Home Robotics Count a ton of money and explore in a mine: How robots have already found a place among us

Count a ton of money and explore in a mine: How robots have already found a place among us

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Robots are no longer heroes of sci-fi movies and have been living among us for years. We just don’t always notice it.
However, the tasks we are willing to put in their metal (or plastic) "hands" are increasing. As a result, the efficiency of many processes is increasing, and with it comes fears of job cuts. McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2025, "robots armed with artificial intelligence" could replace up to 100 million workers.
Count a ton of money and explore in a mine: How robots have already found a place among us
However, not all experts share this sentiment. A few weeks ago, the Skolkovo Robotics conference was held, and the participants of the plenary session "Robots Among Us. Robotics and Artificial Intelligence in the Life of Modern Man" was just discussing the prospects of the industry development and how it will affect our lives.
The participants of the session were Arkady Dvorkovich, Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, Lev Khasis, First Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Sberbank, Dmitry Vladimirov, CEO of VIST Group, and Alexei Yuzhakov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Promobot. We share their theses in our selection.

On the functional benefits of robots

  • Robots are already actively entering our lives. We just don’t always notice it, because they can have different forms and types. For example, at Sberbank, fewer and fewer credit decisions are made by humans. Automated systems help combat potential fraud, track customer interests, and prevent additional risk from cybercriminals.
  • Software robots are already actively used for document management. In particular, the processing of documents into digital form is done by robots. But physical robots are also widely used. Every year we [at Sberbank] recalculate about 100 thousand tons of cash. A robotic counting station can process more than half a ton of money in a day. That’s about three times more productive than a human.
  • One of the most promising sectors of the real sector for the introduction of robotics is the mining industry. Already there are successful projects for the extraction of solid minerals without the use of live labor.
  • The need for robotic underground equipment, such as underground mines, is also evident today. Robots in the mining industry will make the miner’s work safer, but at the same time maintain productivity. It is unacceptable for mining companies to have a robot that is safe but less productive than traditional machinery.

On current issues in robotics

  • Russia is lagging behind in industrial applications of robots. When money is "expensive, " it is more natural to retain a substantial portion of the live labor force rather than investing in robotics. Sure, that investment would pay off, but it may not work for a particular business model.
  • The introduction of robots is highly dependent on the training of specialists. Now the qualifications of specialists, in particular drivers and machinists, are dropping. New professionals who will operate robots and remote technology are the future of the industry.
  • Right now, the market for service robotics is growing many times faster than industrial robotics, according to the International Robotics Association. This is a kind of thin needle that we in Russia can use to pierce the world. It is great to set trends in service robotics not only in our country.
  • Service robots in business provide additional opportunities. "Promobot created and patented its speech recognition system, and already today we can train a neural model.

On the industry outlook

  • There is an opinion that robots will threaten human employment, but rather they will create highly skilled jobs. In general, it has been proven that artificial intelligence is more useful in working with humans than just a robot.
  • The culture of interaction with robots in the public environment will not take very long to form, much faster than adaptation to new technologies used to. However, it will take years, not months.
  • The developments of startups and robot scientists must be in demand by business. Those organizations that are willing to use these robots, serving as a testbed, but in a real-world environment, should be supported.
  • Any experience implementing robots in B2B and evaluating it intelligently capitalizes not only the vendor, but also the customer. Through a quick run-through of hypotheses, everyone can find the solution that will be effective.

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