An anonymous reader shares a report: "I think before we go to the phase where it's only robots at every bench, we are going to go through a phase of smarter workers," General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt told reporters on March 30. GE has been investing heavily in futuristic manufacturing techniques. Immelt said that in Lafayette, Indiana -- where GE Aviation is ramping up production for portions of its new fuel-efficient LEAP aircraft engine -- "we're going to add workers, but probably not as many as we would have twenty years ago" and each worker will be "higher value, smarter, more productive." [...] So if phase one is smart workers, what's the next? "I'm not that smart," Immelt said. "I don't know exactly how many phases that we're going to go through. But I think we're going to be in phase 'smart worker' for a fair amount of time. I really do. I think we're better off as a country focusing on the smart-worker phase than going right to 'robots are evil.'"