Development Trends in Automation

Development Trends in Automation

Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8036-3.ch009
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This chapter analyzes current development trends in automation. The chapter begins by discussing the history of automation in the 21st century, beginning with Honda's creation of ASIMO. Next, the chapter analyzes how automation gave rise to the relocating of many Western manufacturing centers to Asia, particularly those in the United States. The chapter then analyzes trends in the development of autonomous vehicles. This section includes a detailed projection of likely developments over the next several decades, such as the impact of autonomous vehicles on private vehicle ownership. The chapter concludes with a brief summary of these trends.
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Automation In The 21St Century

The development of automation discovered room for growth with the development of technology in the early 2000s. After Honda's creation of ASIMO in 2000 (which is considered “the most advanced humanoid robot in the world”), the development of automation temporarily subsided. Negative reviews of business process management (for which business process automation is an invaluable tool) have shown that the number of searches for this term more than halved between 2004 and 2011. In 2011, however, the launch of Apple's Siri interrupted a period of marketing silence about breakthroughs in automation. Siri ushered in a new era of automation and AI-based assistants. It embodied the shift away from physical robots to the development of computer automation and AI software, which, although it began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, became prominent with the effectiveness of its proposed solutions only after 20 years.1

The automation of business processes known by the acronym BPA (business process automation)—recently recognized as robotic process automation (RPA)is becoming more sophisticated and enhanced by the application of robots. Nowadays, automation software has become a necessity, not a luxury. Its widespread use optimizes the labor of employees and leads to considerable savings in resources such as time, labor, materials, and machines. Every day we experience the miracle of AI, whether on Twitter, in emails, in our video games, or elsewhere. We have artificial intelligence assistants in our phones, cars, and homes. It is not perfect. Siri doesn't always have an answer, and the Alexa assistant sometimes doesn't hear us. NPCs (Non-Player Characters, i.e., a player role taken over by an AI) in video games sometimes do stupid (and hilarious) things, and back in 2016, we saw the failure of a talking AI released by Microsoft called “Tay” (Tay = Talking About You). The company had to “silence” its talk, which made inflammatory remarks about specific people on Twitter; however, despite these shortcomings, AI and automation are now more comprehensive than ever before. Today, they continually developing and improving.

Figure 1.

A configuration of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) (Thakur, 2018)


Relocating Production To Asia And Automation

At the end of the 20th century, Western developed economies were losing manufacturing jobs because companies noticed that labor costs in emerging markets were so favorable that it was more profitable to hire a large number of employees in those locations than implementing even basic automation in the U.S. or Europe. However, trends in automation and robotics technologies are rapidly changing this equation, so much so that over the next 15-20 years, there may be a significant shift in production towards the concentration of end-user resources and markets in developed countries.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Uber: An American technology company that specializes in ride-hailing.

Robotic Process Automation: The automation of business processes through the use of robots and artificial intelligence.

Tesla: An American electric vehicle company.

AI Assistants: A computer program that performs user commands and answers user questions.

3D Printing: A computer-controlled process that creates three-dimensional objects.

Business Process Automation: The automation of business processes through digital technologies.

Autonomous Vehicles: A vehicle that uses computer technology to navigate an environment with little or no human input.

Automation: A technology that reduces the need for human intervention in a process.

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