Are #Robots tomorrow’s employees or employers? / 4BC and ABC Far North

robot workersAre Robots tomorrow’s employees or employers is the question in high rotation at the moment and one I get asked almost daily in the media, at conferences and in Board Room discussions.

There is a growing belief that robots are set to live up to their Hollywood hype and take over the world and that human jobs are doomed and that we’re all doomed to be unemployed, penniless and useless, but the truth doesn’t match the hysteria.

We are definitely seeing more machines, robots, androids, drones and bots around us performing jobs that were once done by human hands and minds and yes some people are losing their livelihood and sometimes their careers and nothing good can be said of that and there is a figure banding around that 500,000 Australian jobs will disappear in the next decade as we move to greater automation, but all of this can’t be put down to an anthropomorphic robot uprising instead its blame lies squarely with the collective human preference to want to pay for the cheaper and faster end results of a machine over the slower and often more expensive output of a human.

But even with an ever-increasing automated and robotic workforce we will still have a net increase in jobs and employment over the next decade and beyond. We will still have more people move out of a 9-5 work status and join a work when and when is appropriate work model which will include a huge rise in casualised jobs as industry reshape themselves and new jobs and tasks are born.

We are definitely going through a pimply teenage-like period, where all things seem dramatic and the future uncertain, but we know from past experience that tomorrow will bring with it new challenges, but also many opportunities, some of which will include robots, but many of which will not.

In this weeks on-air segments with 4BC’s Kim Mothershaw and ABC radio Far North’s Phil Staley, we explored robots in the workforce, explained the difference between robots, drones and androids and took a look at a near world where humans and robots live side by side.

Kim Mothershaw  – 4BC – (19 minutes 26 seconds) – with special guest Dr Jonathan Roberts, Professor in Robotics, QUT – 22 September 2015


Phil Staley – ABC Far North – (16 minutes 23 seconds) – 21 September 2015

Eye on the Future - Sep 22, 2015 | All