Integrating Digital and Human Labor for Sustainable Production

Integrating Digital and Human Labor for Sustainable Production

Copyright: © 2024 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/979-8-3693-2219-2.ch013
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The proliferation of digital labor has occasioned some challenges and opportunities. Digital labor is an automated-driven service provided by robotic process automation systems. It is efficient in building, deploying, and managing robots and capable of emulating workers by interacting with other digital systems and software. Unethical use of digital labor poses a threat to workforce sustainability. Hence, there is a need for sustainable production systems in Industry 5.0, which necessitates the current demand for human-centric technological applications in various industries. The chapter explores plausible pathways for integrating digital and human labor in business operations using a narrative literature review approach and the abductive reasoning method. This chapter showcases the importance of designing technologies that enhance human capabilities, promote inclusivity, and mitigate potential adverse effects on workforce sustainability and employment generation. This chapter offers a set of principles for sustainable production systems in Industry 5.0.
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The chapter delves into the amalgamation of Industry 5.0 technologies within the framework of Sustainable Development by showcasing a landscape of challenges and opportunities. While promising enhanced efficiency and innovation, the integration of digital and human labor poses challenges demanding thoughtful consideration. A primary concern is the fear of technological unemployment, with the accelerated pace of RPA and AI potentially displacing jobs, especially in sectors vulnerable to automation (Sahnoun & Abdennadher, 2019; Sehnbruch et al., 2022). This dynamic introduces a socio-economic challenge that necessitates proactive measures for reskilling and upskilling the workforce (Amir & Bin Amir, 2020; Sahnoun & Abdennadher, 2019; Sehnbruch et al., 2022). The emergence of Industry 5.0 and the need for sustainable development present unprecedented opportunities. The reason is that Industry 5.0 promotes a human-centric approach that signifies a departure from the dehumanizing aspects of strict automation, encouraging collaboration between humans and machines for sustainability.

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