A new study estimates up to 20 million manufacturing jobs will be lost to robots by 2030. The figure sounds alarming, but on closer examination, robotics could offer solutions to multiple problems.
No doubt, the manufacturing sector, which still accounts for about 20 per cent to 25 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product, will need to adjust to this new machine age. But this could be a blessing in disguise as robots can be an answer to Singapore's manpower crunch. Robots can take over the most repetitive chores, and the transition to a total reliance on machines is likely to take a while yet. Machine learning has some way to go to catch up with the complexities of the human brain. Scientists have yet to find a way to accelerate machine learning even as Moore's law - that computer power doubles every two years - runs up against the limits of the physical universe.