The workplace is going to change in a few years as will industry. Google now has Artificial Intelligence that exceeds the capabilities of people in certain ways of processing information. A couple of announcements from Google and from an agriculture company named Spread is going to change how work happens. The momentum is building in the evolution of technology that will change business. A few facts first.
The Starting Point
MSN reports that Google’s AI can beat the game of Go. A second report focuses on the robot drones under development by Google that may be able to coordinate their movements with ground level robot delivery box (a box with wheels) to move packages around. Spread is a company that has a 100% robot system to grow and produce lettuce. All these developments will find their way into society to change the workplace, change industries, and change society.
Warehouse, Distribution, and Logistics
When you combine the technologies from Google with the process expertise of companies like Spread, the result is a shift in how 3rd Party Logistics (3PL), transportation, and warehouse management operations function. At one end of the spectrum, these technologies will be combined in such a way as to decimate those industries. Radical disruption and a huge consolidation of industry while reducing payrolls to a significant level.
Agriculture, Farming, Produce Sales
Companies like Spread, when you combine technologies from Google such as their AI and vehicular transport automation will begin a shift from immigrant labor to very little labor in the areas of farms and processing facilities. Even without the technologies from Google, the estimates from the company is that their current automation will get them to 300,000 heads of lettuce a day. A day. On top of that, they will cut labor by 50%, use 30% less energy, and reuse 98% of the water. When their operational process combines with Google’s technology and spreads out, it will change agriculture to a significant level.
Automation Will Change Society Very Soon
Although widespread distribution of this technology seems 5 years out, 5 years comes very quickly. The pace of change will increase. The achievement in Google’s AI process means that complicated jobs involving finance, insurance, and medical diagnostics may end up in the hands of machines instead of people. Almost no job is safe from the new wave of automation. I look forward to that.
Reason to Be Optimistic
Traditional labor was always a means to an end. The decimation of industry doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Rather, it can be an opportunity to channel surplus to the benefit of society. An opportunity to focus education not on manual labor or even white-collar work because either end of the spectrum can be automated in most cases. Instead, it is a chance to see how people can be developed for industries that are truly human in which the economic structure is recalibrated for the new reality.
Don’t fight the future, use it to live better and reach a higher potential.