The convenience and cost is driving some companies to rely on artificial intelligence or AI, according to Dr. Shelton Weeks, the department chair of economics and finance at FGCU.
But the expert explained, you won’t be pushed into poverty just because robots could replace your field of work.
“I don’t think I would worry about a big downside with that in terms of people going into poverty because realize when we replace these jobs, a lot of them are jobs that we want to replace,” Weeks said.
He used the example of people working in the manual labor field, such as local harvesters, who one day could be faced with significant changes.
“The most important thing for participants in the labor market is to realize they’ll need to be able to retool and adapt in a change in marketplace,” Weeks said. “The folks who were employed in those jobs are now freed up to do other jobs that can add greater value in other sectors of the economy”.
In other job markets, such as the medical field, AI is designed to enhance and assist in daily tasks.
In Fort Myers, Lee Memorial Hospital uses robots that deliver prescriptions to nurses throughout the building.
Nina Farhoudie, the director of Pharmacy Services, explained “Tug” was implemented at the hospital because the building is not equipped with a medical supply tube system. In some other hospitals, a tube system connects the pharmacy to each hospital room. A pharmacist is able to deliver the necessary medications through the tube system without ever leaving the pharmacy.
Since Lee Memorial Hospital does not have a tube system, according to Farhoudie, Tug is programmed to deliver medication or other medical supplies to each floor.
“What technology does for us is really assists to provide care and free up the humans to utilize their training, utilize their compassion and empathy to provide care to patients,” Farhoudie said.
Tug can be unlocked using staff’s fingerprints. From there, several drawers can be loaded with supplies. Then, staff will program the machine to go to a certain floor and make the delivery to a nurse.
“We just wanted to have an extra way of providing better care. In this case, it was the best solution we could come up with,” Farhoudie said.
Experts said jobs with a repetitive process are at risk for automation, but positions that take critical thinking, human interaction and interpersonal skills will be the hardest to replace with robots.
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