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The Gravest Threat to Your Job Isn't Illegal Immigrants: It's The Robots!

An important piece of data to the question of when we will welcome our new robot overlords is just how many robots are there in the world right now? (Answer: about 1,000,000 - still a puny number compared to humans, so Google may want to wait a while before it achieves sentience).

Focus Magazine has a nifty infographic about robots, specifically robots in the workplace. One interesting (and I'm sure controversial) nugget of info is that if you think illegal immigrants are taking your jobs, then you're blaming the wrong party:

It is estimated that by the year 2025, robots will have taken over nearly one-half of all jobs in the United States. In certain job sectors, robots may even completely replace human workers.

Link - Thanks Jason!


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Labor will never again be the constraining factor on productivity. Be happy. This is the end of slavery. We replaced middle-management with 386sx PCs running Windows 3.1 20 years ago. Now we're replacing Chinese preteens with ARM-powered arms. For the next 20 years, you are free to be your own failed CEO.
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I work at a medium sized manufacturing plastics plant. We have had to add robots because we can't find competent people to run our presses. We can find them but they can't count or speak English or they work until their first paycheck and they quit. The amount of money we spent on robots was very easily made back in a short period of time. It's sad but we have to do what we have to do to stay competitive.
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Clarification needed: The robots were from Germany and cost $65,000 when the dollar was so strong. the last robots we bought from the same company was around $90,000 in 2008. The reality of it is robots are cheap.
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My degree is in Robotics and when I landed my first automation job there were 12 people working on 5 assembly lines. As new lines were added, they were added with robots and automation built in. Between new lines, I added automation and robots to the older lines. When I left the company, there were 11 lines and 9 people per shift.

The robots cost $65,000 and replacing one person per shift per day payed for themselves in less than 9 months. But don't feel bad for the people they replaced. The company just didn't replace the people who got themselves fired. Manufacturing in the USA will not survive without robots.
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