First robot agency launches offering firms the chance to hire bots

World’s first robot employment agency launches in Israel offering firms the chance to hire robots to do strenuous work normally endured by humans

  • There are two robot workers on the books for the new ’employment agency’
  • They will allow companies to buy robot time by the hour rather than buy them
  • The first two ‘workers’ are a forklift and visual inspection robot controlled by AI
  • The company says the robots can ‘integrate’ with a human workforce 

The world’s first ’employment agency’ offering AI controlled robots to undertake ‘strenuous work normally endured by humans’ has launched in Israel. 

MusashiAI, a joint venture between SixAI of Israel and Musashi Seimitsu of Japan has a completely autonomous forklift and a visual inspection robot on its books.

The company says its fully autonomous robots will be able to integrate seamlessly with human workers in a modern factory environment.

They say their model allows factories to hire robot labour by the hour or pay a task-completed rate, rather than buy expensive robot equipment outright.

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The world’s first ’employment agency’ offering AI controlled robots to factories to undertake ‘strenuous work normally endured by humans’ has launched in Israel. One of the robots is a fully automated forklift – pictured

The bots on the books are ‘genuinely autonomous rather than automated’ as they can be given tasks and then define their own optimal way to perform the tasks.

This is ‘just as humans do’, according to Ran Poliakine, founder of SixAI.

The two robot models will be taking on tasks that humans find overly repetitive, strenuous and unfulfilling, he said.

‘The new commercial model of hiring robots by the hour or task means that they are now available to support many more companies or organizations.’

MusashiAI said an experienced human quality control inspector checks manufactured parts for defects in approximately 2 seconds per part with an accuracy of 97 per cent. 

THE TWO ‘EMPLOYEES’ ON THE BOOKS AT THE AGENCY 

Visual Quality Control Inspector

Based on artificial intelligence and cutting-edge optics, the visual inspector is able, just like the human employee, to identify defects in manufacturing lines.

Fully Autonomous Forklift Driver

It can navigate on its own to perform a variety of logistics tasks previously limited to human forklift drivers, with unparalleled efficiency and safety standards aimed at preventing injuries to work staff on the warehouse or manufacturing floor.

The company said traditional non-AI controlled robots take over 20 seconds per component to achieve a 70 per cent accuracy rate.

The new MusashiAI robots controlled by artificial intelligence work to a similar speed to humans with greater accuracy with a rate of one component every 2 seconds and an accuracy of 98 per cent.

‘Real AI, namely self-taught machine learning, is central to this achievement.’

Mr Poliakine said their goal was to find a way to integrate genuinely smart robots into a real world workplace and adapt to different environments.

He said they want people and companies to be able to allocate repetitive, but essential work to robot workers, while humans focus on the more complex and engaging tasks, where they have a competitive advantage over machines. 

“Our robot employment agency is a gamechanger. 

‘It will provide capacity in markets that struggle with labour availability either through the difficulty of the work itself or the cost pressures they face. 

‘By offering hourly or task related salary rates, our autonomous robotic AI employees are easy to plan for and integrate in any factory workflow.’

MusashiAI, a joint venture between SixAI of Israel and Musashi Seimitsu of Japan has a completely autonomous forklift and a visual inspection robot on its books. The other robot is able to make visual inspections of products

SixAI are working with Musashi Seimitsu Industry Company, a global auto parts manufacturer that also creates automobiles and motorcycles. 

Hiroshi Otsuka, President and CEO, Musashi Seimitsu said the new partnership allows them to ‘step into the future’ as a company.

‘Our challenge is to change the world by combining AI tech with our Japanese manufacturing technology. 

‘Bringing the best new AI tech together with our 80 years of manufacturing experience will make this happen. This is a great step towards the future.’

HUMAN V ROBOT DEBATE: THE FACTS AND QUIPS 

Name: Project Debater 

Age: Seven 

Hometown: IBM headquarters, Armonk, New York

Qualifications:  Trained on on more than ten billion sentences from a variety of areas, including scientific research and newspaper cuts

Argument:  For subsidising pre-schools 

OPENING ROUND 

  • Greeting Harish. I have heard that you hold the world record in debate competitions against humans. 
  • But I suspect you’ve never debated a machine. Welcome to the future.
  • I cannot experience poverty directly and have no complaints concerning my own standards of living, I still have the following to share regarding poverty. 
  • Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam said in 1973 that preschool is the greatest single aid in removing or modifying the inequalities of background, environment, family income or family nationality.
  • I hope I relayed the message that we should subsidise preschools. You will possibly hear my opponent talk today about different priorities and subsidies. He might say that the subsidies are needed, but not for preschools. 
  • I would like to ask you, Mr Natarajan, if you agree in principle, why don’t we examine the evidence and the data and decide accordingly. 
  • Thank you for listening.

