How Does Immersive Technology Improve Work Safety
What is Immersive Technology and How Does it Apply to Safety Training? Immersive technology refers to technologies that aim to create a sense of immersion or presence for the user, usually in a digital or virtual environment. It includes technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and 360-degree video.

  • Virtual reality (VR) technology creates a completely immersive environment by simulating a three-dimensional environment that the user can interact with using a head-mounted display and other input devices.
  • Augmented reality (AR) technology overlays digital information onto the real-world using devices such as smartphones, tablets, or smart glasses.

Mixed reality (MR) combines both virtual and real-world environments, allowing the user to interact with both.360-degree video technology allows the user to view a scene from any angle, creating a sense of immersion in the environment. Immersive technology has numerous applications, including education, training, and simulation, as well as in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and general industry.

  1. The intriguing future of immersive technology and specifically Virtual Reality (VR) has been all the rage as witnessed in TV commercials, social media, and gaming.
  2. In recent years, technology is finding its way into training and specifically into safety training.
  3. And for good reasons! The benefits of Immersive Training utilizing VR simulations and gamified content are impressive.

Overall, immersive safety training is more impactful, learners can learn anywhere at any time, and has been shown to create an environment for better learning retention. There are five major benefits specific to Immersive training. Higher engagement and focus: Do you remember the last instructor-led training session you attended? Maybe you were like me and sat in the back of the room and multi-tasked checking email or texting.

  1. Or maybe you took an eLearning course and kept your mouse hovering over the “Next” button clicking it as soon as possible to get to the next screen.
  2. Or maybe you had the course playing in the background while you worked on other things.
  3. People that engage in these behaviors are not engaged and are not focused on the training.

According to a July 2022 Study by PwC, they found that Immersive learners are 4 times more focused than standard eLearning learners and 1.5 times more focused than traditional instructor-led learners. Ultimately, with a VR headset on, there are no interruptions, and the learner cannot multitask.

They are 100% focused on the training. Creating an emotional connection to training: With increased focus and engagement, comes emotional connection. According to a research study titled “The Influences of Emotion on Learning and Memory”, emotion plays an important role in learning, retention, problem-solving, and motivation to take action.

According to PwC VR Soft Skills Training Efficacy Study, 2020, the average emotional connection to training material is 4.29 for classroom training, 5.29 for eLearning, and 20.43 for VR training. By using VR, learners can experience a simulated environment that closely mimics real-world situations, which can help them develop a deeper understanding of the potential risks and hazards they may encounter in their job.

  • For example, an immersive safety training program featuring VR simulations could simulate an emergency situation, such as a fire or a chemical spill, allowing learners to practice their response to the situation in a safe and controlled environment.
  • The immersive nature of VR can help learners feel as though they are really experiencing the situation, which can create a stronger emotional connection and increase the likelihood that they will remember the safety procedures.

In addition, VR simulations can be used to provide a personalized learning experience that considers the learner’s individual needs and learning styles. By adapting the training to each learner’s specific needs, VR training can help to increase engagement and motivation, which can further strengthen the emotional connection to the safety training.

  1. Overall, VR training can be an effective tool for creating an emotional connection to safety training, as it allows learners to experience simulated situations in a safe and controlled environment, while also providing a personalized learning experience.
  2. Making mistakes safely: We all have heard the saying “practice makes perfect”.

Practicing working safely in an immersive setting allows learners to practice without the fear of getting hurt or hurting others. Making mistakes is an important part of the learning process, as it allows learners to identify areas where they need to improve and develop new strategies for addressing those areas.

  • Immersive training can provide learners with a safe and controlled environment to practice making mistakes without any real-world consequences.
  • For example, in a VR training simulation for a high-stress job like construction safety or manufacturing, learners can practice making mistakes and learn how to respond to unexpected situations without risking harm to themselves or others.

In addition, immersive training can provide learners with immediate feedback on their performance, allowing them to quickly identify areas where they may need to adjust. By making mistakes and receiving feedback in a safe environment, learners can build confidence and improve their skills without the fear of negative consequences.

