This ultimate debate of human history looks like it will not end any time soon, and it all falls under one question: will RPA replace humans?
It is a matter of opinion from one party to another as to whether robots will do the entire job and humans will have nothing to do but lie down and sleep, making them live in endless fear of losing their jobs and becoming non-functional. Others, however, view humans and robots as standing on the same side, and that technology will always complement humans rather than replace them.
However, no one can state an answer for sure, as tech giant companies, like Google and Microsoft, depend on RPA technologies a great deal in their manufacturing process and products, which might be seen as a sign of replacing our human jobs.
To have a better understanding of the debate, we should take a closer look at where it started.
The history of automation
Automation started to take place in the Industrial Revolution when machines started to function. In the 90s of the past century, robots entered enterprises, at the beginning, it was all about reading addresses in the mail and other simple tasks.
Today, no company doesn’t rely on automation in its manufacturing, as companies started realizing the importance of automating in speeding their process to get the best results in the least amount of time. Even during the industrial revolution a lot of people thought that machines would take their jobs and leave them unemployed. However, that never happened, machines helped humans within factories and increased their productivity, but never replaced them fully.
How did RPA get into business with humans?
When talking about RPA in the labor market, we always assume that in 30 years maximum we will be living in a state of fully paralyzed, function-wise. Yet, history has another opinion. Over the past decades, it has been shown that robots have never put humans out of business, in contrast, they have helped them in doing their jobs easier and more efficiently.
If we study the nature of robots, we will notice that machines work in jobs that only rely on repetition. In other words, robots can work only in jobs with a history of previous data where they are taught how to act and what to say. On the other hand, humans can solve new challenges more than machines. Their technical mentality doesn’t have the ability to solve a brand-new challenge where no history of data is available. For example, robots have been used in customer service as they already have the answers to all customer questions and their analytics capabilities rely on having a known answer already.
The difference between RPA and humans in jobs
Robots are able to take humans’ place in many spots, yet there are main differences between the two. As mentioned above, robots differ from humans in their analytical nature. Humans are more adaptable and flexible in new environments, challenges and issues, they can work together as a team to come up with new solutions or answers.
Another important difference is the humanity that robots don’t have. Sometimes, it is not only about doing the job perfectly accurate and getting the numbers right, but also it is about delivering the emotions that humans will always have. Companies relying on RPA have created programs that can write a full article with zero linguistic and grammar errors, yet this is not the case. The reader needs to sense the empathy in the words, to know that the author feels him and gives him the solutions which robots are never able to do.
Living in fear that robots will take over all jobs is understandable, but the reality says something different. Robots can be relied on in some cases, and they are considered a big advantage that accelerates humans’ productivity and growth. However, the real debate is not whether robots replace humans, it is how humans can get use of robots for their benefit and the planet’s.