Haley Tenore, BusinessInsider.com, November 9, 2023
- Artificial intelligence and automation are impacting some jobs that humans don’t always want to do.
- Robots are being used to sort through waste at recycling centers to combat worker shortages.
- In some cases, these bots do the job better than humans, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Many workers are understandably concerned that AI could steal their jobs. But AI could also help do tasks that many people don’t want to do, and a recent profile on the technology’s impact on the job of sorting out recycling from trash is the perfect example of that.
Working in waste management can be a dirty job, and recycling facilities across the country are facing major labor shortages, The Wall Street Journal reported.
AI is being implemented in recycling facilities to sort out recyclable materials. AI and automation are helping assuage worker shortages, as some facilities only have 20% of positions filled, one expert told The Journal. The bots are also doing a better job at sorting out recyclables than human workers in some cases.
“They don’t need breaks. They don’t go on vacation. They can work double shifts,” Suzanne Jones, executive director of the nonprofit organization Eco-Cycle, told The Journal.
As it turns out, AI is oftentimes more skilled at sorting out recyclables than human workers. AI bots can sort 80 pieces of recyclable material a minute, compared to humans who can sort out 50 to 80 pieces a minute, according to The Journal.