 REBUTTAL 

  • I sometimes listen to opponents and wonder, what do they want? Would they prefer poor people on their doorsteps begging for money? Would they live well with poor people without heating and running water?
  • Giving opportunities to the less fortunate should be a moral obligation of any human being, and it is a key role for the state. 
  • I think that Harish Natarajan raised the following issue – there are more important things than preschools to spend money on. 
  • The state budget is a big one and there is room in it to subsidise preschools and invest in other fields.
  • Therefore, the idea that there are more important things to spend on is irrelevant.
  • My intention is not to leave a suitcase, full of money for everyone to grab. We are talking about a limited, targeted and helpful mechanism. 
  • to recap this rebuttal speech, I argue that preschool education improves children’s development, that attending preschool helps students succeed and lastly, that preschool can prevent future crime. 
  • Let me wrap up this speech in a way that I hope you can relate to –  advocating welfare is like offering a hand to someone who fell, it’s basic human decency.
  • Therefore, I think the motion should stand. We should subsidise preschools. 
  • That concludes my speech, thanks for listening.    

CLOSING ROUND 

  • I am convinced that in my speeches I supplied enough data to justify support for preschools.
  • At the end of the day the benefits welfare provides outweigh the disadvantages.
  • Welfare helps the most important segments in society; the underprivileged, the weak, the children. 
  • If we want to have a better society then we must invest in those who are less fortunate. 
  • Finally, in the words of British politician and writer, Benjamin Disraeli: ‘Power has only one duty, to secure the social welfare of the people.’

Name: Harish Natarajan

Age: 31

Hometown: London 

Qualifications:

World record for most debate competition victories 

2012 European debating champion 

2016 World debating championships grand finalist 

Argument:  Against subsidising pre-schools 

OPENING ROUND 

  • It certainly was a pleasure to listen to project debater. There was a lot of information in that speech and lots of facts and lots of figures.
  • The problem though, is the reality of subsidising preschools is one which does not deal with the underlying problems in society – it is one which often makes those worse.
  •  I think project debaters suggests something very intuitive: that if we believe preschools are good in principle, surely it is worth for giving money to subsidise those.
  • But, I don’t think that is ever enough of a justification. 
  • It cannot be alone a sufficient argument for project debater to claim that there are some benefits [to subsidising pre-schools].
  • There will still be individuals who will be priced out because of the realities of the market
  • Even when you subsidise preschools, it doesn’t mean that all individuals go.
  • This is the fallacy from what we heard from Project Debater.
  • Yes, you can make it slightly more accessible for individuals to attend preschool but that doesn’t mean that those individuals who Project Debater seems to care about will have the ability to send their children to preschool.’
  • These individuals now face not just one exclusion, but a double exclusion.

 REBUTTAL 

  • We agree that poverty is terrible. It is terrible when individuals do not have running water. It is terrible when they struggle to meet ends meet. 
  • When they are struggling to feed their family, it is terrible when they cannot get health care to cover their child to even provide them the basics they need in life.
  • That is all terrible and those are all things we need to address. 
  • None of those are addressed just because you are going to subsidise preschool.   
  • Project debater raises an interesting claim when she notes that maybe the state has the budget to do all the good things. 
  • Maybe the state has the budget to provide healthcare, maybe it has the budget to provide welfare payments, maybe it has the budget to provide running water as well as preschool.
  • I would love to live in that world, but I don’t think that is the world we live in.
  • I think we live in a world where there are real constraints on what governments can spend money on. 
  •  I’m not sure that subsidies even help those individuals that the project debated thinks that we should be helping.
  • Project debater said high-quality preschools can lead to huge improvements on individuals lives.
  • Maybe, but I’m not sure if you massively increase the number of people going to preschool they are all going to be the ones going to the high quality preschools. 

CLOSING ROUND  

  • At the end of this debate, I don’t think the project debater has helped those individuals she identifies as the most important.
  • But, in reality, has hurt them.   

 

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