Will Robots Replace Your Employees In The Next 10 Years?
From Google’s self-driving cars to IBM’s Watson supercomputer, cutting-edge technology is breaking new ground and making more jobs obsolete each year. When you are a small business owner, on the rare occasion when you have some time to spare, you might find yourself wondering what the future will bring for your business and how you might best adapt. There’s the near future, where you have to get those time slips in, and then there’s the far future, where we’ve all been replaced by robots. However, what was science fiction just ten or twenty years ago might become science fact in just another ten years. After all, the science of robotics and AI has leaped forward exponentially, so what can employers expect?
Robots Cannot Replace Good Customer Service
When it comes to customer service, there are few things that make someone angrier than talking to a robot. Though many large companies use what is essentially a primitive AI to direct calls and to solve basic problems, these systems tend to leave people feeling much more angry than pleased with the quality of service that they have received. This means that there will still be a market for great customer service from your human employees for quite a while yet – but perhaps not forever!
Sorting and Organization
One place where intelligent machines have an advantage over people is in their tireless efforts and their ability to organize and to sort quickly. This makes them an excellent choice for pharmacies, where precision in offering customers the correct pills and capsules is essential. There is some speculation that these sorting and organization machines will soon take the place of employees who need to do fine sorting work, and to a certain extent, some of this has already happened on the assembly line of pharmaceutical companies themselves. If your company does a lot of hand-work in this regard, robots could be the wave of the future for you – although you’d still need a qualified pharmacist on hand to answer customer questions and ensure that everything’s correct.
Transcription and Transcribing
At this point, voice recognition technology is excellent and only getting better by the day. People can use basic (and somewhat error-prone) voice chat and machine services for transcription already, but it is still slow going, and translation is still just getting off the ground when it comes to machine translators understanding the nuances of human language. However, as this technology gets better and better, it seems that there may reach a point where machine translation and transcription services could outstrip the need for human translators and transcription services – and this could happen sooner than you might think possible.
Does your company use drivers? Whether you are delivering parts, pizza or flowers, you will discover that driving is an important part of what you offer. At some point in the not-too-distant future, however, you may find yourself punching directions into a keypad in the car rather than telling the driver where to go. Many scientists speculate that driving services are going to become fully automated in the 2020s, and this could reduce or remove the need for hiring human drivers.
Child Care & Entertainment
Several years ago, Fisher-Price released Dance Star Mickey Mouse, a small doll with robotic components that performs basic dance-and-song routines to entertain children. This is just one of the many care-giving tasks that a robot can perform, and though there is no widespread usage yet, this is a possible option for some businesses to explore in the future. Whereas the children of previous years played with dolls, children of the future may interact with intelligent, cuddly robots – which could see widespread use in daycares and preschools.
While we’re still many decades away from living in a fully automated society, we can already see some of the exciting advances on the horizon! As long as your business keeps ahead of the curve and adapts to technological changes, there’s no reason you can’t ride the wave of the future to greater profits.