June 25, 2019
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European Union

Japanese robot manufacturer: automation will not destroy jobs

Kocevje (Slovenia), Apr 8 (efe-epa).- A Japanese robot manufacturer that has launched its first factory in Europe said Monday that the use of artificial intelligence will not result in a loss of jobs.

Yaskawa has been steadily increasing its presence in Europe and aims to streamline 80 percent of the continent's production lines through the use of its robots.

But there is a deep-rooted fear within society that robots will steal the jobs humans rely on.

"Industrial robots offer opportunities and great advantages that would have been unimaginable a few years ago, such as production systems that are safer and result in less work-related accidents, " Laurent Bodin, director of Yaskawa Ibérica, told EFE.

The fear of automation is an unfounded assumption, he said.

All technological revolutions that society has experienced to date have transformed established production systems and, in their origins, caused alarm and a social backlash, Bodin continued.

"If we look to the long term, these improvements of the use of resources have led to huge improvements in people's quality of life," he added.

"The robotics industry and the industry 4.0 is no exception," Bodin said.

"The industry 4.0 revolution has come to stay and with the launch of our new factory in Slovenia we want to make Europe a participant of this great change,"

The so-called fourth industrial revolution refers to an innovative transformation of production systems that sees repetitive tasks previously carried out by humans being handed over to computers and robots.

The automation of these tasks, controlled by machines that function on algorithms, relies on Artificial Intelligence and the so-called Internet of Things which sees objects become "smart" as they connect to the network to carry out more sophisticated tasks.

The opening of the first Yaskawa factory in Europe is a "milestone" given that to date this sector has been dominated by Asia, Bodin said.

From its Slovenian headquarters, the company hopes to cover 80 percent of Europe's production needs which will "allow a reduction of delivery times and production lines."

"It is important to highlight that rather than destroying employment, industrial robots become yet another tool in order to work in a more intuitive way with enhanced connectivity and usability," he added. EFE-epa

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