After outperforming their human counterparts, five robots have replaced seven workers as a means of speeding up workflow. The high-tech creations, used as part of a pilot project, were able to complete the same tasks as employees, but are able to work 24/7 without needing breaks, making them a more effective choice overall.
The pilot project took place at St. Galler Kantonalbank (SGKB) in Switzerland, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Five robots were brought in to do tasks that would typically be managed by human workers but outshined their competition since they can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
SGKB, based on the results of the pilot, expressed an intention to bring more robots into their workplace at the end of the month.
Robots were brought in to help transfer information to SGKB from M.M. Warburg Bank AG after SGKB took over the private banking company.
The two financial institutions used different IT systems, requiring the information to be delivered in an Excel file and manually entered into SGKB’s system.
“This happened the same way as if it was done manually by an employee; the robot took the data from a field of the Excel file and transferred it to the corresponding field in the system of the bank,” said General Secretariat of SGKB Adrian Kunz.
Kunz asserted that “the robots did not replace existing jobs.” However, the five robots effectively managed tasks that would usually be assigned to human workers, eliminating seven potential project jobs, according to a report.
“We’ve seen that’s technically feasible, and now we’re exploring whether other applications are worthwhile, and I’m very optimistic about that,” said SGKB management board member Felix Buschor. “The assessment of the potential is in full swing.”
Managers at SGKB admitted that some employees were worried by the presence of the robots, fearing their jobs may be next.
“However, as we have always compensated efficiency gains through natural fluctuation and because we paid close attention to enabling our employees to develop new technologies, the acceptance is high,” said Buschor.
Last year, a report stated that up to 800 million workers could be vulnerable to being replaced by advancing technology, specifically robots, over the next 13 years.