Automation and AI should be embraced, not feared

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have raised concerns about humans being replaced by machines in manufacturing, but the truth is they will add better and more meaningful jobs for humans.

By Morgan Green September 14, 2022
Courtesy: Morgan Green, CFE Media and Technology

Artificial Intelligence Insights

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will replace the dull and dangerous jobs and will give humans better and more fulfilling jobs.
  • AI should not be feared, but rather embraced. The benefits outweigh the foreseen cons.
  • Too much data can overwhelm automation and AI systems and damage the usefulness of the data being collected.

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI), while an innovative step forward, has made employers and employees alike worry they will take jobs away from the worker. The actual outcome of implementing these technologies remains controversial among the engineering community.

Jobs lost, jobs gained

Jerry Foster, Chief Technology Officer at Plex Systems, is all for reaping the benefits of automation and AI. In fact, Foster does not foresee job loss because of AI in the near future if at all. During his presentation, “The Machines Are Not Out to Get You” at IMTS 2022 in Chicago, Foster explained his reasoning behind the support for continuing to replace certain jobs with automated systems.

Some say 30 million jobs will be lost, but an article from Forbes predicts at least 58 million new jobs will be created by the end of 2022. What is interesting about the seemingly contradicting numbers from Forbes is both are true. Jobs previously done by humans will be lost to machines. However, new jobs and new roles will also become available. The overwhelming fear is AI will “will take all the jobs and go ‘Battlestar Galactica’ on us,” said Foster, but maintains this is not a pressing issue. AI is, if anything, something to embrace.

“Nearly 50% of all companies are expecting their full-time workforce to shrink by 2022 due to automation, but 40% are expecting to extend their workforce and more than 25% are expecting automation to create new roles in the enterprise,” according to Forbes.

Jerry Foster, Chief Technology Officer, at Plex Systems discusses fear surrounding the use of AI in the workplace and myths about data and data security. Courtesy: Morgan Green, CFE Media and Technology

Jerry Foster, Chief Technology Officer, at Plex Systems discusses fear surrounding the use of AI in the workplace and myths about data and data security. Courtesy: Morgan Green, CFE Media and Technology

Three myths about the (un)importance of data and AI

Foster also discussed myths surrounding the implementation and success of automation and AI:

1. Myth: Tons of data = Good data

A never-ending supply of data may sound like you hit the jackpot. However, Foster says “data is like food.” Food is great and essential to the human body but, like many things, should be enjoyed within moderation. The kind of food you eat and how much you eat will affect how good you feel.

Give out too much data and machines will become “sick,” too. Data “needs to be accurate, free of error, it needs to be from a reliable source,” said Foster. The quality of the findings is directly dependent on the data provided.

2. Myth: You need data scientists

Data scientists aren’t a bad thing; nor does it need to be a position you should avoid hiring for. Foster explained how the focus should be finding and utilizing people who understand the data. “You don’t need a data scientist; you need someone who understands the information,” said Foster.

3. Myth: The cloud is not secure

While concerns around the security of a public server like the cloud are valid, Foster supports the claim that the cloud is no less secure than your own four walls. There are many companies utilizing the cloud to store and encrypt their data and Foster believes it is the way to go for most applications and companies will get “the most bang for their buck.”

Morgan Green, associate editor, CFE Media and Technology,


Keywords: Artificial intelligence

Author Bio: Morgan Green, associate editor, CFE Media and Technology.