` Robots are Taking Over

Robots are Taking Over by Sammi Wu Leung

The Information

Alibaba Workers

Alibaba Workers Pictured Above (You)

Delivery Robot

Delivery Robot Pictured Above (Lonsdorf)

In large companies where they have to deal with manufacturing and completing a large of amount of repetetive work, robots are starting to take over these tasks. One such company is Alibaba in China. It is reported by Business Inside that over seventy percent of their workers in their ware house are now robotic. That means that rather than having humans working on packaging the products that they ship, they have robots replace them. How do they do it? Well, they have drones throughout the warehouse that much more powerful than any human can ever be. They can carry up to five hundred kilograms of material (or one thousand one hundred 2 pounds). Not only that, but they are able to fly and reach places that humans would otherwise not be able to (Pickering).

However, robots can take over places in day to day life. There is no need for a disconnect between regular life and robots. One such way, is robot delivery services. We are well aware that many fast food companies already have touch-screen computers for customers to order such as McDonalds and Burger King. They have already started replacing cashiers as it is something that can be automated. In addition, companies throughout the United States as well as other places in the world are able to start delivering food to locations. One such company is Postmates. They have teamed up with a company name Starship. Here they have smart robots that bring food to people in a cooler-like body. People are able to retreive their items from these robots with a smartphone app (Lonsdorf).

Robots can also replace humans as companions. With companies such as Amazon and Google who have created smart home devices that reply to voice command, others have gone further. Rather than just speaking back at you in a human voice, some robot designers, such as the company who designed Kuri, reply to you in a bleeps and bloops. Kuri's designers hope that these robots will not replace the human interacion that we have. Robots can also work to help elderly people with special needs. With their ability to become more and more precise, it's not surprising that they can be able to help the elderly. They may even make it so that is not as lonely for the elderly. However with Kuri's and other robot's ability to respond and move and do things that are more than just an at home speaker, it seems that it's inevitable that some other company will aspire to replace human interaction with a robot (Simon).

What does all of this mean? It means that robots can soon replace humans in all grunt work. In addition, it does not seem that far fetched that robots will become our personal assistants. Soon they will be a part of lives. Is this a good thing? We don't know yet as it is an area that hasn't been explored in it's entirety. It may be another Industrial Revolution where jobs are lost in an exponential amount. However, it is not gloomy. We can use robots to the advantage in that humans can further improve themselves rather than worry about the daily problems.

Some Probabilities of a Robot Taking Your Job (Yarrow)

Accountant and Auditors94%
Retail Salespersons92%
Technical Writers89%
Real Estate Agents86%
Word Processors and Typists81%
Commercial Pilots55%
Health Technologists40%
Chemical Engineers2%
Athletic Trainers0.7%
Recreation Therapists0.3%

Estimated Worldwide Annual Supply of Industrial Jobs (Frankfurt)

YearAnnual Supply


Frankfurt. “World Robotics Report 2016.” IFR International Federation of Robotics, IFR International Federation of Robotics, 26 Sept. 2016, ifr.org/ifr-press-releases/news/world-robotics-report-2016.

Lonsdorf, Kat. “Hungry? Call Your Neighborhood Delivery Robot.” NPR, NPR, 23 Mar. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/03/23/520848983/hungry-call-your-neighborhood-delivery-robot.

Pickering, Jasper. “Take a Look inside Alibaba's Smart Warehouse Where Robots Do 70% of the Work.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 19 Sept. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/inside-alibaba-smart-warehouse-robots-70-per-cent-work-technology-logistics-2017-9.

Simon, Matt. “Companion Robots Are Here. Just Don't Fall in Love With Them.” Wired, Conde Nast, 7 Sept. 2017, www.wired.com/story/companion-robots-are-here/.

Yarow, Jay. “These Are The Jobs That Will Be Safe From The Imminent Invasion Of Robots.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 23 Jan. 2014, www.businessinsider.com/jobs-that-will-be-lost-to-robots-2014-1.

You, Tracy. “Wifi-Equipped Robots Triple Work Efficiency at the Warehouse of the World's Largest Online Retailer.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 2 Aug. 2017, www.dailymail.co.uk/~/article-4754078/index.html#i-9dc3dc215c4ec3d1.

Author: Sammi Wu Leung