Robots: Friends or Foe?
By Angie Sfikas
Do businesses benefit from robots? How reliable are they? Will a Robot take my job? These are just a few of the numerous questions when it comes to introducing robots into the business environment.
They’re everywhere we look!
Everywhere we look, we can see tasks which have been taken over by machines, take for example the self-service checkout registers at Coles and Woolworths, when they were first introduced to the public, people were weighing the pros and cons and many complaints aroused at the time. Fast forward 10 years later, customers are choosing retailers with self-service checkouts due to the enormous amount of time they save, because as everyone knows time is money.
Robots are not an entirely new phenomenon, they were created shortly after computers were invented. The earliest dated chatbot was Eliza, created back in 1996 and it was used as an experiment in testing natural language programming, this form of AI is still in high demand today, it can be found in various forms in multiple industries- from fashion to marketing, even finance!
Not just automated industries:
Robots are not only used in automated industries, they’ve also been gradually introduced to manual ones. A non-automated industry where robots have become increasingly common is journalism. Publishers within the journalism industry are expanding their coverage, the help from AI assists journalists with their job through creating a better experience for readers. An example, is Robot Heliograf, which was introduced to cover the election, Heliograf’s operations went as follow, the editors created templates for the stories by using key phrases, and then Heliograf was linked to any source of structured data, as soon as Heliograf identified the relevant data, its job was to match it with corresponding phrases.
By using robots, businesses are aiming for time efficiency. This means robots are able to monitor specific sets of data around the clock without needing a break, making them incredibly more appealing. Robots are considered efficient in monitoring information in real time and furthermore in the long run.
Human prepared work can target a big audience with a minimal amount of labour compared to robots such as Heliograf, which are used to target many small audiences with a large number of automated stories. As stated by Bezos, the founder of Amazon, “growing is where you need a machine to help you, because we can’t have that many humans. We’d go bankrupt”. However, the only pitfall of having robots is that they are not developed enough at spotting errors from the information they are monitoring.
Robotics have been introduced to business in order to foster a seamless interaction between humans and machines. Operating in a similar way, Robotic Marketer is the first robot to be introduced into the marketing industry.