SXSW Interactive 2014

Welcoming the Robot Workforce

In the coming years, we will rely on robots to manage our agriculture, infrastructure, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing and security. Advanced human-to-robot interaction will transform industries and change the way we think about the workforce. The impacts will not be limited to industry and traditional blue collar work, as Telepresence robots like Beam, Vgo, and the iRobot Ava 500 will expand the white collar world, allowing workers to be physically present in two places at once. And who knows what will happen as IBM’s Watson Robot finishes medical school? Will the robotic takeover of jobs afford humanity the time to become the best versions of ourselves, or will this lead to a depressing idleness that is economic, as much as emotional? Drawing from the lessons from the automotive and manufacturing industries, do we have a responsibility to our workers and ourselves to ensure the ongoing productivity of humanity? Can we keep humanity from turning into WALL-E?

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  1. While Robots have been on the scene in manufacturing for some time, where will we see the Robot Workforce invasion next? What industries will be impacted by the robot workforce?
  2. As robots make their way into the office, how will the workplace and workplace dynamics change in the next 10 years?
  3. When the robots come, will my job be secure? What can I do to boost my own job security?
  4. Why is there a sudden and rapid acceleration of adoption of robotics and automation today?
  5. As robotic capabilities increase will they ever have a "human touch" that makes human workers obsolete? Will we reach a time where society views people as old, useless and outmoded resources -- to be tossed out, like last year's gadgets?



Leigh Durst, CXO, Live Path, Strategist / Event Producer for IEEE

Meta Information:

  • Tags: technology
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: AI and Intelligent Devices
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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