Do you have a job vacancy for a customer service, security guard, singer, tour guide or receptionist position? There are robots looking for work.
Several robots were on display at the Gitex Technology Week and their companies were actively trying to place them in working positions across different industries.
One firm, called RobotikWorld, distribute robots that can act as security guards, receptionists, tour guides, hotel room service waiters, and medical assistants. They have already sold receptionist robots for offices in Dubai, as well as a guide robot for a hospital. Now, one of their robots will work as a security guard at the Dubai Mall for a three-week-long pilot phase for the Dubai Police. They also have a robot that sings and plays the piano, which is up for rent.
For several years, there has been a hysteria over robots taking over human jobs, as implementing automation can cut major costs for companies. The 2016 Future of Job report by the World Economic Forum said that seven million jobs will be lost due to automation. However, two million jobs will also be created.
Mais Yousef, the technical manager at RobotikWorld, told Khaleej Times: “For the Dubai Police, one of our robots will be at the Dubai Mall soon as a security guard in a pilot test for three weeks. We will upload faces of wanted people (in the robot’s system) and at any time the robot detects the face, it will ring the alarm to the police. We will test it in the end of October. After that, we will go for the agreement and sale.”
“Our robots are there to help you and make life easier for you. When you go to the bank, shops, or anywhere else, for example, it will save some of your time. Even in hospitals, our robot will save your time. You don’t have to wait in queues. You can make transactions through the robot.”
The firm is also selling a robot that can replace human waiters and hotel room service employees. The robot can bring any item to the guest by carrying it in a compartment built in its body.
When asked if humans could potentially lose their jobs due to their hotel service robots, Yousef agreed and said: “Now, people like robots and these technologies.”
Their singing robot can sing any song that is downloaded into its system. Their tour guide robot is available to work in museums, hospitals, and other offices. Meanwhile, their hotel robot can also act as a concierge and book appointments and purchase tickets for guests, all of which are jobs that people currently do.
Prabakaran Murugaiah, the founder and CEO of US-based global technology job portal TechFetch, told Khaleej Times that he believes “humans will have a lot more time in their hands” in the next five to 10 years because of automation.
Murugaiah’s own firm uses bots instead of humans to find qualified job applicants for companies. He was one of the speakers at Gitex, where he spoke about how robots are recruiting humans.
“We are going to have a lot of time in hand to do something that we are passionate about, rather than work 50 hours a week. We may be working 30 hours a week and the robots will do lot of the work, which could free up our time,” he said. “Because of automation, the cost of things would go down. The quality of life may be twice or thrice the same amount of money we are making.” However, Murugaiah is optimistic that more jobs for humans will be created.
“If you see the history from World War II, during that time, our previous generations worked 80 hours a week most of the time. Now, we work 40 hours a week, and we take a lot of time off, which means a lot of automation has already happened. Similarly, the robots will help reduce the number of hours worked. Hypothetically, we could be working two jobs, 20 to 30 hours a week – 10 hours working on your passion job and 20 hours for making money.”