Amazon has spoken out in support of using robotics for the majority of its warehouse tasks, despite investment in the industry seeing a steep decline last year. 

Speaking to CNBC, Amazon’s vice president of customer fulfilment, Stefano Perego, said he believes human jobs will change rather than disappear – as his company increasingly veers towards total automation. 

Robotic automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have raised concerns for some experts who believe they could have a detrimental effect on human jobs – but Perego refutes that idea.

“I think that what is happening is really a transformation of the type of jobs,” Perego told the publication. 

Adding: “It’s a transformation rather than a substitution.”

The statement comes as Amazon continues to lead in automating warehouse operations. The company has deployed well over 500,000 robots in its facilities across the globe. 

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Amazon’s robotics journey began in 2012 when it acquired Kiva Systems and its automated guided vehicle technology for $775m.  

Since then the US e-commerce and technology giant has been building up an impressive robotics portfolio. 

The company announced its first autonomous mobile robot, Proteus, last year – which is able to work freely around the warehouse without having to be confined to specific areas. 

However, as Amazon continues to grow its robotic fleet, investment in the global robots industry saw a steep decline last year.

In 2022, robotics received $35bn in investment, a stark decrease from 2021 which totalled $59bn, according to GlobalData.

The industry peaked in 2018 with investment totalling $60bn but the Covid-19 pandemic caused two years of decline – falling to just $20bn in 2020.

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.