  1. Building confidence: With higher engagement, focus, emotional connection, and practicing safely, learners have more confidence in the training material.
  2. Because learners “practice” the training in an immersive setting, they are 275% more confident to act on what they learned after the training.
  3. This is a 40% improvement over classroom training and a 35% improvement over eLearning training according to the PwC Training Efficacy Study.

Immersive training can be tailored to the trainee’s specific needs, which can help increase their confidence in their ability to perform a specific task. By providing a personalized learning experience, immersive training can help trainees to feel more comfortable with the skills they need to master in their job.

Fun! Trainers and trainees can get “bored” going through the same old training; day after day; week after week; year after year. Immersive training can be more engaging and enjoyable for both the trainer and the trainees, which can lead to better retention of the material being taught. By creating a realistic and interactive environment, immersive training, such as VR simulations, can help to keep trainees interested and motivated, which can lead to increased retention.

When trainees are engaged in an immersive training experience, they are more likely to remember the information being presented. This is because immersive training can stimulate multiple senses and provide a more memorable learning experience. In addition, immersive training can be designed to be interactive, allowing trainees to actively participate in the learning process, which can help them to retain the material more effectively.

  1. Furthermore, because immersive training provides a more personalized and interactive learning experience, it can help trainees to feel more connected to the material being presented.
  2. This can create a sense of ownership and responsibility for their learning, which can further increase retention.
  3. Overall, immersive training can be a valuable tool for creating a safer workplace by providing employees with a realistic and interactive training experience that simulates real-world situations.

By building the skills and knowledge employees need to perform their job safely and effectively, immersive training can help to reduce the likelihood of accidents or injuries in the workplace, which can improve productivity and reduce costs associated with workplace incidents.

How technology can improve workplace safety?

Rapid innovation in technology is impacting every corner of business operations — and workplace safety is no exception. Advances in nanotechnology, robotics, data analytics, video, and telecommunications are enabling employers to improve workplace safety in a variety of ways, such as better monitoring employees’ health, reducing physical stress, and keeping personnel out of harm’s way.

  1. What are the benefits of immersive technology?

    Save time and increase efficiency – Immersive technology helps people to save time, improve productivity, and increase efficiency. The most common uses are to improve training, help with decision-making, and reduce the risk of injury. It also saves time for both users and businesses as it can provide different real-world experiences for the users in one place.

    What impact will immersive technologies have on businesses?

    2. Speeding up product design and development – Creating ways to design and develop products faster and in a more cost-effective way is a driving force for business innovations across a broad range of sectors. By adopting immersive technologies, organisations can significantly accelerate the product development process and get products to market in less time.

    • Advances in VR means that research and development (R&D) teams can fail fast and learn quickly.
    • This is made possible by innovative platforms such as Future Visual’s VISIONxR, which provide collaborative virtual spaces to test concepts and develop prototypes, without having to invest time and money in physical prototypes.

    Traditional workflows are thrown out the virtual window as interdependent tasks can be carried out simultaneously, significantly speeding up the development process. Moreover, by being freed from expensive and time-intensive physical design processes, R&D teams are given more freedom to think differently, test new ideas and innovate. Future Visual’s collaboration platform VISIONxR

    What is the role of technology in safety?

    Real-Time Monitoring and Data Analysis for Proactive Safety Measures – Technological progress enables real-time monitoring and data analysis, empowering organizations to promptly detect potential safety hazards and take necessary action. Sensors, wearable devices, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions assume a crucial role in collecting and analyzing data related to diverse safety parameters.

    What are the four positive impacts of technology in the workplace?

    An innovative business on the cutting edge of technology is able to empower its remote workers, reap the cost-savings benefits of BYOD policies, and connect its employees no matter how and where they work. It can provide higher-quality products or services, enhance customer service and the user experience, and reduce waste while improving productivity for higher profit margins.

    • All in all, properly utilizing technology in the workplace creates a competitive advantage.
    • In an incredibly crowded and competitive business landscape, any chance to get ahead is worth capitalizing on.
    • If you’re not taking advantage of the benefits of technology in your organization, you’re likely already falling behind the competition.

