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Friday, August 07, 2015

A robotic workforce? No, humans are cheaper by Kathryn Cave

Kathryn Cave, Editor at IDG Connect catch-up with former Gartner VP, French Caldwell, to discover his views about the future robot workplace. 

Photo: IDG Connect

French Caldwell, Chief Evangelist, MetricStream
“Yes – the pace of robots and smart machines has picked up, but it is still not so rapid that it will leave humans behind,” says French Caldwellformer Vice President at Gartner and now Chief Evangelist of GRC at MetricStream.

He does agree that many people will “find that they have been automated out of a job”. However, these will be people in the middle not at the top or bottom. And he adds: “robots will also help us to find new jobs”.

People will be surprised - “[the use of robots] won’t be as disruptive as the hype today would suggest,” he continues. 

“The more a robot can do, the more it will cost – humans should be able to still be less expensive than robots.  Plus robots for the foreseeable future will have to specialise, and we humans don’t – we’re more flexible.”

French envisages three possibilities for the robot-human hybrid workplace:

Firstly: “humans work for the robots – robots tell humans when they need help and what to do”.  

Secondly: “humans service and maintain the robots – that’s pretty straightforward – we are already doing that with lots of machines”.

Or thirdly: “humans own the robots—if you are worried about the smart machines taking over, go buy some and start leasing them out – there’s  a business model there somewhere, and the clever humans will figure it out”.

But what about specifics? What is working at the moment and how will robots be used in future?

Source: IDG Connect