China’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, Foxconn was trying hard from a while to replace workers with robots to save money and raise profits. Finally the company now replaced 60,000 employees with artificial intelligence in just one factory. According to a recent report from the South China Morning Post, Foxconn claims that it has culled the employee strength from 110000 to 50,000 at one factory just by replacing them with robots. The company still has more than 1.2 million employees.
So, as per the recent survey the rise in the artificial intelligence might replace man power with robots in above 600 firms in Kunshan in Jiangsu province, the manufacturing hub where the company is based.
“We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control and quality control,” a statement of Foxconn Technology Group to BBC reads.
“We will continue to harness automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in China,” added Foxconn Group.
In an interview with Fox business, former McDonald’s US CEO Ed Reni who is debating in the $15 per hour minimum wage says, “It’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries.”
Microsoft also announced that it will let go up to 1,850 employees this week. And as per the South China Morning Post’s post, last year 35 companies spent a total of 4 billion Yuan on artificial intelligence. Well, this replacement might be a major advantage to the Foxconn, as it is been in the controversy of high worker suicides and factory conditions.
A reports of a survey conducted by Deloitte in association with Oxford University, predicts that as many as 35 percent of jobs will be automated within a span of next 2 decades. The Verge says that an even more telling forecast was made by researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne in their 2013 paper “The Future of Employment,” in which they predicted about 50 percent of jobs will disappear over the next four to five decades.