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Japan Turns to Innovation to Tackle Labor Crisis

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A two-armed robot at work.

The Recruit Works Institute estimates Japan will have a labor shortage of 11 million people by 2040, with the number of people above age 65—who already account for nearly 30% of the population—expected to hit its peak in 2042.

Credit: Nextage

Japan, the world's fastest-aging economy, is turning to technologies like AI, avatars, and robots to address labor shortages.

Industrial robots have been deployed to automate the assembly of reinforcement bars (rebar), one of the most labor-intensive processes in the construction industry.

The trucking industry is turning to self-driving trucks for deliveries, and robots for moving cargo.

Farmers are deploying robots and drones to sow, nurture, and harvest crops.

In the retail sector, some chains are using avatars to greet customers, provide information, and even to staff night shifts and rural stores.

From Financial Times
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