In this interview, CNBC’s Bob Pisani interviews Bill Studebaker, CIO (that’s chief investment officer, not information officer) at Robo Global, an index, advisory, and research company focused on the opportunities in robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence (RAAI) companies around the world.
While Studebaker sees robotics entrenched in automotive manufacturing, he said it also is poised to reach market segments that have remained relatively untouched until now. That includes healthcare, agriculture, consumer, and industrial manufacturing, he said.
In fact, virtually every segment of the economy, outside automotive, is still in its infancy when it comes to AI and robotic adoption, Studebaker said.
“Healthcare is one of the most exciting areas to watch,” he added.
With a total cost at 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, Studebacker said healthcare is an industry that must embrace more efficient technologies to help bring those costs down. Artificial intelligence will enable the industry to also move from practicing medicine that is always responding to disease to a posture actively predicting and preventing the onset of disease.
Will the efficiencies brought by automation, robotics, and AI bring a net cost of jobs? Broadly, Studebaker doesn’t think so.
“In fact, since they [Amazon] launched their warehouse automation initiative in 2012, they’ve added 45,000 warehouse employees since that time,” he said.
The underlying dynamics appear to be that the efficiency provided by automation lowers costs and drives up demand. So rather than racing or competing against the machines, we are more likely to be collaborating with them.