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Letter: Roboeconomy in North Bay's future?

Post Covid, one of the biggest challenges for our local businesses will be the quick evolution of robots
Team 1305
FIRST Team 1305. Photo supplied.

To the editor: 

Post Covid, one of the biggest challenges for our local businesses will be the quick evolution of robots.

First of all, I am a big supporter of First Robotics Team 1305 as I have personally witnessed the positive impacts on past team members. The future of robots is now and will continue to challenge humanity, including here in North Bay. The key will be to balance the progress of robots in our daily lives and with future employment opportunities and career paths.  

Unfortunately, the unpredictable effects of Covid have forced the re-invention of our local and global labour forces. If you have a chance to read any of the reports from the local office of The Labour Market Group, they have been advising business owners on these new challenges. 

So, a combination of hard-pressed employers, technological leaps, and improved cost-effectiveness has fuelled a rapid expansion of the world’s robot army. In 2022, a half-million industrial robots were installed globally which added to the current population of industrial robots to a new high, 3.5 million. Compare this to the population of Canada’s largest cities.

This could potentially be a gigantic shift in the way things are made, transported, and even consumed, creating the new term “roboconomy.” 

Predictably, our future will depend on robots to grow our food, provide policing, make our goods, care for our elderly and continue to grow the global economy. 

North Bay is not immune to this new workforce. I am told that our local WalMart has added a cleaning robot. So, as larger corporations convert to robots, there will be a domino effect down the food chain.

Maybe we will need to re-watch all of the episodes of The Jetsons to find some solutions. But seriously, the fact is that governments, unions, business organizations, and education sectors need to collaborate even more to solve this fast-paced evolution of our labour force. 

David Thompson

North Bay