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To Automate or Not ?

The most unexpected result of pandemic and frequent factory shutdowns due to covid outbreaks is automation in many jobs that were never thought possible. In the last two years, you might have seen videos of robots being used in hospitals or quarantine facilities but that is not the only place they are being used. Many restaurants and other service-driven businesses have started to use them to reduce the wage bill and address customer concerns.

This is not only limited to the service but also the manufacturing sector. Japan and USA have reported a growth of forty-five percent in sales of automation-related hardware. This has resulted in many jobs being exposed to be automated sooner than thought especially as wages rise and talent is limited.

The automation does not only reduce the risk of business shutdown related to the outbreak but it also improves the efficiency and provides higher output per hour.

This does not mean the human workforce would not be required but it does mean that there needs to be re-skilled or new opportunities created.

In Korea, it is a hybrid model where automation and humans can work together and it is a country where at least thirty percent of jobs are at risk to automation.

Though it is difficult to put a particular date on a job category vanishing for humans in the last two years the acceleration has surely taken place. This surely reconfirms the need for re-skilling or introduction of the most anticipated policy Universal Basic Income.


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