This DW report presents the common pretend-balance of saying automation may take jobs or it may create new ones. But why would companies invest many millions of dollars (or euros) to install smart machines in manufacturing if they weren’t far cheaper in the long run? There will be some new tech jobs coming out of the technology revolution, but only a handful by comparison. Millions of workers around the world have already been replaced by machines with worse to come, and most governments are ignoring the changes in the workplace.The ING Bank report cited reflects the same findings as the 2013 Oxford University study that found nearly half of jobs will be replaced by smart machines in 20 years.
VOICE-OVER: The Schunk Company produces robot grippers. Demand for automation is enormous, but so are the potential costs. A new study by ING Bank says automation will cost Germany up to 18 million jobs over the next 20 years, replacing one out of every two workers with robots.CARSTEN BRZESKI (ING-DiBa Chief Economist): It’s becoming clear that this industrial revolution is quite unlike the old one. I’m afraid that in the end, it’s going to destroy more jobs than it creates.VOICE-OVER: Germany is already a global leader when it comes to the number of industrial robots in operation. Only South Korea and Japan have more automated production than Germany. The Schunk Company is already working on the next generation of industrial robots. The machines are meant to increase productivity, of course, but they’re not intended to replace people. Intelligent robots are designed to work independently side-by-side with their human counterpartsHENRIK A. SCHUNK (Schunk CEO): Thanks to the cooperation between humans and machines, jobs that would normally leave the country will stay in Germany and that’s a good thing. Robotic assistants will end up saving jobs.VOICE-OVER: One way or another, automation is here to stay. Whether it will cost jobs or create them remains to be seen.