News: Boeing and the Machinists Union are in disagreement on the impact of forthcoming processes automate some elements of quality assurance. Boeing wants to streamline the quality assurance process through the use of automation for redundant inspections in stable processes. This would reduce a two-layer inspection to a single layer process for robotically assembled elements. The union feels that reducing human inspections could negatively impact quality, despite the precision of robotic installations and measurement.
Analysis: The impact of automation and robotics on employment has been with us for quite some time, and will only increase as artificial intelligence enables computers to take over more complex tasks currently performed by humans. This is just the beginning, as technology will become more advanced over the coming decades, enabling automated quality inspections to double check the work of mechanics. Will the union take a firm stand on this issue and possibly strike to prevent improved technology from eliminating jobs?
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