The robot population in Bangkok has been steadily increasing, and it’s not just because of the recent influx of foreign residents. The Thai government is investing heavily in automation to improve the lives of its citizens. With over 30% unemployment rate for young adults, many are looking at robots as a solution. Despite this optimism there is also be concern about how much control the Thai government will have over these new technologies and what impact they’ll have on society.
The rise of robots in Bangkok could be an answer to Thailand’s unemployment crisis; or it could lead to a new wave of authoritarianism and inequality that we haven’t seen before. This blog post explores both sides with interviews from experts like Dr. Charnwit Vichit-Vadakan, the political science department chair at Thammasat University.
Dr. Charnwit Vichit-Vadakan: “I am of two minds about this question. On one hand I would say robots are important for Thailand because they will help solve Thailand’s unemployment problem. In fact, some companies already use robots to replace human workers. As you can see here at this company near Chulalongkorn, robot is use to pack order and ship them out. This is a better solution for Thailand than exporting our jobs because it keeps more money in the country flow through Thai businesses like this one.”
Robots to help with the manufacturing process
Dr. Charnwit Vichit-Vadakan: “However, these robots may cause problems for Thailand in the future. Robot is not only use to make thing; they can also use to monitor and control people. This is the aspect that frightens me because it will lead to a more authoritarian society where people lose their freedom.”
Robots to carry heavy loads and work for long hours
The government is hoping these robots will start to replace humans in the near future. Here, a robot that is assign to help clean up the city is lifting trash on Phahonyothin Road. “I’ve seen several of these recently,” said Thachareon Ratchakanee, who was on his way home from work. “I think they do a better job than people, and they don’t complain.”
Bangkok has started using robots in public places to monitor people and control certain situations like traffic congestion. The robot seen here is patrolling the streets of Bangkok to promote safety by alerting motorists when they are exceeding the speed limit. Thailand use robot with surveillance capability, but it is unknown it’s use to track political dissident.
The rise of robots leading to more unemployment rates in Bangkok
Concerns about a loss of jobs due to the rise of robots in Bangkok. The government is investing heavily in automation. If robot implements into the workforce, they will most likely replace job that require physical labor such as manufacturing or transportation. The programming of these robot become a core part of Thailand industry which drastically change the scope of the work force and how many people need to employ by a certain company.
Increase in automation leading to more disposable income in Bangkok
The government is currently working on policy that help protect employee from being replace by machine, but this may be difficult for them to enforce especially if we become more dependent on robotic.
However, if we plan ahead, it may be possible for Thailand to thrive with robots. These benefits may offset the disadvantages that come with automation such as a loss of jobs or a decrease in wages.
I hope that the government continue to focus on developing this technology, but they also need to maintain a balance in implementing it into society and ensuring it doesn’t have a negative impact on people currently employ by certain position.
The rise of robots will lead to a decrease in human labor – leading to more unemployment rates in Bangkok. The government is investing heavily in automation; If robot implement into the workforce, most likely replace job that require physical labor such as manufacturing or transportation. The programming of these robot become a core part of Thailand industry which would drastically change the scope of the work force and how many people need to employ by a certain company.
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