The pandemic and the U.S. labor shortage are starting to change the conversation about robotics and automation from threat to opportunity — from putting jobs at risk to filling critical gaps in the workforce.
“The biggest shift that has happened from 2018 to now is that we’ve literally run out of human beings to do the things that we need to do,” said roboticist Siddhartha “Sidd” Srinivasa, a professor at the University of Washington’s Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering in Seattle who founded Carnegie Mellon University’s Personal Robotics Lab during his 18-year tenure in Pittsburgh.
That shift is giving a new spark to robotics engineers and entrepreneurs who have long aspired to change the world with their inventions and ideas.Todd Bishop, “‘We’ve literally run out of human beings’: Robots rise in wake of pandemic and labor shortages” at GeekWire (April 28, 2022)
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Admoni cited the example of robotic technology helping people with disabilities to eat without the assistance of a human caregiver, giving both people an opportunity to eat together in a more natural social way.Todd Bishop, “‘We’ve literally run out of human beings’: Robots rise in wake of pandemic and labor shortages” at GeekWire (April 28, 2022)
Why is the assistance of a human caregiver less “natural” than that of a robot?
You may also wish to read: Robot police dogs spark civil rights questions Boston Dynamics says that its lease agreements require that the robots not be used to “physically harm or intimidate people.” The civil liberties group’s concerns stem from the fact that there are few or no current legal restrictions on how the robots are to be used.