60K Replaced By Robots At Foxconn Since The Launch Of iPhone 6

Sixty thousand Chinese workers have been replaced by robots at Foxconn since the iPhone 6 launch in 2014. The company joins Wendy’s, McDonalds, and Adidas who are all getting rid of human workers in favor of robots. Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn has “reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots,” Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, told the South China Morning Post. Yulian also noted that more companies are likely to follow suit and invest heavily in a robot workforce.

In a statement to the BBC, Foxconn Technology Group confirmed that it was automating “many of the manufacturing tasks associated with our operations” but denied that it meant long-term job losses.

“We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control and quality control. We will continue to harness automation and manpower in our manufacturing operations, and we expect to maintain our significant workforce in China.”

BBC News reports that since September 2014, more than 500 factories across the province of Dongguan have invested $630 million on robot and AI technology to replace human workers. China’s Foxconn, the world’s largest manufacturer of electronics, unveiled the autonomous, sophisticated humanoid known as Pepper back in 2014. PC World described the AI as a “cute, wisecracking personal robot designed to bring joy to everyone.” Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank launched the product for consumers last year for the price of a high-end PC.

“We want to have a robot that will maximize people’s joy and minimize their sadness,” SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said in a press conference in Tokyo. Learn more about the communications robot via the video below.

Pepper Robot

Meanwhile, are robots about to change the travel industry? The clip below profiles the service robots that welcome visitors at the international travel fair in Berlin. These AI’s could soon be the face of the check-in desk at international hotels. Check out the report below.


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