    It’s important to realize that technology in the workplace has become essential for business success.

    How has technology made the workplace more efficient?

    Cloud-based collaborative tools – Cloud-based collaboration software helps the distributed workforce by providing easy communication options. File sharing, digital whiteboards, and other capabilities help managers manage projects remotely and asynchronously.

    Why are immersive experiences important?

    8 Benefits of Immersive Experiences for Your Business Creating intelligent interactive experiences works wonders for growing your consumer base. Immersive experiences help gain 360 coverage of your product and promote it in a way that allows people to explore all its features visually. Here are 8 key benefits of immersive experiences that technologically transform a business:

      It creates an “undisturbed” flow of interaction between consumer and product. It helps shift gears by putting the customer at the centre of the business process. It improves customer information retention by aligning their creative instincts with product slideshows. It promotes a distraction-free environment to connect with virtual reality cues and amplify the sense of comfort and originality. AI systems provide the next course of action for the user to follow, like registering for a visual demo or final purchase. AI coupling reduces manual intervention. Overlaying virtual content over its real-world counterpart replicates real-life scenarios and provides self-assist solutions for customers. It provides multilingual support for people speaking different languages for ease of access. You can trigger contextual, event-based actions on multiple channels like email, SMS, and WhatsApp to ensure numerous customer touchpoints.

    At Studiowide, we take pride in the unique and innovative immersive experiences that we offer to our clients. From custom AR and VR solutions to interactive 360° content, we have the skills and expertise to bring your marketing campaigns to life. If you’re looking for a fresh and engaging way to reach your target audience, don’t hesitate to contact us and see what we can do for you.

    What is the effectiveness of immersive learning?

    1. Guided Hands-on Exercises – Guided hands-on activities are an excellent technique to give students an immersive learning experience. With this method of instruction, students are given a chance to actively participate in the learning process by carrying out tasks or activities associated with the information being taught while receiving direction and feedback from a teacher or instructional materials.

    Promote active student/trainee participation.Increase real-world relevance of theoretical concepts.Provide learners with immediate feedback on their performance, motivating and encouraging them to continue learning and improving.

    How is immersive technology used in business?

    Marketing Strategist | Metaverse | Immersive Technology | Lead Generation LinkedIn | Customer Relationship Management | Digital Transformation | Unity Developer – Published Feb 22, 2023 The world of technology has been evolving rapidly in recent years, and one of the most exciting developments has been the rise of immersive technology.

    • From virtual reality and augmented reality to mixed reality and extended reality, there are now various immersive technologies available that offer new ways to engage with digital content.
    • Immersive technology has enormous business potential.
    • Immersive technology is creating new opportunities for companies of all sizes, from enhancing customer experiences and employee training to generating new revenue streams.

    One of the most well-known forms of immersive technology is virtual reality (VR). For various uses, including employee training, virtual events, and customer engagement, it provides a wholly digital environment. Contrarily, augmented reality (AR) superimposes digital content into the real world, making it a useful tool for advertising campaigns and product demonstrations.

    Mixed reality (MR) combines elements of both VR and AR to create a more interactive and immersive experience. Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term that encompasses all immersive technologies, including VR, AR, and MR. The applications of immersive technology are numerous. For instance, immersive technology can be used in employee training to create realistic simulations that allow employees to practise real-life scenarios in a safe and controlled environment.

    This can help to improve employee engagement and retention, leading to better performance and productivity. In customer engagement, immersive technology can be used to create interactive experiences that enhance brand awareness and customer loyalty. For example, a retail store can use AR to create a virtual try-on experience for customers, enabling them to try on clothes and accessories without actually physically being in the store.

    • Immersive technology also has the potential to create new revenue streams for enterprises.
    • For instance, virtual real estate is a growing market that enables enterprises to buy and sell virtual land and properties for various purposes, such as advertising, virtual events, and gaming.
    • Overall, immersive technology is changing the way enterprises approach training, customer engagement, and revenue generation.

    As immersive technology continues to evolve and become more accessible, it is expected to play an increasingly significant role in the business world. In this newsletter, we will explore the different types of immersive technologies available and how they can be used by enterprises to improve their operations and drive growth.

