Robots, drones and software will account for one-third of the economy's workers by 2025, according to renowned technology research firm Gartner.
"One day, a drone may be your eyes and ears," Peter Sondergaard, Gartner's research director, said at the firm's Symposium/ITxpo, Computerworld
"Drones are just one of many kinds of emerging technologies that extend well beyond the traditional information technology world. These are smart machines."
And smart machines already are taking on more complicated physical and intellectual tasks, Sondergaard noted. "Knowledge work will be automated," and so will physical work, thanks to the advancement of robots.
Drones will prove particularly useful for agriculture, geographical surveys and oil and gas pipeline inspections, according to Gartner.
As for the technology industry, "new digital businesses require less labor," Sondergaard explained. "Machines will make sense of data faster than humans can."
Others view automation trends along the same lines as Gartner does.
"RPA [Robotic process automation] is the next wave in technology, and its promise is increased productivity, reduced errors and cycle time, and much-improved scalability," Frank Casale CEO of The Institute of Robotic Process Automation, wrote in an article for CIO Insight
"RPA means we have morphed from an analog style of 'knowledge swap' from people to people to a digital world where knowledge is transferred by robots. We are no longer looking at RPA as a future technology, as it's already taking over physical labor today."
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