We’re always seeing articles about robots taking over the world, but which country really is having a robot revolution? The simple response: South Korea has the highest concentration of industrial robots of any country (with second place going to Singapore, then third place being Japan—the US came in eighth).
So why is South Korea so robotically driven as a nation? One reason could be finance. The South Korean government is spending more than $450 million developing the field over the next five years. It is a new technology frontier and it is clear South Korea wants to be first in developing this new industry. By 2019 it is speculated by the International Data Corporation that the robotics industry will be work $135 billion, which is near doubling its worth since 2015.
Being a player on the big stage before something happens is always a good step financially, but will it play out to be a good step for the people of the country? Only time will tell.
Caretaking of the elderly has always fallen on two different group: the family or an outside source like a nurse or living facility. As scores of people reach their golden years the question about who will care for them as life start to get a bit more difficult for them to live independently comes to the minds of those around them and of course themselves. Living without the aid of others is often seen as a key level of independence and many senior citizens fear losing that independence. So, what if robots hold the key to not only keeping a level of care, but also this much desired sense of autonomy? This may very well be the case in the future.
We already have robots doing lots of tasks: building machines, vacuuming our floors, and creating all sorts of forms of entertainment for us. So in the future we can expect them to surely be good caretakers. Able to open fridges, give medicine, and open doors they will be nurses and friends who do not need to go home or sleep. They will always be there for those who need them.
But will we accept them? A EU survey published last year said 51 percent would feel “uncomfortable” about “a robot provide services and companionship to elderly or infirm people.” The public overall still seems cold to the idea of robots taking care of us or being in our lives to a bigger degree. Only time will tell if we will warm up and take advantage of the benefits robot caretakers could give.
You’ve heard it before maybe from a parent or a grandparent, your next door neighbor, or even your favorite cashier at the local store: tech isn’t for them.
In a world growing more and more attached to their tech this attitude is common, but still confounding. Every fascist of life is touched by new products and new techniques of using the technology around us to make life “easier”. We get doctors notes through online portals, set up meetings for the DMV on the computer, and can even order from Starbucks on our phone for instant pickup. We can argue about the benefits and the fall outs of everyday things like this, but resistance is futile. Tech is here to stay, denying it is only going to keep you lagging behind.
So why are people resistant to tech? Fear of the unknown? Fear of lack of personal interactions? Fear of robots taking over our planet? The last question is mostly a joke, but there are people who stand by the idea that using tech opens up our species to their demise.
However, tech could be a window into the world, instead of shutting down the life around you. You can reach out to people you may have forgotten about in the past, social media can keep you up to date on news faster than your cable or newspaper might, smartphones are useful emergency tools, and paying your bills online is officially the cheaper option. In every nook and corner tech is making life a little easier, you just have to keep your mind open.
A new year, a new set of tech is on coming our way. We all remember when the Ipod was released so many years ago, and truly that may have been the birth of our modern tech boom. Since then it seems like every year something new and increasingly fascinating has been released; smart phones, personal drones, fitness tech, etc. So what’s on the rise for 2017?
Tech is ingrained in every part of our lives, many may resist this—but the overwhelming trend is clearly leaning towards smart technology. We have already dipped our toes into this first trend, but it is clear that virtual reality will continue to grow in 2017. Virtual reality will begin to take shape and become more mainstream within gaming. Call it the new Atari, rough and imperfect now—but clearly leading to something bigger down the road.
Next up is something that everyone uses, even the most tech-resistant among us; cars. Yes, self-driving car technology is only going to get bigger in 2017. Take a drive through the Bay Area and you are likely to see a plethora of these self-driving cars whizzing around from Stanford to San Francisco and everywhere in-between. This form of transportation will start to expand this year to more locales no doubt.
My last prediction is more people turning to get their news from social media. We already saw this trend in 2016; people pulling away from mainstream news sites and shows and turning to the news they see on Facebook and Twitter among other alternative sources. We already rely on social media, so it becoming a big source of our news only seems logical at a certain point. Will it be a turn towards more truthful news coverage or a rise of fake stories? Only time will tell. 2017 is surely going to be a volatile year, and news coverage will be more important than ever to follow.
Cheers to the new year and cheers to new tech.
No matter where you work, no matter the field or location, you have surely seen the technology in your job change over time. Computers, smart phones, and automated work forces within robotic technology above all else have completely swung the direction of all businesses in ways they never expected. This tech is not all bad, and within embracing new tools comes many benefits. Technology no doubt has created a more focused and enlightened work force.
There are many ways we can help ourselves, our coworkers, and our employees grow and gain from tech from education to creating a culture of progress. What does this look like though in the work place?
Simply put training is a great place to start. Many fear tech because they are unsure if they will be able to use it, after all everyone fears looking slow or behind the times. Open up the conversation and hold no judgements—only opportunities to learn. Retrain all whenever a new technology is brought in, and make it beneficial to everyone. The key is keeping those around you feeling comfortable, entertained, and encouraged. The next step is tracking feedback both from employees and the numbers. How do those in your company feel about the new tech? How do your sales or business numbers look? Always be open to helping those lagging, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments so that all are more productive and use the tech efficiently. Lastly encourage questions not only from those around you, but from yourself as well. Creating a space that is open and able to discuss will always make integrating tech all the much easier. Within creating this open culture in the workplace tech will only make your business more productive!