A coming wave of robots could redefine our jobs. Will that redefine us? By Jeffrey R. Young
Baxter is a new type of worker, who is having no trouble getting a job these days, even in a tight economy. He's a little slow, but he's easy to train. And companies don't hire him, they buy him—he even comes with a warranty.
Baxter is a robot'
Still, the question of whether robots are helping or hurting the work force has become a serious policy issue. Georgia Tech's Christensen, the keynote speaker at the trade show and a leading pro-robot spokesman, has argued to the Obama administration that new robot workers can help bring back manufacturing jobs to the United States that have moved overseas.... But he said they "got convinced," and he pointed to a recent move by Apple to move more production of its computers to the United States because automation made it cheap enough. The professor recently helped update a white paper sponsored by the National Science Foundation laying out a "National Robotics Roadmap" for the country
Bledstein said he may write something more about automation and how it has changed the middle class, and he mentioned that he would continue to teach and do research as long as he can. He wants to keep working. He thinks every professional does, as long as the work is meaningful. "People I know who have really retired, they have really deteriorated quickly," he said. "Work is far more than just a practical category. It's fundamental. We need work."
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