The average number of robots has increased by about 20% over recent years, a figure that applies both globally and to Europe. Worldwide, according to the IFR, an average of 74 robots per 10,000 employees are in use in 2016, in Europe 99. The charge is currently being led by the South Korean industry, where 631 robots can be found per 10,000 workers. Despite the nation's reputation for technological prowess, since that year, robot density in Japan has been steadily decreasing.The UK is ahead of the curve on a global basis, with 71 robots per 10,000 workers – however the nation is also well below the European average. This is despite reports suggesting that logistics robots are set to make 40% of low skilled workers in the sector obsolete, and the prediction that over 60% of all work activities could be automated by 2055 subsequently remains a distant prospect.
In as little as 20 years, all of the jobs that we do today could be performed by robots. A lot of people are concerned this will create massive unemployment. But I look forward to the robots taking over. I'm not saying this just to curry favour with our new robot overlords; but I think life is going to be a whole lot better. Steve Wozniak recently suggested that we will become robots' pets.
Japan's Sony Corp said on Wednesday it has brought back AIBO more than a decade since it last made the robotic dog, as the electronics and entertainment firm seeks to rebuild its reputation for innovation after years of restructuring. The announcement comes a day after Sony confirmed its renaissance by forecasting its highest-ever profit this financial year, sending its shares surging to a nine-year high. And it confirms previous reports speculating that Sony would revive the "pet project." AIBO is billed as a pet that behaves like a real dog using artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and interact with its owner and surroundings. The upgrade sees AIBO equipped with new sensing and movement technologies as well as far more advanced AI backed by cloud computing to develop the dog's personality.
But the robotic rush in Japan is also being driven by unique societal needs. Confronting a major depopulation problem due to a record low birthrate and its status as the nation with the longest lifespan on Earth, Japanese are fretting about who will staff the factory floors of the world's second-largest economy in the years ahead. Toyota, Japan's biggest car maker, has come up with one answer in moving to create a line of worker robots with human-like hands able to perform multiple sophisticated tasks.