Automation: The exaggerated threat of robots

zebralogs

(German version / deutsche Version des Artikels: Link)
A lack of jobs and insufficient industrialisation are hampering the development of many African countries. Now another threat is seems to be emerging: the automation of production. However, it will It will however take quite a lot of time before robots become cheaper than workers in Africa.

All industrialised countries used low-cost labour to build industries and manufacture mass-produced goods. Today, labour is relatively inexpensive in Africa, and a similar industrialisation process might take off accordingly. Some worry that industrial robots will block this development path. The reason is that robots are most useful when doing routine tasks – precisely the kind of work that is typical of labour-intensive mass production.

At the moment, however, robots are much too expensive to replace thousands upon thousands of workers in labour-intensive industries, most of which are in the very early stages of the…

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