19th March 2014 · By Tarra L. Rios

Workplace Automation

Due to it's age, this post may no longer be relevant, or representative of my current thoughts.

Workplace productivity has always been a top of the line priority for all types of industries throughout the job market. Potential employers interview potential employees with the hopes that these new prospects will provide a quality addition to the team and increase productivity for the company, as a whole. Many times workers will give 150% of their effort to the business, only to find out that what they are giving, and what is expected out of them, is not the same. These characteristics that I am describing can be attributed to being a human. Unfortunately, we can only work as hard as our bodies will let us. This fact behind human physiology has inspired many corporations to turn to artificially intelligent workers. Not only do these "iron workers" speed up production, but they are also cheaper to keep running because no weekly paycheck is needed for their effort. Statistics predict that by the year 2020, half of the United States workforce will be done through automated machines.  Depending on your career choice, this cyborg invasion could be good or bad with results that could easily help or hurt your intended job market.

One of the newest ways on the market to use artificial intelligence in the workplace is located within the legal field with the intention to help attorneys sort through their case load of information. Just recently, California Attorney William Green, was faced with of 1.3 million documents to decipher with no idea where to begin. Instead of becoming frustrated and giving up, this determined lawyer sought the help of an artificially intelligent program that helped him minimize the needed files to exactly what fit his needs. This allowed William to only sort through 2.3% of the 1.3 million documents, at hand. That is an amazing difference in number. This machine saved time and money by searching and submitting the correct documents to Mr. Green in a timely manner with 100% accuracy. This is a step up for anyone studying, or looking to study, the legal system. The effect that this new system will have is going to be that of an astronomical size allowing lawyer access to more efficient and timely information.

Have you been to your local pharmacy lately? It might surprise you that most, sometimes all, medications are being mixed and dispensed by pharmacy robots who can do their job with much better accuracy than a human. Automated dispensers have taken over the pharmaceutical industry leading the way for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to attend to more important things. For the pharmacist, this allows them to have more one on one time with patients. Technicians refrain from the duty to dispense, but the amount of pills dispensed, as well as the dose, must be checked before it is given for administration.  Also, technicians of the pharmacy have the responsibility of filling the machines in order for them to have the capability to provide medication as needed.

These great advances in technology are providing many different industries with needed improvements to their industry. It worries me, however, that our culture is becoming much more reliant on these machines and the result in the future could lead to less jobs being available for the everyday citizen. With the mounting debt that our country has already incurred, more people on food stamps, medicaid, or AFDC could devastate the nation into financial turmoil. Just because it is easier to do everything with machines, does that make it better?

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By Tarra L. Rios


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