    How immersive technologies will shape our future?

    Immersive technologies have paved new ways for us to interact, create and display content on applications. The immersive world is all about transforming the 2D digital experience into virtual reality through sound, light, and even touch. If you have seen the latest TV series, “Upload” you will know how immersive reality can change your lifestyle and directly affect your everyday decisions, including purchasing, creating content, social interaction, etc.

    Immersive VR

    Immersive Virtual Reality is a way of presenting a 3D environment that replaces a user’s real world convincingly enough to be fully engaged in the artificial environment. The mind can be misdirected to believe that the alternate reality or the “metaverse” is real even though it is channeled using a device.

    A device or headset is an integral part of communication between the real and virtual world. VR headsets are the new “website” in the upgrading tech space. Which means that just like slowly having a website became mandatory for every company, having a virtual space or using VR headsets will become the new normal for every company and even household on consumer level.

    There are many elements of VR that affect the way it is perceived and its immersiveness, like continuity of surroundings, conformance to human vision, freedom of movement, physical interaction, physical feedback, narrative engagement, 3D audio, and more! Technology is constantly upgrading to match these norms with the physical device, to make it user-friendly and accessible.2.

    Mobile AR Augmented Reality bends your current reality by adding certain virtual elements. Your dog or cat filters on Snapchat are a fitting example of AR. This technology uses computer vision and machine learning algorithms that can understand the real world in a spatial and semantic sense. For example, imagine walking into a grocery store and an AR bot takes your billing order or guides you to the aisle you want to visit.

    How immersive technologies (AR/VR) will shape our future | Dinesh Punni | TEDxTUBerlinSalon

    This opens a wide scope to generate engaging content through hand-held devices like smartphones, smartwatches, AR glasses, tablets, and more. Mobile Augmented reality is the future of smartphones. It can be accessed through smartphones or MR Glasses. It will help businesses thrive, increase engagement, brand awareness, and support leveraging tech benefits. The aim of immersive technology is to make the illusive reality feel like a real one. This can only happen if a user can replicate the real-world interaction in the immersive one. Haptic is a technology that enables a person to not only replicate movement but also the experience of touch.

    Haptic technology is based on “kinesthetic interaction’. It involves tactile feedback including pressure, vibrations, and movements. Vibration of smartphone keyboards while typing is also a form of haptic technology used for feedback as it gently shows that it recognizes the input. The same way, VR interactions are replicated by touch without controllers.

    You can use your fingers, hands, voice, and eyes to track movements of your avatar in the metaverse. When you lift an object in the metaverse, you know you have raised your hand in the correct angle and applied the necessary gesture and force to make the replication of the action happen.

    This changes the way immersive is perceived overall. You can create real life in the virtual world, interact with people from across the world and collaborate with them to create a lifestyle, upgrade technology and a smart future. There are multiple mediums through which we can use this technology. You can wear haptic gloves, full-body suit, skin-embedded sensors, and even kinetic boots.

    It is expected that this technology will be able to deliver a VR experience like never before.4. Decentralized finances (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) Digital coins will fit perfectly into the immersive world for all types of transactions in the metaverse. It is just like real currency but only accessible in the virtual world. Although, it is directly affecting the real-world economy, hence it plays a significant role in shaping the global future.

    Since there are many currencies, each ruling their own metaverse, these are tradable which makes interactions between the metaverses smooth. Another interesting form is through trade of NFTs. People create, buy, collect digital items which are considered as art. It can be a digital painting, music audio, video, a text, or even full-fledged avatars.

    Anything can be declared as an NFT if it is built as one-of-a-kind using blockchain technology. This encourages people to build the foundation of what we call today “Digital Assets”.5. Digital Identity Digital identity is a feature of immersive technologies.

    • You can use VR, NFT, blockchain and haptics to create a digital identity.
    • It is basically a persona of your avatar who can access various services if they follow the rules of the metaverse.
    • An identity is like creating/having a citizenship which brings control in the virtual universe.
    • They need to address the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to protect the privacy of personal data.

