“In October, when Apple announced its redesigned Mac Pro, the company boasted that it would be assembled in the U.S. This was a curious about-face for the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant whose success has been inextricably linked to shoulder-to-shoulder assembly lines in China,” John Patrick Pullen writes for Entrepreneur. “In addition, as the New York Times reported, at a private dinner in February 2011, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told President Obama, ‘Those jobs aren’t coming back.'”
“Indeed, they haven’t. And they won’t,” Pullen writes. “According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing industry lost 2.3 million jobs in the most recent recession. Since then, factories have only regained 526,000 jobs, a sad sign of Jobs’ visionary nature.”
“A promotional video on the Mac Pro’s assembly clearly shows what led Apple to produce the new computers in the U.S.: robots, not people. An ambidextrous Fanuc M-710iC swings the Mac Pro’s machined aluminum casing from station to station. The metal is polished by Guyson Corporation’s blast-finishing robots. And components are placed on the circuit boards by Jot Automation machines,” Pullen writes. “Of course there are humans milling about, but not nearly as many as at Foxconn in China.”
“The growing use of robots in the workforce isn’t just happening at Apple. From Kiva Systems droids fulfilling Amazon warehouse orders, to telepresence robots zipping through offices and conference halls, robots are suddenly everywhere,” Pullen writes. “Though they weren’t necessarily programmed to destroy jobs, some experts believe machine-caused mass unemployment is possible.”
“Meanwhile, small businesses will scramble to keep up. But instead of joining the robot workforce, entrepreneurs can firewall their operations by cyborg-proofing their companies,” Pullen writes. “According to the Oxford study, “occupations that involve complex perception and manipulation tasks, creative intelligence tasks, and social intelligence tasks are unlikely to be substituted by computer capital over the next decade or two.” So the key to defeating robots — in the movies and in real life — is doing what they can’t.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.