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New Report Forecasts Global Economic Growth as More Robots are Used in Manufacturing

New Report Forecasts Global Economic Growth as More Robots are Used in Manufacturing

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) recently released a new report detailing how robotic technology will impact the global manufacturing sector. The report titled “Robotics and the Future of Production and Work” is the result of extensive research on global trends in automation and production, as well as a thorough review of recent data and applicable literature. Most notably, the report concludes that an increase in the use of robots in production and manufacturing will help boost the global economy, particularly in developed nations. The ITIF report touches on many of the same topics and findings that are outlined in ASME’s General Position Paper titled “Accelerating U.S. Robotics for American Prosperity and Security.”
The ITIF report re-defines what is commonly referred to as “Industry 4.0” or “the fourth industrial revolution” and instead refers to the integration of technology (e.g. sensors, AI, and robots) into traditional factories as the next “production system.” It discusses the increasing importance of robots in the manufacturing environment, as they have the potential to boost productivity and reshape global supply chains.
The new ITIF report and the ASME’s Robotics Position Paper share similar outlooks on the impact of robots on manufacturing jobs. ASME states that “increases in automation make high-labor rate countries like the United States more competitive, accelerating the reshoring of manufacturing jobs.” The ITIF report also concludes that “improvements in automation technology such as robotics are poised to bring more automated manufacturing production work to developed countries, rather than offshore it to lower-wage countries.”
Furthermore, the new report makes the case for how robotic adoption will positively impact the U.S. workforce and encourages policymakers to “support—rather than resist—the development of the next production system.” The new report importantly calls attention to the fact that “most forecasts exaggerate the impact automation will have on employment,” and instead suggests that “structural unemployment will not increase due to automation, and labor will receive a significant share of the benefits.”

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