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Artificial Intelligence

Welcome the Cobotic Workforce

Community colleges are training the new humanized-AI workforce

Key points

  • Cobotics (humanized AI) is a workforce game-changer shaping the future.
  • Community colleges are preparing the highly skilled labor force needed for the accelerating cobotic revolution.
  • Media psychology can humanize artificial intelligence.
  • Cobotics is not a threat.

 Gordon Goodman, with permission
How do you spell cobotics?
Source: Gordon Goodman, with permission

Cobotics (collaborative robotics) is a workforce game changer shaping the future. Community colleges are developing programs in artificial intelligence, robotics, and other technical specialties to help American industry and support our evolving culture and economy.

Most of the growing number of new technical program developments are essentially cobotic, combining human and artificial intelligence-based applications. The media psychology and technology of cobotics blends human control and artificial intelligence in ways that change the nature of work in many areas. Cobotics applications are growing as AI machine learning applications increase in the workplace.

Companies need a specifically trained, talented and educated workforce to achieve and maintain a competitive edge. Manufacturing and production methods are changing, and thousands of AI technician positions will increasingly use advancing cobotic technologies to work most effectively.

Cobotics humanizes artificial intelligence-driven machine learning.

GoogleImages Public Domaine
Cobotics humanizes artificial intelligence
Source: GoogleImages Public Domaine

Artificial Intelligence is a game-changing, information studies area, blending humanistic and media psychology, information studies, and computer science. AI includes the development of software applications that stimulate thinking and trigger decisions that apply complex and dynamic data in myriad ways. Self-driving vehicles, all types of robots, facial and voice recognition technologies, rapidly advancing medical uses, space travel, powerful and widely used big-data analytics are examples of AI that are here now.

Advanced AI systems already compose text and produce audio and visual images at a high standard, rivaling human output. Most AI is cobotic, combining human interface and technology. Developers are making efforts to keep cobotics human-centered, especially in new production methods.

Cobotics is not a threat. The emergence of cobotics is presently less intimidating than pure artificial intelligence. For example, the annual 2021 Forester Wave Report (Forester, 2021) reveals a more than 40 percent uptick in undergraduate-level AI courses when compared with the four previous academic years. I predict that organizations that do not harness available cobotic technologies are going to lose out. Community colleges, because they represent a national network of colleges intentionally positioned in communities to be within driving distance of all Americans, have become an essential workforce partner, preparing and providing the necessary labor force needed for the accelerating cobotic revolution. A few examples of career areas and jobs that will change because of cobotics include bookkeeping and data entry, pharmaceutical work, retail services, nurses, manufacturing, assembly, packaging, customer service, many repetitive custom tasks, such as the performance of military professionals, ship crew members, pilots, train, taxi, bus and truck drivers and first responders.

A spotlight is on community colleges as cobotics evolves. Many community colleges are leading the way in advancing the programs and careers noted previously. The national community college network launching and upgrading cobotics programs is growing. Many colleges are pioneering new and unique dimensions of AI-centric cobotics education and training. Together, community colleges are advancing cobotics job and career opportunities nationwide.

Universities, such as UCLA, where I am developing new community college initiatives, is collaborating with local community colleges to help make cobotic visions an applied reality. Simultaneously, leading universities such as Saybrook and Fielding Graduate Universities, Stanford University, and MIT, are among universities developing innovative programs in media psychology and technology, providing academic leadership through faculty development related to cobotics. The American Psychological Association’s Society for Media Psychology and Technology is committed to spearheading the humanistic side of artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

The above colleges and universities are contributing new models to lead the way forward in the same way that early computer technology programs were designed to lead our way into a new world paradigm with the significant and strategic support the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Kellogg Foundation gave millions to community colleges nationwide to build the community college movement and leadership. The Kellogg Community College Leadership Program alumni then spawned community college computer training programs nationwide. In reflection, the smart cobotic revolution is humorously summed up by the late, great Yogi Berra who quipped, “It’s like déjà vu, all over again.”

Cobotics is leveraging the workforce.

LuskinInternational, with permission
Humanistic Psychology
Source: LuskinInternational, with permission

Through applied humanistic technology, cobotics is being gently infused into our daily lives. For example, the common but advanced smartphone camera uses AI features, cruise control is the precursor to improved self-driving, and simulators of all types are coming into wider use for training in many aspects of aeronautics, marine science, health care and manufacturing.

Cobotics will permeate most areas of life as digital technologies are perfected. A trained workforce that is educated with headroom to grow will be needed as businesses of all sizes adopt new cobotic products and applications to competitively survive. A thriving, tech-savvy workforce and the community college programs that train them are indivisible and here to stay.

Community colleges represent a coalition of the willing. Because of workforce needs, community colleges are now on the agenda at the highest policy levels. Talent is a key driver of the economy. Those of us who work with community college leadership welcome the artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and cobotic challenges ahead. Those challenges help to invent future workforce opportunities, launching millions of jobs and careers in the humanistic, artificial intelligence-based, cobotic-supported industries.

Luskin Learning Psychology Series No. 64

Special thanks. Toni Luskin, Ph.D., for editorial and research support.


The Forrester Wave™: Identity-As-A-Service For Enterprise, Q3 2021 by Sean Ryan with Merritt Maxim, Elsa Pikulik and Peggy Dostie, August 31, 2021[1] The Forrester Wave™: Identity-As-A-Service For Enterprise, Q3 2021 by Sean Ryan with Merritt Maxim, Elsa Pikulik and Peggy Dostie, August 31, 2021.

Luskin, Bernard. Cobotics is Becoming a Media Industry Game Changer, Psychology Today, Dec. 30, 2020. Luskin Learning Psychology Series, No. 55.

Tobenkin, David.AI rises across Industries and in community colleges, Community College Daily, American Association of Community Colleges, September 7, 2022.

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