The advantage of robotics solutions as well as AI in technical applications should be responsibly selected and should not make decisions for us. Today’s industry researches topics like Industry 4.0 and similar projects like Internet of things or cyber Physical Systems. The goal of Industry 4.0 is to make different items on one production line, e.g. different fittings which are 3D printed or different types of yoghurt. The main computer of the production line is connected to a cloud, where customers can choose their specific products on a website. After they have entered all needed data the production can start. The information in the cloud will be sent to the production line main computer and the production starts. All robots and all products can communicate with each other through the Internet of Things and can optimize the process. Each product has an RFID chip which contains information about how it has to be processed. In other words, every sensor and every actuator is connected to the Internet and is part of the Internet of Things.
All this new technology enables the production of advanced high tech products at low costs. But which advantages does this technology provide for a simple assembly line operator? None. He will either lose his job or needs to lower his position at the factory to a maintenance job. The big difference is that in the past he took orders from his supervisor and now his supervisor is a robot with artificial intelligence. These actions will lower the worker’s creativity and excitement and also a large number of workers will lose their jobs. Another risk is the cloud solution, which contains all important production details and every secret of a company. A statement from the cloud operator “your data is secure”, will not persuade companies to give away their data.
If we take a look at all automated processes which right know are not yet developed enough, but which will be in the next 20 years, one can only say that science fiction is becoming reality. The question is what we’re going to develop when everybody has a robot.
Student at Technikum Wien University