Concerns that robots may come in for someone else's job is not just a modern fear.

Those fears are easy to understand, especially given high unemployment levels and general uncertainty.

I think there is a long-term, positive case for automation and its potential for transformation across all sorts of UK businesses.

In the 20th century, the robotics revolution in manufacturing increased productivity fifty-fold, meaning that one person in manufacturing could achieve 50 people's work by the year 2000.

That initial phase might sound ominous, on the one hand, but there is also an optimistic way of thinking about this process.

That extra capacity could help staff ensure the business remains profitable and growing.

What has been true in the last century about manufacturing is now becoming true for services.

What's different now is that companies do not need a sophisticated technical team to introduce these capabilities any more.

Instead, even those without training or a background in software can access digital workers to enhance business.

Those workers can be trained to do anything by any business user, from automating basic tasks such as processing payments to more complex ones.

It's comparable to the Internet's early days, when individual computers were suddenly connected.

This allowed for all kinds of new communications and businesses.

What is now accelerating intelligent automation is that this technology, with the help of digital workers, is interoperable with existing systems.

That means that any company can access a comprehensive toolbox of the best state-of-the-art technologies, such as machine learning algorithms, which enables digital workers to deploy on top of existing systems.

So, instead of conventionally thinking - that robots will inevitably kill jobs - the more ambitious question for any business is: do you use this moment of disruption to think differently about your business and its potential?

What could you build at your fingertips with the extra digital workers?

How could we grow our UK economy?

Or do we just want to stick to our kneading, like Queen Elizabeth I?

Jason Kingdon is Chief Executive Officer of Blue Prism Group, a software firm specializing in automation of robotic processes.

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