Robot Makers Spread Global Gospel of Automation
The robot equipment industry has one word for the alarmist articles and television news programs that predict a robot is about to steal your job: Fiddlesticks! Well, that wasn’t actually the word used at the Automate 2013 trade show held recently in Chicago, but the sentiment was the same. During one presentation, Henrik I. Christensen, the Kuka Chair of Robotics at Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Computing, sharply criticized a recent “60 Minutes” report on automation that was based on the work of the M.I.T. economists Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson.
The two economists in 2011 wrote “Race Against the Machine,” a book that renewed the debate about the relationship between the pace of automation and job growth. They argue that the pace of automation is accelerating and that robotics is pushing into new areas of the work force like white-collar jobs that were previously believed to be beyond the scope of computers.