OPINION7 December 2022

Bethan Blakeley: The art of automation

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In her latest column for Impact, Bethan Blakeley reminds us that it is still our job to get automation right.

a white robotic arm on a white background

It’s something that has been around for a while and isn’t going anywhere – and yet it always manages to divide the room: automation. As with all things, there’s clearly a huge scale, with some extremes. A few are terrified that robots will shortly take over the world, and fear for our jobs. Some don’t believe in automation; it’s the root of all evil, and everything needs to be done “the proper way, like in the good old days”. Others feel automation is incredible, and use it at every possible moment, claiming it makes their lives easier, and makes boring processes faster and, well, automatic.

Although I’m frequently told I’m “not one to sit on the fence”, there’s definitely room for some middle ground here. Let’s get one thing straight from the outset: the robots are not going to take over the world any time soon. I’ve written, spoken and ranted many a time about how ‘artificial intelligence (AI)’ is ...