Author: Mr. Rohit Gupta, pursuing  B. Tech and MBA course from NMIMS, Mumbai

Member: L&D Global, Mumbai Chapter

Automation is a word so fancy that it gives humans a feeling of pleasure. One feels as if they are not supposed to work as a result of it. Here is where the world goes wrong. One should extend their work onto the machines but the control to them should be kept in their own hands. As the reputed cosmologist LT. Stephen Hawking had mentioned that Automation, in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI), could prove to be an end to the human civilization. Sources predict that near about 800 million jobs could be lost due to the surge in automation. But it also drives a better part of our lives and could not be shunned right away.

So in what ways could automation be useful?                                   

  1. Saving Labour: Laborious tasks, that need repetition over and over again could be made to be done by machines. And why so? Just because it is a lot helpful for saving running expenses. Also in industries that face Trade Union strikes on a regular basis could avoid them by switching to machines operated by fewer individuals.
  2. Accuracy: Since they are specifically programmed to perform in a certain manner, they won’t deviate even a bit and that results in saving both times as well as resources. So in raw material intensive sectors, automation could save an investor some extra funds in the long run.
  3. Augmented Skills Needed: Running a business that requires laborers to have great skills could be a pain. To curb wasting time in training one could plan to shift the operations to an automatic mode and rather teach the workers the skill to get the work done by the machines. This ensures that the useful task gets done with precision and efficiency.
  4. One-time Capital: To ensure a great business, one must keep in mind the market dynamics. What if the wages get a raise by the Government? What if the raw material that you purchase goes down the drain due to human tendency of wastage? Automation actually saves you in the long run by cutting down on such costs, say what you may! Invest substantially in your equipment and it would yield better results. It is the ‘x’ missing from the equation of streamline business and we have given the suitable answer to you.
  5. The Japanese Philosophy of Hassle-free work: The Japanese are famous for their planning. They keep aside a major chunk of their time to actually plan their task so that they could get through it fast and in an efficient manner. So is the thing with machines. You just need to figure out what all is required to be done automatically and get a machine ordered for the exact same purpose. Having achieved that, it’ll give you a sense of unmatched relief and peace of mind. That is what a human mind desires.
  6. Saves Time: Efficiency of work helps improve vital time during operations and time management has a key role in delivering in time.
  7. Hazardous Processes could be Done: It is wiser to leave dangerous tasks at a machine’s disposal. Loss or damage to human resources could put your business as well as the victim’s life in jeopardy.

If your opinion has got changed about automation we’d ask you to hold your horses! As mentioned earlier in the description, it has some downside to it as well.

  1. Security Threats: Automation in the form of the web could expose your strategies to the competitors.
  2. High Initial Cost: The cost to develop an automatic system takes up a lot of capital and repays yield mostly in the long course of time.
  3. Displacement of Workers: Many-a-times people find themselves looking for job alternatives as either their job got replaced by mechanized methods or they are unable to access those machines. Failure in both the segments could eventually lead to unemployment in the years to come. But the workers face immense retaliation due to the advancement of technology in all the fields. This is one of the concerns being raised behind self-driven vehicles as most of the people employed in logistics sector would have to leave their jobs.
  4. Chances of Inevitable Failure: Machines fail and such incidents cannot be evicted. But if they compromise on the safety of the people they surely are of no good to the society and the world at large. Suppose if a promising self-driven vehicle rams someone under the hood, who would be the one responsible? It is hard to neglect major issues like these.
  5. Causes Damage to the Environment: Company’s need to follow certain environmental regulations and so do the individuals. They cannot go beyond a certain level of carbon footprint or radiation. If everything gets automated, then just think of the emissions being caused. Humans would be taking environmental degradation to another level and that too without working themselves.
  6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Still Far From Reality: The IT conglomerates have their doubts about launching a system to replace humans altogether. Facebook has made its own AI had to destroy it because it had powers that could have turned out to be disastrous. One never knows what automation may lead to if it changes its course of action.

So everything has its fair share of pros and cons. Let us know whether you are in favor of automation or find it to pose a grave danger to the human civilization?

Author: Mr. Rohit Gupta, pursuing B. Tech and MBA course from NMIMS, Mumbai

Member: L&D Global, Mumbai Chapter