Did you know there are now more than 100,000 chatbots on Facebook alone? Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities are behind the rapidly increasing adoption of robotics and automation in many industries.

Breakthroughs in AI are powering self-driving cars, chatbots, and other promising technologies. Investors are beginning to take notice.

Here we provide an overview of the transformations taking place as a result of robotics and automation, and how investors can tap into these disruptive markets.

Robots are becoming smarter than ever

It’s difficult to think about robots without picturing classic images from science fiction, but we’ve in fact lived with them for many years already. The most prominent example has been the use of robotics on manufacturing lines.

New breakthroughs in AI are driving robotics even further. The technology that powers your Amazon and Netflix recommendations are the same as what self-driving cars rely on.

The robots of the future are going to be smarter than ever. They’ll eventually be able to fix themselves, teach each other, and so much more. Some robots are already strikingly human-like in their appearance and semblance of emotions. Although truly sentient robots may still be years away.  Researchers are exploring how we are already forging emotional connections with robots so we can expect questions of robot-human interaction to be central issues in future engineering.

Automation will be everywhere

For now, robots are taking over tedious manual labour, which allows people to free up time and focus on complex jobs that cannot be automated. However, the way robotics and artificial intelligence are going, almost anything has the potential to be automated. We’re already seeing customers adopt AI use with their personal devices, such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s ‘Alexa’, Samsung’s ‘Bixby’, Apple’s ‘Siri’ and Microsoft’s ‘Cortana’. The infiltration into the home has begun, the next step is to automate processes through the use of robotics ie. from making beds to cleaning dishes. Tasks considered too advanced for robots right now will become the work of robots of the future.

This may sound a little far-fetched, but it’s already happening. AI and robotic systems are being trained to “look” at pictures, flip burgers like Flippy, read stories like Luka, write code, and more.

Where does this leave people?

Robotics will push economic growth forward and take over low-skill jobs. Humans will occupy jobs that require “soft skills,” like critical thinking and problem-solving. Many experts predict this will mean wider access to higher-wage jobs.

The price of robotics will also begin to fall as more and more companies race to adopt the technology and improve upon it. This will make incorporating automation and robotics easier than ever for companies.

Future

How can you invest in the automation revolution?

Robotics and automation are growing fields. Despite some people expressing concerns about job loss due to automation, the outlook for the future in the midst of these new waves of innovation is overall an optimistic one.

Investors looking to diversify their portfolio may capitalize on this promising sector and play a key role in financing the next wave of technological advancement.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are one of the best ways to gain exposure to these disruptive industries while adding diversification.

The Evolve Innovation Index ETF (EDGE) provides investors with exposure to a number of key players at the forefront of innovation in robotics and automation.

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