By Andrea Willige
Dystopian views of robotics, automation and Artificial Intelligence are a familiar staple of popular culture, tapping in to some of our most basic fears.
Just like the spinning jenny and the steam engine during the first Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century, new automation technologies raise concerns about job losses and even a wider erosion of human control.
In reality, the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ is likely to go the same way as the first. Yes, disruptive technologies will bring fundamental change to business, work and society as a whole. They will eliminate certain jobs and dramatically change the profiles of others, forcing companies and individuals to re-train and reinvent themselves.
But, as with the first Industrial Revolution, the most likely outcome is that automation will replace many menial, routine tasks and generate opportunities for more qualified jobs and wealth creation.
We shouldn’t expect a world of robotic overlords reminiscent of the Terminator movies. Experts view the role of robotics and AI as being closer to Jarvis in the ‘Ironman’ series – an AI system which assists its human creator rather than replacing him.
There are plenty of examples of this already.