We love new buzzwords here at Small Business Labs, so we were excited to learn of "botsourcing".
According to the academic research paper Botsourcing and Outsourcing, botsourcing is "the replacement of human jobs by robots".
Botsourcing generally gets bad press for, well, replacing humans in jobs. The picture above, for example, is from the article Will Baxter and Other Robots Take Your job.
And there's little doubt that robots and automation are replacing growing numbers of humans in the workplace.
But there's also a positive side to botsourcing. The Harvard Business Review's Robots are Starting to Make Offshoring Less Attractive states:
advances in robotics and associated technology are having a positive impact on local manufacturing and services and both sustaining and creating jobs. In developed economies, they have even sparked a trend toward the return of jobs from overseas, or “botsourcing.”
The article argues that through the use of robotics and automation the cost of making things in developed countries like the U.S. has gotten cheaper.
Add in lower energy costs due to fracking, higher labor costs in the developing world and the costs and risk associated with global supply chains and it's easy to see why manufacturing is starting to move back to the U.S.
While we will continue to see many more articles raging against the machines, it's also nice to see that some coverage points out the positive aspects of automation.