At a time of job scarcity in many nations, robots are being perceived as a menace, not the cute creatures like R2-D2 from "Star Wars." Whether it be in China or the U.S., businesses and policy makers face the challenge of how to brand this high-tech force which can replace human beings in the workplace.
Some expect trouble at China's Foxconn's plants when robots are introduced. TECH CRUNCH reports that the plants have a hiring freeze right now. That could be because the robots will be "installed." Or, it could signal a slowdown in orders for Apple's iPhone.
Not too long ago, I published an article in IP WATCHDOG on how the integration of robots in industry, medicine, and person care will depend on lots more than the excellence of the technology. Here you can read it. One obstacle, of course, is labor's push-back on robots' taking their jobs. In addition, are the anti-machine attitudes about having Mom in the nursing home fed by a robot instead of a kindly CNA.
"Star Wars" will be returning. But this is one situation in which Hollywood probably won't make a difference.