    This immersive technology will bring decorum to the otherwise new democratic Web 3.0. Adoption of Immersive Technologies Having explained these interesting immersive technologies, many other significant types of AR/VR technologies are still in an experimental stage.

    • These technologies are yet to adopt the wide scope and increasing demand.
    • On consumer level, users are looking for more and more i immersive experiences.
    • The consumer behavior has shifted a lot during the pandemic and continues to change.
    • Brands are building and including AR/VR and other immersive ideas into their tech advancements to have a competitive edge.

    On the positive side, accessibility and quality is helping the brands keep up. We can expect adoption of immersive technologies in all brands, no matter the sector, in multiple applications and usescases by the end of the decade. Immersive is the future.

    What is the positive impact of virtual reality on business?

    Advantages of Virtual Reality in Business – Perhaps the most obvious benefit of VR experiences for business is that it can provide employees, stakeholders, and collaborators an immersive experience of a real-world environment in real time. This can help to improve safety procedures and increase productivity.

    Other benefits include the ability to create customized training programs, improve customer service, and even increase sales. Some of the most common industries leveraging this kind of immersive technology for business include: healthcare and pharma, real estate, manufacturing, and supply chain for a variety of use cases, which we’ll describe in greater detail later.

    Let’s dive into some of the most clear advantages of VR applications in business,

    How does virtual reality benefit businesses?

    What are the benefits seen so far of implementing vr in businesses? – Virtual reality (VR) is a game-changer for businesses, providing many benefits such as improving marketing, collaboration, and education. VR creates an engaging work environment that increases employee productivity and can also provide a safe and controlled setting for training and experimentation.

    This helps decision-makers to make more informed choices and understand the impact of their decisions before making a final call. One of the biggest benefits of VR is enhanced training. Employees can practice and learn in a realistic, immersive environment that helps improve their skills and knowledge while reducing risk.

    This technology can also increase safety by training employees in high-risk or dangerous situations, reducing the risk of harm. Another benefit of VR is that it can help businesses differentiate themselves from competitors and create a more innovative, forward-thinking brand image, giving them a competitive advantage. Additionally, VR can provide cost savings by eliminating the need for expensive equipment or travel, and can improve efficiency by reducing the time and resources required for training.

    What is safety basic technology?

    Free JSS1 First Term Basic Technology Junior Secondary School – 2023 Safety is freedom from danger. It is protection from risk of harm or injury. It is also protection against damage to machines, tools as well as the prevention or removal of factors that can lead to accident.

    What are at least 2 positive impacts of technology?

    1. Technology Boosts Business – Many new tech advancements and innovations are made by and for businesses. Why? Because companies are always looking to upgrade their products and services for profit. New technology continues to come out faster than we can keep up with. The purpose is to boost business and make the daily management of enterprises more systematic, structured, and successful.

    • Tech has boosted businesses by improving the hiring process, error-free collection and analysis of business data, and better communication with clients and partners.
    • Additionally, tech has also changed the way we work remotely for the better.
    • It is now commonplace for people to work from home.
    • However, certain tech, like the cloud, has made it easier than ever to work whether you’re at the office or not.

    What’s more, tech has made it effortless to communicate remotely too. Businesses now typically use tools like Slack and Zoom on a regular basis. Advancements in tech have made it easier for more people to access the internet, resulting in online shopping being more popular now than ever. Currently, most people prefer to shop online without leaving the house because of its sheer convenience. Instead of wasting hours in the shopping mall, tech makes shopping simple.

    A few of the benefits of online shopping include cheaper products, saved time, fuel, and energy, easier-to-find items, a wider variety online, and no added pressure. is a great website to do basically all of your online shopping. It’s one of the most popular online shopping platforms because you can practically find everything you’re looking for, from groceries to clothing.

    Generous discounts, cheap shipping, and a massive selection of products are just some of the other excellent benefits of shopping online using Amazon. What’s more, there is an Amazon Shopping mobile app that you can download and use for free. If Amazon isn’t available to you there are plenty of,

    How technology has impacted the employees?

