Amazon – more jobs created by robots than lost

Amazon claims that robotics technology will create rather than destroy jobs.

Regional director of Amazon Jonatan Gal said this at the Robotics and Automation Exhibition in Milton Keynes today in a presentation focusing on picking and packing processes in retail and the collaboration between humans and robots in these operations.

Gal said, “Our robotics enable flexibility and scalability for Amazon,” reflecting on the fact that the robots take on tedious roles and handle more complex operations such as assessing databases and number crunching.

In the coming years, Amazon plans to use robots to increase the density of its inventory and to generate greater throughput while increasing profit margins. The hope is to reduce its overall property footprint (and things like energy costs associated with that). Amazon, aims to “push the boundaries of reducing the need for labour but will always need people.”

However, said Gal: “People are still at the centre of the operation.” He explained that Amazon is working on retaining people, including its recent adjustment the wage it pays its workers. “The real key is retention,” he said, “making sure they feel welcome and stay”. Robots around you will still work and Amazon still intends to focus on people, he added.

“I can’t see the dynamic changing anytime soon,” said Gal. Alongside more robotics use in Amazon’s warehouses, he also agrees that this will be require “many more people for years to come”. Therefore, there is no danger of human workers potentially losing jobs in the years to come as the use of robotics takes off in retail.