Daily I’m working with startups and on technologies that have the potential to automate repetitive tasks of highly skilled and highly educated workers in the western world. While these workers face a significant change in the skills required to perform their jobs and in some cases unemployment, automation potentially has a more severe impact in other industries.
Recently a robot was introduced that can produce 800.000 t-shirts daily. Up to now, working with soft fabrics was considered too complex for robots to handle. The advancement in computer vision, AI and robot technology now makes it possible to automate even these complex tasks. And at such a high volume it will significantly reduce the cost of our clothing and as a result will likely displace many, relatively unskilled, workers. This could have a dramatic impact on the economies of countries such as Bangladesh, where textile and garment exports account for approximately 80% of all exports (source).
This again highlights the need for comprehensive, global, educational programs for digital skills like coding. More of the aid for developing countries should be focused on this.