Walmart last month announced that shoppers soon might see a lot more robots in its stores -- but the company wasn't referring to toy robots or even human assistant gadgets that are available for purchase. Walmart's new robots will be taking over repeatable, predictable and manual tasks that up to now have been carried out by human employees.
At Walmart stores, robots will scan shelf inventory and track boxes as part of the retail chain's inventory management. Walmart is hardly alone in deploying robots or artificial intelligence to handle these mundane tasks, however. Amazon has increased the use of AI in managing its facilities, and in the not-too-distant future, many employees can expect to work side-by-side with such machines on a daily basis.
Roughly 36 million Americans hold jobs that have a high exposure to automation, according to a January report from the Brookings Institution.
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