Q:

How do robots impact society?

A:

Most of the impact robots have on society is positive, as they help improve human health and improve the efficiency of industrial and manufacturing processes. They also create jobs, as humans are necessary to design, build and maintain them. However, robots also influence society negatively, as they render some human jobs obsolete.

One of the most useful applications for robots is industrial manufacturing. For example, companies use robots to build car components, medical devices and electronic products. Robots are also used in food preparation and packaging applications. Robots are very valuable to scientists, who can send the robots to places that humans cannot go, such as deep space or the bottom of the ocean. One robot, named Sojourner, was sent to Mars to conduct experiments.

While robots are better suited for some tasks than people are and are therefore ultimately likely to take over most of these tasks, many industry leaders suspect that robots are not likely to cause large scale job losses. For example, in March of 2012, the retail giant Amazon set up over 1,300 robots in a few of its distribution centers. As of February 2014, Amazon had not reduced the number of human employees as a result of the robot addition.


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