Latinoamérica en la segunda era de las máquinas

CIUDAD DE PANAMÁ – En la Cumbre de las Américas que se celebrará próximamente en Ciudad de Panamá, dirigentes empresariales y gubernamentales examinarán los problemas económicos que afronta el hemisferio occidental, sobre todo el de cómo apoyar el crecimiento no excluyente después del auge de los productos básicos que se prolongó durante la mayor parte del pasado decenio. Toda estrategia deberá tener en cuenta un fenómeno mundial inevitable: la llamada “segunda era de las máquinas”.

Los economistas del MIT Andrew McAfee y Erik Brynjolfsson, entre otros, han identificado la segunda era de las máquinas con el ascenso de nuevas tecnologías de la automatización y la inteligencia artificial. Mientras que los optimistas predicen que esas innovaciones darán paso a una era de abundancia sin precedentes, otros analistas menos optimistas consideran que casi la mitad de todos los empleos ejercidos actualmente por seres humanos son vulnerables ante la substitución por robots y medios informáticos cada vez más complejos.

Las tecnologías avanzadas ya están penetrando en algunas de las industrias principales de Latinoamérica. Por ejemplo, los fabricantes de automóviles, que emplean a centenares de miles de personas en toda la región, están recurriendo rápidamente a robots que son más eficientes y precisos que los seres humanos. En las zonas cerealeras de Sudamérica, la maquinaria guíada por GPS está reduciendo la necesidad de jornaleros, al tiempo que aumenta la producción.

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