A Japanese insurance company Fokuko Mutual Insurance will lay off 34 white collar workers and replace them with robots. The company says it will increase efficiency by 30 percent and would save the company 140 million yen ($1.2  million US). In a bare essence the company hired the perfect subjugated worker.

Robots are perfect if an employer is looking to save money, increase efficiency, and keep an office running 24/7. You don’t have to pay them a salary, or benefits. They won’t take days off for sickness, vacation, and family. They won’t talk back to the boss, ask for raises, or cause conflicts. However, what robots have in efficiency, cost, and obedience, they lack in passion, drive, innovation, and initiative.

Human employees, for all the problems they cost greedy employers, they offer so much more. When a person is working for a company that treats them well, and allows them to grow as professional, they bring a lot to the table. Passionate and dedicated employees work to improve their job and company’s success. Also an enjoyable work environment, increases productivity. Bottom line, when an employer takes care of employees, treats them well, and has a good environment, they work very well.

One things employers like Fokuko Mutual seem to forget, is that human beings are social animals. We like to have that personal human interaction, that’s why some companies did away with automated phone systems.

Hopefully this is not a trend that will catch on, it will not be good in the long run. It is disheartening to see hard working people replaced by cold unfeeling robots. This was not about efficiency so much as money. The took the Watson AI from IBM and put it to uses to replace human, not help them. How long until a CEO replaces their entire workforce with obedient robots, just to save a few extra bucks.     

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