    Key findings – Employee perceptions of automation and its impact

    A vast majority of employees think it unlikely that part (72%) or all (91%) of their job will be automated in the next year. Only 28% employees have received training to prepare for role changes due to automation.32% of employees who anticipate some degree of automation also expect improvements in their job quality

    Impact of change in technology use on performance and employee experience

    32% of employees report a change in their use of one or more technologies in the past year. Of those experiencing a technology use change, 50% feel that they now need more skills and knowledge to carry out their role, and 40% feel that their tasks at work have become more complex.80–93% of employees don’t think that increased technology has improved business performance.

    Wellbeing and work–life balance

    29% employees say that use of portable devices blurs boundaries between work and home life.30% say that their use of portable devices makes it difficult to switch off from work. Around a quarter of employees say their work has had a negative impact on either their physical (24%) or mental health (26%). Social media use for work has risen since 2013, increasing from 27% to 37%.

    Monitoring and surveillance

    45% of employees believe that monitoring is currently taking place in their workplace.86% believe that workplace monitoring and surveillance will increase in the future.73% of employees feel that introducing workplace monitoring would damage trust between workers and their employers.

    Employee voice

    Only 35% of employees and/or their representatives have been consulted on the introduction and/or implementation of new technology. Where employees have not been consulted about technology change, only 20% are positive about the likely impact on their job quality, compared with 70% for those who have been consulted.

    How will technology change the way we work?

    Working with others has become easier – Mobile phones mean we’re constantly in touch and we’re constantly available. We can work anywhere and still stay in touch. Smartphones are like an office in your pocket. In a lot of ways, technology has helped us work with others easily and efficiently. Technology helps us stay connected without the need to be physically present.

    Can technology improve efficiency?

    I often meet entrepreneurs who try to deal with tough times by cutting costs. Unfortunately, cost cutting sometimes gets in the way of making a business more productive and competitive. That’s why I suggest focusing on creating efficiencies in your operations to reduce or eliminate redundancies, wastes and errors—in the process helping you save money.

    How can we use technology safely and effectively?

    – Pin/passcode on devices – always set devices up with a strong pin/passcode lock to ensure personal data and images are secure. – Strong passwords – Make sure you use a mixture of lower and upper case letters, symbols and numbers within a password as this will make it stronger.

    How will technology affect the workplace in the future?

    Simultaneous Impacts from Technology – The technological advances of today are affecting the future of work in three key ways: by scaling and speeding up human capabilities, by substituting labor with machines, and by enabling new ways to access and supply labor.

    • Scaling and speeding up human capability.
    • Technology has been enhancing human capability since the invention of the Gutenberg press.
    • Modern applications of technology to improve productivity are legion, though two examples offer representative scope of today’s possibilities to change the work landscape.

    One is MITx, a pilot project launched by MIT to create a digital replica of the classroom. MIT offered the prototype course “Circuits and Electronics” in March 2012 to over 154,000 students from more than 160 countries. As is typical with massively open online courses (MOOCs), less than 5 percent of registered students passed the course, but that percentage clouds the course’s impact.

    1. In absolute terms, 7,157 students passed in one semester—as many as MIT could accommodate in person in forty years.
    2. A second example comes from the field of robotics, in which recent developments in top artificial intelligence labs are resulting in the development of modern robotic hands that can spin, grip, pick, make beds, and place objects of any size.

    Efforts to enhance and support aging or injured human bodies, and to improve memory and access to information, show equal promise. Substituting labor with machines, Manufacturing provides less than 9 percent of US employment, down from over 30 percent in the 1950s.

    Advancements in automation account for much of this decrease, allowing today’s factories to produce far more product with far fewer people. Jobs across a range of service industries will soon see a similar decline. In fact, in their assessment of the susceptibility of US labor to computerization, Frey and Osborne examined 702 occupations and concluded that roughly two-thirds of US jobs are at high risk or medium risk of being computerized.

    More specifically, the analysis showed that 47 percent of US employment is in high-risk jobs that have a 70 percent to 100 percent probability of becoming computerized in the next ten to twenty years; 19 percent of employment is medium risk, with a 30 percent to 69 percent probability of becoming computerized; and 33 percent is low risk, meaning not likely (0 percent to 29 percent probability) of being computerized.

