SEOUL, Nov. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – With new breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and other next generation technologies seemingly unveiled every other day, the potential impact of these innovations has drawn a line between optimists and pessimists, with the latter found to outnumber the former by a considerable margin, at least in South Korea.
On November 13, big data analysis firm Daumsoft compiled the total number of mentions in the news, social media and blogosphere pertaining to automation, from July 15 to November 9.
From its analysis, Daumsoft found that among establishments, convenience stores were cited most frequently in conjunction with automation with 1,826 mentions. Next, in order from most frequent to least, were apartments, restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations with 391, 333, 295 and 257 mentions, respectively.
Daumsoft also found that overall, the online community veered towards pessimism regarding the advent of automated businesses. Only 38 percent of related online posts and comments used words signaling approval or positive feelings.
A large portion of the negativity towards prospective automated convenience stores stemmed from the concern over loss of jobs, with 88 percent of the pessimistic statements containing the related keywords “concern” and “insufficient”. Others less commonly used were “vulnerable”, “not safe”, “unfamiliar” and “unfortunate”.
Last December, news coverage of “Amazon Go”, the offline, partially-automated grocery store, aroused both excitement and apprehension for what seemed to be a harbinger of a future devoid of human workers.
These emotions were further stirred up in April, when The Nikkei reported that the five major convenience store chains in Japan, among them Seven Eleven and Family Mart, would roll out an automated, self-serve checkout system by 2025.
As mentioned, not all online commentary over automation was doom and gloom; “groundbreaking” and “attention-grabbing” were two of the more frequently occurring words used to describe the latest trends.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)