(Natural News)—Amazon recently announced that it has “750,000 robots working collaboratively” with human employees. The company introduced two new robotic systems to speed up its deliveries, raising concerns among fulfillment center workers that the e-commerce giant might eventually reduce or totally replace its human workforce.
In a blog post on Oct. 18, Amazon revealed that its robotics team has begun testing “Digit,” a bipedal robot that has started carrying around and stacking boxes at a site south of Seattle.
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The company explained that Digit “can move, grasp, and handle items in spaces and corners of warehouses in novel ways.” Additionally, the robot’s size and shape are suited for buildings that are designed for humans, with Amazon saying that “there is a big opportunity to scale a mobile manipulator solution” like Digit that can work collaboratively with employees.
Digit will also assist human workers with tote recycling, a “highly repetitive process” that involves picking up and moving empty totes once inventory has been completely picked out of them.
For the past 10 years, Amazon has tried and tested “hundreds of thousands of robotics systems while also creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs” within its operations.
This includes 700 categories of new job types in skilled roles, which didn’t exist within Amazon before. The company also claimed that equipping workers “with new technology and training them to develop new skills” can help create career paths and “new and exciting ways for people to contribute” to the company.’
Aside from Digit, Amazon also unveiled Sequoia, a new robotic system that was designed to help fulfill customer orders faster. The company is already using Sequoia at a Texas fulfillment center. (Related: Workers in warehouses could soon lose their jobs to HUMANOID ROBOTS.)
The Sequoia system was designed to “delight customers with greater speed and increased accuracy for delivery estimates.” It will also help improve employee safety at the company’s facilities.
Sequoia will also help workers identify and store inventory the company receives at fulfillment centers up to 75 percent faster than it currently does.
The new system will also help reduce the time it takes to process an order through a fulfillment center by at least 25 percent, which improves shipping predictability and increases the number of goods Amazon “can offer for same-day or next-day shipping.”
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AI could expose 300 million full-time jobs to automation worldwide
Amazon said ensuring robotics are collaborative is key to how the company designs or deploys systems like Sequoia and Digit.
The question is now whether this robot workforce will help the immense workload of Amazon employees or if this is the first step in supplanting the jobs of hundreds or even thousands of people.
Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, suggested earlier this year that using data on occupational tasks in both the U.S. and Europe has revealed that at least two-thirds of current jobs are exposed to some degree of artificial intelligence-powered automation. The data also showed that generative AI could substitute up to one-fourth of current work.
Extrapolating these estimates globally, it’s possible that generative AI could expose the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs to automation, with at least two-thirds of occupations “partially automated by AI.”
Go to Robotics.news for more updates on companies trying to replace all human workers with AI and robotics. Watch the video below for more on a big climate stress test for Amazon sellers and suppliers.
This video is from the Thisisjohnwilliams channel on Brighteon.com.
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