automation redundancy

Robots and Humans



predict work flow self-driving
replace personnel automation
cost (2) inevitable out of work
risk efficient warehouse
require demand lag behind
bleak degree (3) complementary
readjust sense (2) employment
manual cognitive personally
flow repetition redundant
subside define (2) no question
relevant model (3) side-by-side
allow institute procedure
lift (2) reception on the other hand
guide dexterity to position
sector integrate is upon us
3-D relatively animation
result virtually virtual reality
set up train (2) under threat
prevent obsolete qualification
lag break (2) for a start
demand vocation vocational school
dual broad (2) curriculum
provide institute in other words
consult diagnosis low level job
digital keep pace when it come to


Video: Robots and People



It might not be long before this truck driver is out of work — self-driving cars would make him redundant. And in hotels, reception desk personnel would soon be replaced by robots.

Person on the Street One: “It will cost us millions of jobs, definitely.”
Person on the Street One: “Automation will inevitably mean that many people will be out of work.”

Warehouse workers are also at risk: in some companies, they’ve already been replaced by robots, which can work more efficiently and don’t require or demand breaks.

Digitalization is changing the labor market.

For many, the future looks bleak; their services may no longer be required.

Experts predict that about 75% of today’s jobs are at risk.

Jutta Rump, Director, Institute for Employment and Employability (IBE): “The main jobs that are under threat are manual, or what we call cognitive jobs that involve a degree of repetition, in which the work flow is relatively, clearly defined.

That’s when a work can be done by digitalization or a robot. No question.”

Here at the Fraunhofer Institute, researchers are developing models for a future in which robots and humans work side-by-side.

Workers need to be trained in completely new procedures, which allow both robots and humans to use their skills in a complementary way.

Christoph Martin, Faunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IOA: “The robot’s very strong. It can lift and carry objects. Humans on the other hand have more dexterity and are better at positioning parts and guiding the process.”

Robots have already been successfully integrated into a number of industrial sectors.

Fears that humans will be replaced or will be unable to keep pace with technological progress are starting to subside.

That’s partly thanks to 3-D animation, like this one, which allows people to virtually experience what it’s like to work with robots.

Bastian Pokorni, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IOA: “When I’m designing a model of a workplace, I use virtual reality to get better results.

Then later, after the workplace has been set up, it can be readjusted to provide teaching or qualification training to those who will be working with the new system.”

Industrial production is increasingly digital. Are humans set to become obsolete? What can be done to prevent automation from becoming a job-killer?

For a start, training programs need to change. They’re still lagging behind the demands of the workplace.

Vocational schools have yet to arrive in the digital world.

Jutta Rump, Director, Institute for Employment and Employability (IBE): “At the moment, we’re still using a dual-vocational system. But some of the curriculum is twenty years old. Twenty years ago, we weren’t thinking about digitalization, and the future of the labor market in the broader sense.

In other words, we’re still teaching things that still may be relevant today, but have no relationship or relevance to the future.”

Low level jobs may not be the only ones at risk from automation: doctors may still consult with their patients personally, but when it comes to diagnosis and surgery, robots are playing an ever greater role.

Even bankers are worried: robots can be used, for example, to assess customers’ credit standing.

The digital society is upon us. Some stand to gain; others to lose.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


1. According to the video, young people have great opportunities in the delivery and transport industry. True or false? Why won’t these industries provide many jobs?

2. What do some people and experts say will happen in the future?

3. Are all jobs at risk of being automated or digitized? Which job categories are most at risk?

4. According to the engineers, will robots do all tasks, or will robots and human cooperate (work together)? What advantages do robots have? What advantages do people have?

5. People need to change and adapt to new work environments. Is this right or wrong?

6. Has the educational system kept pace with changes in technology?

7. Will automation, digitalization and robotics only affect manual, blue-collar workers?


A. Does your company or organization employ robots, automation or computers?

B. Has it been changing over the years?

C. What will happen in the future?

D. What do your friends, colleagues and people in general think about automation? Are they worried, they don’t care or do they adapt to changes?

E. What should people and the government do?


Share Button

Comments are closed.