do the rest, potentially even calibrating manufacturing equipment to meet certain needs, utilizing the Internet of Things to streamline communication without the need for human oversight.
8. Improve Your Finances
Automation can be useful for even simple skills like managing your finances. Upgraded software can give you the tools to automate your budget, your savings and even routine expenses like bills other monthly or annual expenses. Most of these tools are designed to be user-friendly and many will integrate with the online banking tools that you already use, making it easier to save money.
9. Increase the Need for New Skills
College degrees in business aren’t going to cut it as automation becomes mainstream. By 2030, technological skills will be in high demand because automation will likely take over most low-skilled positions that are currently filled with human workers. This will lead to a massive reskilling in the entry-level field because there is no other way to adapt to this change.
10. Increasing the Value of Human Labor
One thing automation is doing is increasing the value of human labor. You can go buy a machine-brewed cup of coffee from a vending machine, or you can walk to your local coffee shop and get a hand-made brew courtesy of your local barista. You can buy cookie-cutter jewelry at Wal-mart, or spend a little bit more on something hand-made from sites like Etsy. As automation becomes more prevalent, human labor will become more valuable.
Looking Toward the Future
The automation revolution is coming and it will continue to make our lives better if we start making changes now to adopt this new technology.