Exploratory Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics
characterizing the long term tendencies of capital and labor costs -- with indications that the latter may warrant classification as “rising” relative to the former.
Evaluating the prospective effects of advances in computer-aided manufacturing,
or programmable automation also requires more complex considerations as well as still
likely to affect all unit input requirements as well as the factor proportions encompassed by the “network of productivity relationships”, they tend to alter longer term trends in capacity levels as well as in capacity utilization, and their effects are likely to reach beyond production operations to modify mana- gerial planning and control systems as well as the organizational structure of firms.(’ )
ROBOTICS, MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS
Some Basic Perspectives on the Determinants of International Competitiveness
The growing national concern with the declining international competitiveness of a significant array of major U.S. industries has generated a stream of pro- posals for remedial action. Unfortunately , most of these are based on untested assumptions about the general causes of such lagging competitiveness instead of on penetrating analyses of the specific industries affected.
It is important to recognize that foreign competitive pressures no longer
such pressures are dustries as well. telecommunications,
intensifying over a wide spectrum of “high technology” in- Examples of the latter include: semi-conductors, computers, sophisticated robotics, aircraft and flexible manufacturing
industries, which are also
the panic-induced proposals major sources of employment
to abandon our older and income, would merely
intensify problems of domestic welfare and military security.
It is important,
of course, to foster the development though they are likely to make only
of newly emerging industries because, al- modest contributions to employment, income
(5) For a brief summary of some of these effects, see B. Gold,
E v a l u a t i o n s o f C o m p u t e r - A i d e d M a n u f a c t u r i n g S y s t e m s , p r o c e e d i n g s o f S o c i e t y o f M a n u f a c t u r i n g ‘1: fact West Conferencet F o r a m o r e d e t a i l e d r e p o r t , s e e G o l d , A n I m p r o v e d a n d o f C o m p u t e r - A i d e d M a n u f a c t u r 1980). i n g Council Committee on Report to the National Research
Vol 1 (Deaborn~
Managerial Eval~tiOn D. c.
Utilization March 19810