Robots will add jobs to the economy: Siemens

Posted Oct 30, 2017 by Tim Sandle
A new report from Siemens suggests the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ will add billions to economies and that, instead of fearing robots, the drive towards automation will actually generate more jobs.
In the International Space Station s Destiny laboratory  Robonaut 2 is pictured during a round of te...
In the International Space Station's Destiny laboratory, Robonaut 2 is pictured during a round of testing for the first humanoid robot in space
NASA / File
Discussing the publication of the report, Juergen Maier said that if economies embrace and fund “Industry 4.0”, then the loss thousands of industrial jobs from automation can be turned around into a net gain in employment. This will only happen, the industrialist argues, if governments act rapidly.
The report is in the form of a 246-page review, which is made up of a series of recommendations and opinions from over 200 companies and organizations. Included in the report are such major firms as Rolls-Royce and Accenture, plus leading academic research centers like Cambridge and Newcastle universities.
The report also makes some recommendations, as summarized by The Financial Times, for embracing the digital transformation process. These include:
Government support via tax incentives and funding is needed to facilitate the process of adopting new technologies.
Digital innovation hubs need to be created to allow start-ups to flourish.
Better collaboration between industry, government and academia is needed.
The focus of the new report is on the U.K., however the lessons from ‘Made Smarter’, are applicable to many developed economies. Looking at the U.K., the report, described by The Times as more like a ‘manifesto’, sets out the case that innovations in robotics and autonomous manufacturing, together with the use of artificial intelligence, data analytics and augmented reality, will lead to a net creation of at least 175,000 jobs in the industrial sector.
University of Tsukuba professor and president of Cyberdyne Yoshiyuki Sankai (L) unveils a robot suit...
University of Tsukuba professor and president of Cyberdyne Yoshiyuki Sankai (L) unveils a robot suit at the Japan Robot Week exhibition in Tokyo, on October 18, 2012
Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP/File
The report has been written by the German company at the request of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, so that a long-term vision for industry is set out in the seemingly precarious area of employment in the manufacturing. In the U.K. case the issue is framed by the context of the U.K.’s impending exit from the European Union.
Speaking with The Guardian ahead of the report’s publication, Jürgen Maier said of the U.K. context: “This combined package of measures will boost U.K. growth and productivity in manufacturing and provide more exports and increased earning potential, which our economy desperately needs.”