From Sports Writing to the Association for Advancing Automation with A3 President Jeff Burnstein

Jeff Burnstein is the President of A3, the Association for Advancing Automation. For more than 35 years, he’s been advocating for the use of robotics, machine vision, and motion control across the industrial world. Now more than ever, it seems that many manufacturing leaders are hearing his mission loud and clear.

In this episode, Jeff shares some background on how he initially became interested in automation, evolving out of an initial interest of a career in sports writing. He also explains how A3 helps to broaden the conversation and provides support to industries adjusting to automation. Jeff discusses how robots and automation aren’t the threat to the job market that people sometimes believe them to be and why they’ll improve the quality and safety of jobs instead.

He rounds off the interview by talking about A3’s events and why automation is still in the early innings for many industries.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. Robots are not here to take our jobs. In fact, automation and AI are much more likely to result in better, safer, and more enjoyable jobs in the future.
  2. There’s a well-known talent shortage in manufacturing. We need to do more to attract those from different educational backgrounds, not just the STEM majors.
  3. While automation has been around since the 1960s, we’re still in the early days, and there’s a lot of work to do to integrate automation into every industry.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “You don’t change the education system overnight. But in an increasingly automated world, we have to have talent.”
  • “There are a lot of reasons why manufacturing in the US with automation, or in Canada or Mexico, is a better plan than trying to chase low-cost labor around the world.”
  • “People, when they think about robotics and automation, think because the first robot was installed in 1961, that this must all be a mature industry. No, not at all.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

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What We Discuss with Jeff

  • How someone with a major in English literature built a career in automation
  • Why the Association for Advancing Automation is helping to broaden the discussion around automation
  • Why automation is a good thing for the job market
  • How manufacturing has grown in the US
  • Why we need to do more to educate and encourage the next generation of manufacturers
  • The big trends in manufacturing and automation
  • Why hosts events in automation, robotics, and AI
  • Why automation is still in the early innings

Recommended Resources

  •, the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), North America’s largest automation trade association.
  • Autonomous Mobile Robots & Logistics Conference, A3’s AMRL conference taking place October 12-14 in Memphis, TN
  • Zig Zag Cafe, a hip craft cocktail bar in Seattle, WA with gourmet snacks, tucked away by a staircase near Pike Place Market

Connect with Jeff and A3

LinkedIn | Twitter | Jeff Burnstein