Amazon Business Highlights Collaborative Work Between Humans and Robots
Sat, April 10, 2021

Amazon Business Highlights Collaborative Work Between Humans and Robots

Robots will not replace jobs, but they will help people work better / Photo Credit: Kotin via Shutterstock


Nancy Clinton of information source Spend Matters wrote about the Amazon Business conference held earlier this year in London. Chief Technologist at Amazon Robotics Tye Brady “talked about the innovation at the core of the business.” He said that people use machines to help them do better in their jobs. Brady focused on the “fusion of human and machine” for collaborative work to yield better results. He debunked the myth of robots taking over people’s jobs. 

According to Brady, people are overestimating on where they think they are in robotics. In fact, we’re just getting started, he said. Over the past nine decades, there has been significant growth in physics, computing, robotics, and other industries. Brady added that these advances created about 300,000 jobs. In TV, picture houses and theater actors did not believe they would have jobs. However, television ended up creating more jobs for actors. Like television, robotics has the potential to open new jobs!

Brady observed that assigning roles for robotics results in “the need for more roles for people.” Some examples include solution architect, entry-level data technicians, app developer, senior social media manager, and the like. Again, robots create job opportunities. Notably, robots serve as an extension of human capabilities, not a replacement, which leads to increased productivity and value. 

For Amazon, robots entail lower costs, huge selection, and delivery to the door. Bear in mind that robots and humans have different capabilities. Humans are good at abstraction, problem-solving, generalization, creating thinking, etc. Alternatively, robots are better at assessing databases, repetitive tasks, heavy lifting, and more. 

In Amazon’s warehouse, fulfillment centers are filled with 20,000 drive units or little orange robots, where they are “stacked with the items for fulfillment.” As soon as a customer clicks on “buy now,” the robot will go to the associate with the right items. 40% more goods are fulfilled in Amazon’s automated warehouse than manual ones. Robots can accomplish the task in an hour. If manual labor is involved, it would take the whole day. Brady is optimistic about the future of the workplace, with humans and robots working in tandem to carry out various tasks.