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Saturday, February 19, 2022

Robots not Coming?

Takeover no, but they will be here, collaborating. 

The Robots Are Not Coming  (?) 

Those predictions of a robot takeover may not come to fruition.

By  Efraim Benmelech  in Kellogg

In 1987, at the beginning of the IT-driven technological revolution, the Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Solow famously quipped that “you can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

More than 30 years later, another technological revolution seems imminent. In what is called “the Fourth Industrial revolution,” attention is devoted to automation and robots. Many have argued that robots may significantly transform corporations, leading to massive worker displacement and a significant increase in firms’ capital intensity. Yet, despite these omnipresent predictions, it is hard to find robots not only in aggregate productivity statistics but also anywhere else.

While investment in robots has increased significantly in recent years, it remains a small share of total investment. The use of robots is almost zero in industries other than manufacturing, and even within manufacturing, robotization is very low for all but a few poster-child industries, such as automotive. For example, in the manufacturing sector, robots account for around 2.1 percent of total capital expenditures. For the economy as a whole, robots account for about 0.3 percent of total investment in equipment. Moreover, recent increases in sales of robotics are driven mostly by China and other developing nations as they play catch-up in manufacturing, rather than by increasing robotization in developed countries. These low levels of robotization cast doubt on doomsday projections in which robots will cut demand for human employees.  .... ' 

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