Necessity is the mother of invention. Ever since humankind has started creating new things, the focus of their creation is to help them with the task that they need to perform. From vehicles to electricity, humans have created new technology to find ways to make their lives and work easier. The use of machines in the workplace is nothing new; however, with the advancements in technology these machines that used to do simple tasks are now capable of so much more. The invention of robotics and artificial intelligence has elevated these machines to be able to learn and think for themselves.
The primary goal of artificial intelligence is not to replace humans. Instead, they are meant to help humans automate functions and improve existing technologies, and as we progress through the years, we will see more robots and intelligent machines that will work alongside human beings to complete tasks. Many industries have already incorporated artificial intelligence or robotics into their workplace. The manufacturing industry already has AI taking over difficult, unsafe, and repetitive tasks that used to be done by humans. In this way, AI and robotics have helped lessen the probability of accidents causing injury and damages in the workplace.
As AI and robotics get integrated into the workplace, there will be times when an employee will have to interact with them to finish tasks, and because these technologies are not yet perfect, there may be issues that arise from the interaction that could lead to injury. At the moment, the law treats all machines as simple consumer products like everyday household items so unless the person interacting with the AI or robot acts negligently or recklessly, the manufacturer or owner are held liable for any of the damages.
You may also file a claim under workers’ compensation with your employer if ever you get into an accident involving a machine or robot in your workplace. However, since there are no specific laws or insurance in case of an AI or robotic malfunction, you will only be entitled to the standard damages that are associated with a workplace accident.
Here are some problems you may face when interacting with an AI or intelligent machine in the workplace:
1. Lack of proper training. – If your employer doesn’t provide you with the adequate training to handle or work alongside a robot or an intelligent machine, especially one that is more complex, this may lead to you suffering from an injury with your interaction with it. Proper training should be provided by employers to help employees adjust and interact with AI or intelligent machine properly.
2. Lack of safety precautions. – Employers should provide safety measures for their employees who interact with robots or intelligent machines in the workplace. Something as simple as signage can help prevent injuries caused by these technologies. An excellent example of this is putting a marker on the ground around an articulated arm robot to show the coverage of its reach; this will help employees to stay out of the area so that the robot would not hit them while it does its task.
The goal of AI and robotics is to help human beings move forward, and if we use these technologies the right way, they can be of great help.
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This article originally appeared on Hogan Injury.