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WE, ROBOT

The day when humans and robots work side by side is coming. Companies must prepare for this inevitable evolution in the workplace to ensure people will be safe in this environment.

By James Tehrani


PREPARING FOR THE EVOLUTION

PREPARING FOR THE EVOLUTION

"The day when humans and robots work side by side is coming. Companies must prepare for this inevitable evolution in the workplace to ensure people will be safe in this environment."

MAYBE 10 FEET OR SO BELOW AN ELEVATED PLATFORM, A homogeneous group of onlookers dressed to the nines—suits, ties, hats, gloves, dresses and blazers abound—seem mesmerized by the novelty that hovers above them. The way they look up at the behemoth, almost transfixed with their necks strained, one could easily misconstrue this curious group as people ready to meet their future overlord.

But after witnessing a 7-foot-tall, 265-pound, gold-colored metal “man” speaking hypnotically and moving methodically, who could blame them for gawping?

This scene took place at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York—less than two decades after Czech writer Karel Čapek first used the term “robot” in his play that has been translated as “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” The “World of Tomorrow” motto was showcased at the fair that year in a massive 1,200-acre area at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. But the protractor-shaped platform inside this exhibit, no bigger than about 50 or 60 square feet, becomes the center of attention in a promotional video shot in “Wizard of Oz”-like Technicolor that is certainly not as vibrant as the film that also debuted that year and gave Judy Garland her signature role as Dorothy.

MAYBE 10 FEET OR SO BELOW AN ELEVATED PLATFORM, A homogeneous group of onlookers dressed to the nines—suits, ties, hats, gloves, dresses and blazers abound—seem mesmerized by the novelty that hovers above them. The way they look up at the behemoth, almost transfixed with their necks strained, one could easily misconstrue this curious group as people ready to meet their future overlord.

But after witnessing a 7-foot-tall, 265-pound, gold-colored metal “man” speaking hypnotically and moving methodically, who could blame them for gawping?

This scene took place at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York—less than two decades after Czech writer Karel Čapek first used the term “robot” in his play that has been translated as “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” The “World of Tomorrow” motto was showcased at the fair that year in a massive 1,200-acre area at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. But the protractor-shaped platform inside this exhibit, no bigger than about 50 or 60 square feet, becomes the center of attention in a promotional video shot in “Wizard of Oz”-like Technicolor that is certainly not as vibrant as the film that also debuted that year and gave Judy Garland her signature role as Dorothy.

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