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Ukraine's job market: robots vs. bureaucracy

Author : Oleksiy Bondarev

12:36, 21 June 2016
Ukraine's job market: robots vs. bureaucracy

Author : Oleksiy Bondarev

The robots have already started a revolution in the labor market; they would replace 50% people of available occupations by 2025

12:36, 21 June 2016

Read the original text at NV.UA.

gazprom.ru

Recently, I had an opportunity to visit Ukrainian state institutions.

Family loss forced me to visit the clinic to get a special document and a registry office to get the death certificate. To receive a registered letter I needed to visit the post office.

Besides some typical signs that I am in Ukraine - impoliteness, irresponsibility, and the general atmosphere of a total chaos, I have noticed one more interesting thing. The work, which could be handled by one person, is often done by three or even seven people!

If you want to get that piece of paper, you have to visit several rooms (with endless queue near each door). In every room sits one woman who puts one signature. Each of these women stares as if you are taking the last piece of bread from her child.

EPA / UPG

Receiving a registered letter is like a special ritual. One old lady sternly asks what the hell are you doing there. The other old lady wants you to put your signature in some special collar book. The third one tries to find your letter, and then gives it to the fourth person, who is the last “connector” in this extremely difficult mechanism.

This fantastic bureaucracy, of course, is not an expression of a native Ukrainian mentality, but rather it is a legacy of the Soviet Union.

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A country of victorious socialism was trying to prevent unemployment in any way that it could. Therefore, it created jobs literally for everyone.

Now we wallow in this swamp, trying to save ourselves with the help of inflating bureaucracy. This bureaucracy has many defenders. Where should all those poor women work? No, we cannot replace them with a clever young student who would cope with their responsibilities.

Just imagine my emotions, when Amazon announced about massive replacement of its employees with robots!

In 2012, Amazon - the world's largest online shop – has bought Kiva Systems Company, which has been developing the robot packers for doing work in the warehouse.

Just watch the video from 2008 year, when Kiva robots were still babies. Impressive?

Since then, work has become wittier. The task is to find the right product on the shelves, pack it, and prepare for sending. A man needs some 60-70 minutes for it, Kiva robot needs 15 minutes only.

13 Amazon warehouses in the US have replaced people with the robots. The total number of robots has already exceeded 30 thousand. It allows saving $ 22 million of warehouse’s budget.

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Next year it is planned to extend the experiment to all the Amazon warehouses. The exact number of robots that should work there is still unknown. The company expects to save $ 800 million until 2017.

And it's just arithmetic. But there are other factors. Robots do not get tired, do not smoke, do not fell ill, and do not become depressive. They also do not get drunk, because their favorite team has won the game.

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn has replaced its 60 of 110 thousand employees of their factory with the robots. When buying your next iPhone, please remember that most likely it was not gathered by the little Chinese kids, but by the big claws of the Taiwanese robots.

Siemens Company has recently introduced a robot that can generally lead to a new industrial revolution.

Analysts predict that by 2025, robots can replace people in nearly half of the available jobs.

Overall, tomorrow has already come.

Futurologists and science fiction writers have already predicted that people of different occupations would be replaced with the robots. And here it is - the future.

What should people do if the robots come?

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To be frank, I do not even care. No, I am not a heartless lover of gadgets. It happens just because any stage of scientific and technological progress has its price. And this price is always high.

The Industrial Revolution of the XVIII century has led to global disasters and revolutions that determined the course of world history. We should not be afraid of the robots, nothing dangerous here.

These creepy employees sitting in the dark offices are too accustomed to do nothing and be happy with their power over the queue behind the door.

These people would never go to Maidan.

So let the robots quickly change them work, and let us live as normal people do. 

Related: Labour migration: Ukraine is losing people and future

All opinions published on 112.International website reflect the views of the author. 112.International editors may not agree with the opinion of the author.

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