We live in a time of extremely rapid growth in the development and societal infiltration of technology in numerous forms. Advances in miniaturization have led to tremendous increases in the computing and communication abilities that are made accessible to the average citizen.
A striking example is the rise of the cell phone. The first cell phone was developed in 1973, and according to statista.com, there will be over 5 billion in operation worldwide by the year 2019. Considering, that most of these phones have more processing power than the computers drove the early trips to the moon, the spread of real computing power has fully reached the masses.
While the general population has their own uses for computers and portable electronic devices. There are many uses that are specific to the industry and large-scale systems that provide services. One focus of interest in which progress in miniaturization and computing power has played a significant role, is in the automation of many processes that formerly had to be overseen by a human resource.
Automated systems will change the world in which we live in many ways. Some are predictable, and as with all technological changes, there will be unforeseen consequences if the proper planning is not done by society before rolling out all the possibilities. Let us look at some of the ways that automated systems will change the way you work and go about your daily life.
Industrial facilities have long employed technology to increase their production capabilities. Automated systems have been incorporated into many processes since the industrial revolution, with an increase to be seen after the development and spread of computer technology in the 1950s.
Power plants and large-scale production establishments have streamlined their operations by automating the monitoring and control of various pieces of dedicated equipment. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems are used to assist plant operators in maintaining and troubleshooting their production lines.
The use of these systems has forever changed the way factories and power plants are staffed and operated. Personnel can now be remotely located from the equipment that needs to be addressed and can monitor and control it as if they were physically present next to the machine. Introducing web-based HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems has taken the ability to operate remotely to a new level, making it possible for the control of complex industrial processes to be enacted by a single person connected to the network with a cellphone.
Automation will affect the types of jobs available in the future. In the 1800s, the agricultural industry was responsible for employing up to 60% of the population. The rise of automated farming machinery has caused that number to drop to about 2% today. Workers will need to be flexible and face the challenge of learning new skills and changing jobs as automation that introduced into new industries and areas of society.
The rise of automation and robotic systems may cause a disruption in society and the workplace. According to bbc.com, up to 47% of US employees and 35% in the UK may be in danger of being replaced by machines. Developing countries face similar or even higher numbers of displaced workers.
Advances in artificial intelligence grafted onto modern automated systems mean that not only low-skill jobs are at risk. The best bet for surviving in this new work world is to be flexible and ready to learn new skills constantly. Robots and automation can assist in many occupations, but there will still be a need for humans to work along them.
The “Smart Home” of the future is just around the corner, with many automated systems already currently available for consumers. Home automation systems can be obtained that allow you to monitor and control many aspects of your home and its surroundings. This has certainly changed the way an individual can live if they are in a fully automated home.
Environmental factors like lighting and temperature can be controlled by a word, and security cameras located anywhere on your property can be instantly viewed through a smartphone or other electronic device. Smart appliances can join the automated network to alert you of food shortages, or to have your coffee ready in the morning. Though the cost of a fully automated home installation is high at the moment, as prices drop, these advantages will become commonplace for everyone.
There are many applications of automated systems that can improve the way society functions. One way that has several related benefits is in the creation of an automated traffic system. While such systems are still in their infancy, they hold tremendous promise to impact society in beneficial ways.
The automated traffic control systems of the future will tie into your smartphone network and alert you to the best route to take to work today. It will warn you of potential traffic issues, saving you valuable time as well as minimizing the amount of fuel used and pollution generated. These systems have the potential to eliminate gridlock problems in our major cities while increasing the air quality of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Automated delivery systems are already in use, with Amazon offering small package delivery by drones. This may become the way we shop in the future and can again have repercussions beyond the obvious savings in time, as reduced ground traffic and increased fuel savings will occur.
Automated driverless vehicles are making their way into society, taking the issue of traffic control a step further. As they are perfected and accepted by the general population, this will transform the ability of individuals to travel while simultaneously being engaged in other tasks.
We have only briefly touched about automation systems and their potential impact on the world. Society needs to come to grips with the realities that automation poses for the workforce and life in general. And be prepared to make choices that allow technology to grow while focusing on the benefits it can bring to the humans.
Do you think automated system will bring a huge impact and great benefits in your future? How might it affect you? We’d like to hear your thoughts, Leave us a comment in the section below.