In November, McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), released a report predicting that by 2030, as much as 30 percent of work done globally could be automated. The report was the result of a study, which assessed the effects of automation in various socioeconomic environments.
According to the report, 375 million workers could end up shifting jobs or learning new skills as a result of automation.
But this isn't cause for alarm, MGI researchers say that only 5 percent of the occupations around the world can be fully automated. And according to the report, "history shows that technology has created large employment and sector shifts, but also creates new jobs."
This means that while technological advancements may lead many businesses, organizations and institutions to automate some of their processes, this automation will not be able to replace humans entirely.
Instead of replacing human employees, a number of companies are using automation to revolutionize many outdated processes for greater efficiency. These are things that allow businesses to run more smoothly, freeing up resources for other processes, but they are also automations that are helpful to people in their everyday lives. Here are three examples of companies that are innovating outdated processes to solve problems.
In the 21st century a record number of parents have chosen to work while raising children. This means that an increased number of families are dependent on childcare. But demand at these facilities is high, often leading to long waitlists for nurseries who don't have enough staff to meet the needs of increasing their clientele.
For this reason, many childcare facilities and nursery schools are looking for ways to automate their processes while still providing an exceptionally high level of care to the children they serve. One example of a company working to solve the needs of these facilities is MonDevices, which manufactures sleep monitoring devices for children called MonBaby.
MonDevices has teamed up with Chinavi and UniFa, two Japanese companies, working to develop a method for keeping track of the sleep position of each child in a nursery. UniFa lessens the communication gap between children and their parents with the Internet of Things (IoT), while Chivani provides the latest medical equipment and products of the world to Japan in the maternity and baby health space.
In Japan, the sleep position is tracked by hand every 5 minutes in nurseries, which is very labor intensive. But through the use of MonBaby devices, everything will be automated. The device will be able to detect a baby's body movements and automatically create a check sheet, and provide updates on a baby's status remotely. And soon these devices will monitor the sleep position and activity of tens of thousands of sleeping Japanese children, freeing up resources for childcare providers to improve service in other areas.
Most people have by now heard about driverless technology. The innovation is being tested across the United States, from Pennsylvania to California and promises to revolutionize transportation.
When Uber emerged a few years ago, the technology leader disrupted the way people travel from place to place. Before their ride-sharing service, also referred to as ride-hailing, people were frustrated with the taxi cab industry. In many parts of the world, people were forced to pay high rates and often faced long wait times when hiring a car for transportation. But thanks to Uber and other ride-sharing applications that has all changed.
And that was only the first part of Uber's plan. Along with fellow tech giant Tesla, Uber has been racing toward perfecting fully autonomous vehicles. By automating a process so integral to the lives of many, this technology promises to change every aspect of people's everyday lives in ways they cannot yet imagine. Morning commutes to work will be different. The trucking industry is poised to be overhauled. Driverless cars could play a role in minimizing pollution associated with traffic congestion. And many of the tech companies and institutions currently working on autonomous projects predict it will make the roads safer, leading to fewer vehicular casualties.
Lately we've seen a lot of technological innovation in the area of payment processing. Tap functionality gave people the ability to pay simply by tapping a card at registers instead of swiping a card. And more recently, financial institutions have made payments available via smartphone with apps that let you use your phone to pay at registers.
But a company in China is taking payment automation to the next level by making it possible for people to pay with nothing more than a smile. Last year, Alibaba's Ant Financial affiliate launched the 'smile to pay' service in Hangzhou, China. A 3D camera located at a point-of-sale terminal scans the customer's face to verify their identity. There is also a phone number verification option for additional security.
Facial recognition has already been implemented in several different realms including gaming, via systems like the Xbox One and has long been used to solve crimes and apprehend suspects in criminal justice. But utilizing facial recognition in the area of payments promises to simplify every processes for millions of people worldwide.
According to experts, repetitive labor will be eliminated through automation and numerous "AI manager" jobs will be created, so now is a good time to learn about how automation might impact your industry. If we all evolve together with these technologies, just think about the endless list of world problems we can solve.