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Automation Anxiety in the Face of a Technological Revolution

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Society is amidst a technological revolution where scientists and engineers are rapidly developing AI and robotics. Automation anxiety is caused by the growing risk that these technological advances are becoming too smart for their – and own – own good.

The current ‘rise of the machines’ is characterised by the replacement of complex cognitive tasks and human decision making by algorithms, machine learning and other computational techniques.

Contemporary cultural anxiety about new forms of automation, which The University of Sussex is calling automation anxiety.

The technological advances occurring across all industries are benefitting many aspects of our lives, however there is still alot left in the unknown. As a society we need to define what type of society we want to create alongside automation and the consequences of unwanted advances.

Professor Macaphey in studying the impact of the technological revolution on the economy.

“It is both fulfilling and terrifying.”

The biggest challenge ahead of us is how automation is not independent to one industry, making it difficult to regulate and police.

He also commented, “if robots will be taking over the jobs of certain people, than what are we going to do with all these people who had those jobs?”

People of the future will not only be unemployed, but they will be unemployable. The question looms on whether future technologies will create mass employment, adding to automation driven anxieties.

Responsible Robotics:

Responsible robotics are a non for profit organisation trying to address the ungoverned body of ai and addressing automation anxieties. They start by understanding what defines a ‘responsible robot’, how do they define it, and how do they ensure a standard is met.

There is a vicious cycle relating to the production, use and development of robotics and AI. They are decreasing the values of society;

  • Privacy of data
  • No transparency
  • Lack of ethics
  • Companies holding the power without consent

The main issue is the lack of accountability.

Robots are tools with no moral intelligence, which means it’s up to us – the humans behind the robots – to be accountable for the ethical developments that necessarily come with technological innovation.

Addressing ethical issues in robotics and AI means proactively taking stock of the impact these innovations will have on societal values like safety, security, privacy, and well-being, rather than trying to contain the effects of robots after their introduction into society.

Responsible Robotics Quality Mark:

What is it? It is a label on robotics products. It indicates that this product has received a positive assessment/evaluation from an independent external expert group on responsible robotics. Values taken into account are security, safety, privacy, fairness, sustainability, accountability and transparency.

This quality mark accreditation label is an innovative effort to give customers and society peace of mind and tackle automation anxieties. In the face of a technological revolution, ethics need to be at the forefront of these advancements, rather than an afterthought.

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