    • The most vulnerable to least vulnerable jobs move along a continuum from simple, repetitive, and routine to optimizing, complex, and creative.
    • High-risk jobs include equipment operators (notably transportation drivers), jobs that require basic cognitive skills such as inputting data, and a range of administrative jobs.

    On the low-risk end of the continuum are jobs that require higher cognitive ability, such as creativity, cross-disciplinary faculties, technical abilities, and social or emotional connections. These trends are not necessarily negative from a labor, economic, or social perspective.

    Automation can be welcome when it solves a labor shortage or other source of economic friction. For instance, Japan is experimenting with robots in assisted living facilities to address the mismatch between a rising elderly population and a shortage of specialized care workers. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has provided 4.7 billion yen ($45 million) in development subsidies since 2015, and the labor ministry spent 5.2 billion yen ($50 million).

    These investments have resulted in the introduction of more than 5,000 robots in assisted care facilities from March 2016 to March 2017. In another context, language translation is reducing friction in online trading, with significant economic impact: a recent study led by AI expert Erik Brynjolfsson at MIT found that the introduction of a machine language translation application on an online platform led to a 17.5 percent increase in international trade between participants.

    1. The authors conclude that language barriers between humans limit trade, and machine-based translation reduces the need for those humans to engage in translation-motivated searches before executing a transaction.
    2. Notwithstanding these positive applications of automation technology, the speed and scale with which human tasks are becoming automated is uncertain and is very likely to result in significant displacements for workers in the most vulnerable occupations.

    New ways to access and supply labor, As workers are automated out of jobs in the traditional economy, many are embracing independent work accessed through online platforms as an alternative or supplement to traditional jobs. Growth in the Online Platform Economy has enabled more employers and employees, suppliers and consumers, and even suppliers and businesses to find each other and exchange labor and goods.

    • The number of significant online exchange platforms has grown from over forty to more than 120 in the last two years.
    • The JPMorgan Chase Institute segments the Online Platform Economy into four sectors: the transportation sector, which involves drivers transporting human riders and/or goods; the non-transportation labor sector, which deals in services such as dog walking, home repair, etc.; the selling sector, in which independent sellers find buyers through online marketplaces; and the leasing sector, in which people rent their homes, parking spaces, and other assets.

    Transportation dominates in terms of both the number of participants and total transaction volume, accounting for over 60 percent of total platform economy participants and generating as much revenue as the other three sectors combined. The JPMorgan Chase Institute’s most recent report shows 1.6 percent of the 2.3 million families in its sample earned platform income in the first quarter of 2018, up from 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013; 4.5 percent earned platform income at some point during the prior year.

    1. Generalizing these numbers to the 126 million US households suggests that 5.5 million households earned income from the Online Platform Economy at some point during the year.
    2. As a fraction of all jobs, there were almost as many people working in the platform economy in the first quarter of 2018 as there are workers in the information sector (1.8 percent of all jobs in 2016); the 4.5 percent that earned platform income for all of 2017 is comparable to the percentage of workers in public administration (4.6 percent of jobs in 2017).

    Despite the scale of employment in the Online Platform Economy, participant engagement and income from online platforms is more sporadic than in most traditional jobs, and the work typically lacks both benefits and opportunities for advancement. Monthly platform earnings represent an average of 20 percent or less of total take-home income for individuals who participated in the Online Platform Economy in the twelve months captured in the JPMorgan Chase Institute’s data set.

    Of the transportation platform participants who drove at any point in the twelve- month period, 58 percent had earnings in just three or fewer months. In the other sectors, engagement was more sporadic. Moreover, as platforms have grown in number and size, earnings have declined or remained stagnant. Specifically, average monthly earnings in the transportation sector fell by 53 percent between 2014 and 2018, and average earnings in the other three sectors were flat.

    In sum, online platform work does not yet seem to be replacing more traditional sources of income, but it is changing the composition and wages of work for growing numbers of people.