5 June 2018

What if your teammate was a robot?

Have you ever imagined working side by side with robots? It would be just like a human colleague. It would do exactly the same things. But would we be able to relate in the same way as with a person? Would we have, for example, to integrate it and teach the company's routines? Today, this is one of the most debated topics as well as one of society's biggest concerns.

In an age defined by the constant evolution of technology, robotics and artificial intelligence have come a long way in a short space of time. However, the existence of robots to perform human functions does not come from today, since 1961, they exist programmed to elaborate repetitive tasks, with the aim of making our lives less complicated.

However, it is not easy to foresee how the advances of artificial intelligence will change the way we relate and interact in society. Artificial intelligence is increasingly present in our daily lives and, for example, are the numerous applications that we use in our day to day, through our smartphones, such as Siri or Alexa. Or even at the level of the automotive industry, with the development of autonomous vehicles, which are based on sophisticated calculations based on neural network systems and which, in essence, are inspired by how the human brain articulates and processes the information to recognize, interpret and solve the different problems that arise.

This way, it is easy to see the advantages and the power of the helpers we have at our disposal to help us perform tasks and make more sustained and faster decisions. However, the big issue here is what will be the role of the human being and the machine in the near future?

According to the World Economic Forum, about 7.1 million jobs will be eliminated, and automation and robotics will put more than 10 million jobs at risk over the next 10 years, says CEB Insights. On the other hand, with a more positive view, Randstad argues that over the next five years, 1.25 million new jobs created in areas, mainly IT, will surface, and 82% of executives anticipate that, by 2030, men and machines should be part of the same teams.

And in fact this is already happening. From medicine to law, not to mention the security forces, robots are already working side by side with humans. They can perform surgical procedures, build cars, move stocks in warehouses, hotels and even serve drinks. And they can do it quickly and efficiently. There are many examples: in Dubai, there is Reem, the robot police working side by side with security forces, Ross and Donotpay who are robot lawyers, Watson, a robot created to make medicine evolve and either in China, the Southern Metropolis Daily, and Bloomberg in the US, there are robot reporters to write certain news. Not forgetting, of course, the robot Sophia, the first robot to be granted citizenship, by the Government of Saudi Arabia and also Einstein. This one and Sophia are robots that already resemble a human being.

In fact, artificial intelligence is coming, or we can say that it has already arrived at organizations and is expected to evolve significantly. With it, too, is the world changing, as we know it today.

But... are robots stealing jobs? No. On the contrary, they have and will continue to have the power to assist employees regardless of the sector in question.

On the other hand, it will never be possible to replace a human being with a robot, since there are capacities that they have never been able to learn, namely, critical reasoning, creativity and the ability to think beyond an algorithm. These are characteristics that we still can not incorporate into a robot.

Thus, the future will be neither robot nor human, but rather a way to evolve and get the best advantage and complement of technology and all human beings.