Collaborating Authors

Where Are the Robots?


Automation fears distract from the real problem: too few blue-collar workers. This article is part of an MIT SMR initiative exploring how technology is reshaping the practice of management. Following the Great Recession, anxiety intensified over the prospect of automation causing permanent, widespread unemployment. Feeding on public alarm, a large number of studies assessed the likely impact of future automation on jobs. Although some touted the potential for job creation, others predicted catastrophic job loss.

Job loss due to AI -- How bad is it going to be?


Displaced workers transition to new jobs, some of which are created by automation. The government helps to facilitate this transition via investments in training and education. Increased productivity raises incomes, lowers work hours (average work time in the U.S. has fallen more than 50% since the early 1900s5), and lowers prices, creating more demand for goods and services, leading to more jobs and broader economic growth. How well do we expect this pattern to hold with AI-enabled automation in the near future, and will they replace jobs faster than they create them?

IFR predicts 'Top 5 Robot Trends of 2022' as total industrial robots sales reach a new record


The International Federation of Robotics has published what it predicts will be the top five industry trends of 2022. The main theme underlying the trends will be that robots with new features and functions will capture new areas and create new markets. The operational stock of industrial robots hit a new record of about 3 million units worldwide – increasing by 13 percent on average each year (2015-2020). Milton Guerry, president of the IFR, says: "Transformation for robotic automation is picking up speed across traditional and new industries. More and more companies are realizing the numerous advantages robotics provides for their businesses."

Robots Were Supposed To Automate Every Industry. Now Cobots -- Cheap, Smart Robots -- Actually Might.


Robots in factories have historically been unwieldy, dangerous, and confined to large industrial settings. But now, smaller collaborative robots are overcoming traditional challenges in the robotics industry. They're paving the way for robot technology that gets us much closer to our Jetsons-like future. When George C. Devol, inventor of the automatic garage door opener, pitched his programmable Unimate arm, he was initially met with skepticism. However, "the robot had one advantage immediately," said Devol. "And that is that a robot can work three shifts, or 24 hours a day." Get the free data-driven report to see how robots are revolutionizing factories and manufacturing.

5 CFO tips for adjusting wages to high inflation, labor shortages


CFOs eager to attract and retain workers and overcome labor shortages can follow five strategies to raise compensation and sustain profits. CFOs blindsided this year by the Great Resignation of workers are responding with a Great Recalibration of wages. Private sector hourly wages rose 4.8% in November compared with 12 months before, according to the Labor Department. CFOs will crack open company cash boxes even more in 2022, according to business surveys, with pay increases ranging from 3.9% (Conference Board), to 5% (Grant Thornton), to 5.2% (Deloitte). The pandemic and supply chain disruptions take most of the short-term blame for driving inflation to a 39-year-high and increasing wage pressure.