Let’s be clear; it’s unlikely that by 2030 industrial estates across the nation will be almost exclusively manned by robots. The largest impact to currently-human-centric jobs will be at multi-national corporations such as Tesla or Amazon.
In fact within the last week Amazon confirmed that its latest robot, named the Sparrow, had been rolled out across most warehouse locations. The firm is ramping up the use of robots as sales growth reportedly slows and it faces pressure to cut costs – read, get rid of salaried workers, and replace them with more economical robots.
In these early days, already around three quarters of the packages delivered by the e-commerce giant have been touched by some kind of robotic system. If Tye Brady, Chief Technologist, is to be believed, this number will rise to almost 100% within the next five years.
Perhaps we’re closer to the Philip K. Dick dystopia than we previously believed. Yet Brady is adamant that, despite the steep rise in robots performing the tasks that, until recently, were allocated to a human, people will always be a key part of the process.
"Jobs will change for sure, but the need for humans will always be there," Brady recently told the BBC. Exactly how many humans will retain jobs within the organisation when the picking, packaging and delivery processes are entirely automated, Brady did not say.