You are currently viewing 3 Societal Drivers Pushing the Adoption of Automation

3 Societal Drivers Pushing the Adoption of Automation

By: Henrik Christensen, PhD


Qualcomm Chancellor’s Chair of Robotic Techniques and a Distinguished Professor of Laptop Science at Dept. of Laptop Science and Engineering, UC San Diego, ROBO International Strategic Advisor


For over three a long time, I’ve labored with robotics and automation, carefully watching the modifications and, maybe most curiously, the general public notion of the expertise.

Not way back, the general public was not paying a lot consideration to the probabilities forward. Regardless of the exponential progress occurring, it appeared that discussions about robotics, automation, and AI have been largely educational. That was…till a world pandemic modified issues.

Just like the flip of a change, our worlds have been challenged, and our cultural norms have been reworked. The workforce each bodily and mentally pivoted. Our shopper calls for have been challenged. The provision chain uncovered its weak spots. All of the whereas, technological developments continued to progress, lots of which we’ve solely begun to bear witness to. We’re in fascinating instances, certainly.

These societal drivers are shifting the way in which we work, reside, and play. Additionally they affect how we make investments as each company entities and (hopefully!) as people. Let’s dive somewhat deeper into elements which can be driving the demand and adoption of automation in lots of features of our lives.



The residual results of COVID-19 and the necessity to keep at dwelling have created a labor disaster with no proof of restore. Not like the 2008 recession, we discover ourselves with a labor scarcity, not a job opening scarcity. That is particularly prevalent within the fields of producing and logistics the place the variety of unfilled roles far outpaces the unemployment charge.

What do you do when there aren’t any folks to fill the roles? You must add extra automation. Each giant and small firms are investing now greater than ever in expertise to fill within the gaps. This determination just isn’t a alternative however relatively a necessity to outlive in a troublesome aggressive panorama.

One of the necessary issues we are able to do to construct sustainable financial progress is to advertise training within the fields of producing, logistics, and the like. Extremely, many of those paths to success and profession growth don’t require a school diploma. These are STEM roles that may usually be acquired via commerce faculties or certification packages, dramatically decreasing the barrier to entry. These new positions make the most of our uniquely human administration expertise, overseeing the robots doing boring, soiled, and harmful jobs.

As a professor, I’m seeing lots of my college students laced with concern over the present job market and tech layoffs. Now we have the expertise; now we simply must allow them to pursue the brand new roles being created by demand. This isn’t only a message for the re-training of college-educated college students although; that is additionally an amazing job alternative for folks of all ages trying to develop a brand new ability set or enter a brand new discipline. Within the meantime, we’ll proceed to see firms investing in expertise to fill in for the tens of millions of unfilled jobs. 



Covid demonstrated what large firms may do when push got here to shove with on-line supply. As we speak we’ve come to count on a package deal on our doorstep a mere two hours after clicking “Buy.” The demand for e-commerce and fast supply has soared for the reason that starting of the pandemic, with no indicators of slowing, creating an fascinating problem for success. 

Firms each large and small don’t simply need to get in on the motion, they NEED to. We count on to see increasingly automation in success, be it out of a again room or entrance and middle down a grocery aisle. Localized supply will even achieve traction as firms proceed within the race to maintain up.

We are going to see comparatively smaller companies getting concerned within the sport too, with options starting from conventional automated storage to computerized packaging to cell platforms driving round out on the ground. 

A lot of this automation is being made doable because of robotics firms that are actually offering extra versatile deployment on a smaller scale when it comes to the minimal variety of methods wanted. These choices also can come at an inexpensive price with simple person interfaces for present workers to be taught.

Not like the mounted, cumbersome, and costly infrastructure of the previous, enterprise house owners don’t have to fret as a lot about making the mistaken alternative in relation to automating. Now they’ll use the very best expertise for the job with out having to purchase into one specific ecosystem.

With regards to in the present day’s logistics automation, fast success and the necessity to fill jobs are driving inevitable funding into tech.


Practically all of the world has not too long ago witnessed the beautiful capabilities of generative AI in some form or kind whether or not they’ve realized it or not. From the storm of AI portraits that swept Instagram feeds all over the place to the mainstream makes use of of ChatGPT for easy content material duties to this yr’s Sony “Image of the 12 months.” Sure, the artist introduced that the picture was the truth is generated by AI. To say that we’ve barely scratched the floor of what generative AI can do could be an understatement. 

We’re solely on the very starting levels of this highly effective expertise’s attain and the function it is going to play in our lives. Up till now, a lot of our focus has been on producing info. With the general public adoption of generative AI, we’ll begin to see our focus shift to the verification of knowledge. We used to have to take a seat down and write a narrative; now you’ll be able to ask generative AI.

One main hesitation we’re seeing proper now could be across the reliability and factual nature of the fabric. Can we belief it? How do we all know that it gained’t lie? That’s the place the verification of knowledge is available in, remaining an necessary piece of the puzzle. One other large problem is plagiarism. How can we guarantee that the coed’s work is authentic? How will we cope with the replication of singers’ voices? Whereas there are lots of potential obstacles sure to emerge from the usage of this expertise, the promise is limitless. Generative AI is absolutely going to vary how we function at a foundational degree.



These are merely three elements pushing us right into a extra automated world. In my eyes, there is no doubt that this adoption will generate important progress throughout all sectors of the market. The query is: how do you make the proper guess? With the ROBO index (robotics & automation) and the THNQ index (AI), traders can achieve diversified publicity to each the builders and customers of those unimaginable applied sciences. In any case, these technological and societal modifications are just the start of how our world is altering to regulate to new person calls for―and the way we’re utilizing expertise to satisfy these calls for.

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