In what is probably the most large-scale and visible replacement of human workers with robots, Tawainese-based gadget maker Foxconn has announced that it will supplant its human workforce with one million robots over the next three years.
There are two reasons why you would have heard of Foxconn. It's either because the company's massive factories in China crank out nearly half of the world's precious gadgets (including iPhones and iPads), or because of the spate of suicides that cast a scandalous spotlight onto Foxconn.
The company's roster currently includes 1.2 million people and 10,000 robots. Next year, the latter number will rise to 300,000 and top out at a million at the end of three years. It's unclear how many humans this will displace, but we doubt Foxconn is looking to hire more over that time.
According to China's Xinhua News, the "robots will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers." The news came from Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou "at a workers' dance party Friday night."
Really? A dance party? Seems like a weird venue for that kind of news. And what song could you possibly follow that up with, anyway? Maybe this.