If Amazon Go technology goes big, grocery workers may get the sack

If Amazon Go technology goes big, grocery workers may get the sack

In 1912, the first Horn & Hardart automat opened in New York City.

A combination of high-tech ingenuity and frugal convenience, the automat was a restaurant that cut out costly servers. Patrons fed coins into streamlined sets of vending machines to get main courses, side dishes and desserts among hundreds of choices.

The concept actually originated in Germany in 1895. Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart licensed it for the United States, opening first in Philadelphia. But it became a Big Apple icon, a backdrop for many movies. As one appreciation described it , “Dining was communal and cafeteria-style, to the extent […]

Automation causes trade

Automation causes trade

David Levey pointed me to a Samuel Hammond review of a book by Oren Cass , who is a conservative critic of neoliberalism: Accelerating productivity and automation aren’t to blame for working class woes, either. On the contrary, despite prophecies of robots rendering work obsolete, Cass marshals convincing data to show U.S. manufacturing productivity has essentially stagnated. More importantly, whether job destruction is from automation and globalization has very different implications. When a factory automates a process, output per worker rises and local labor demand may even increase. But when a worker is dislocated by trade, Cass notes, “the […]

Don’t like the left’s ‘jobs guarantee’ idea? Well, the right is cooking up one of its own

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, researcher Max Gulker offers a harsh critique of a “federal jobs guarantee.” Example: “Temporarily unemployed workers, along with millions of low-paid workers, would be diverted into a complex bureaucracy with no mechanism or incentive to put the workers’ skills and time to their best use.” Coal miners wait to start their shifts at the American Energy Corporation Century Mine in Beallsville, Ohio, US, November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts Oh, the idea has problems, such as the possibility of these permanent government gigs possibly crowding out existing jobs. (That and many other problematic issues […]

Japanese fear automation will take more jobs than foreigners

Japanese fear automation will take more jobs than foreigners

Pew survey: Only 15% of adults feel youths will be better off than their parents Nearly 90% of Japanese think robots and computers will take over most of the jobs in the next half century. © Reuters TOKYO — The Japanese public is happier about the economy than at any time in nearly two decades, though few think the next generation will have it as good. People’s biggest fear is automation, not foreigners, taking jobs from local workers.

While 44% of respondents to a Pew Research Center survey said the current economic situation is good, 15% answered that today’s children […]

Long Before the Day After

Long Before the Day After

In Greek mythology, Talos was an automaton that protected Europa in Crete from pirates and invaders: Wikimedia Book: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publication: Jonathan Cape
Pages: 368
Price: 799 The Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari earned fame with Sapiens, a wonderfully lucid prehistory of the human race for the lay reader, and disappointed a little with Homo Deus, a speculation on the eventual future of the human race. Sapiens made the reader think afresh — even the reader familiar with Denisovans and the debate about the cultural accomplishments of […]

New York City high schools should expand vocational education

New York City high schools should expand vocational education

A group of students doing their work in a classroom workshop near Robert Bosch Vocational School in Ulm, Germany. The United States is entering an era of dramatic economic upheaval as the industrial economy – and, increasingly, even the service sector – automates tasks once performed by humans. In 20 years, many of the jobs currently held by people without college degrees, including cab and truck drivers, forklift operators and even line cooks, could be filled by robots. Last year, a report by the McKinsey Global Institute found that up to 73 million American jobs could be lost to […]

Make robots pay taxes? Feds mull ways to adapt to job site automation, ‘gig’ economy

Make robots pay taxes? Feds mull ways to adapt to job site automation, ‘gig’ economy

Print this page A bricklaying robot known as SAM (Semi-Automated Mason) is one of the many examples of the drive toward further automation within the construction industry. PHOTO: Construction Robotics/YouTube OTTAWA—The Liberals have been told to consider taxing robots that displace workers, letting people pay their tax bill in kind rather than with cash, and work to prevent income inequality before it happens.

The ideas are part of a massive government effort to adapt to a rapidly changing workforce and stave off some of the strain it could cause on federal finances.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the access […]

Make robots pay taxes? Documents detail ideas to adapt to changing labour force

Make robots pay taxes? Documents detail ideas to adapt to changing labour force

The Liberals have been told to consider taxing robots that displace workers, letting people pay their tax bill in kind rather than with cash, and work to prevent income inequality before it happens.

The ideas are part of a massive government effort to adapt to a rapidly changing workforce and stave off some of the strain it could cause on federal finances.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the access to information law provide a window into the ideas the Liberals have been asked to consider as they modernize the social safety net and labour regulations.All the ideas are aimed […]

Automation and The Future of Work: How fluent thinking can enhance your hireability and increase your value

Automation and The Future of Work: How fluent thinking can enhance your hireability and increase your value

Fluency of ideas is a highly desirable future work skill, and the ability to come up with multiple ideas around a given topic is something that can be learned and practiced

There is a new line of thinking emerging around the topic of our AI-powered future, and what awaits us in the future of work.

If, in past years, the tone of most conversations has been on the dire side—the robots are coming to take your jobs and such—the winds are blowing in fairer directions as people start to realize the opportunities ahead. In short, we’re discovering there is an […]

As the age of AI looms, what is the future for labour and unions?

As the age of AI looms, what is the future for labour and unions?

Baxter the industrial robot, used on production lines, is on display at the Science Museum at Preview Of The Science Museum’s Robots Exhibition at Science Museum on February 7, 2017 in London, England. (Getty) Christo Aivalis is a postdoctoral fellow in the history department at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Constant Liberal: Pierre Trudeau, Organized Labour, and the Canadian Social Democratic Left.

Every year, Canadians gather in early September to celebrate Labour Day. For many, it serves primarily as summer’s last hurrah. But Labour Day transcends barbeques and the back-to-school blues, stretching as it […]