Will robots take this job? Not bleepin’ likely

Will robots take this job? Not bleepin’ likely

Jared Nelson I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired in one direction or another, so I thought I’d see if I could find an online robot to handle my column-writing duty this week.

Unfortunately, there weren’t that many bots lined up to handle the task.

Sure, there were a few that seemed sort of promising, if I needed a story to just explain a bunch of numbers or compile some basic info on something that happened.But that’s not what this is about. This is about thinking, and feeling, and speculating, and dreaming, and putting all that into some kind of coherent form and […]

Why automation is more than just a job killer

A new study by PwC suggests that AI and related technologies could result in minimal net job losses. But isn’t technology supposed to eliminate the need for human labour? How can automation occur and yet not make a dent in overall job numbers?

The answer is that automation comes in many guises. While the media is fixated on machines that substitute for humans, less attention is paid to those that augment labour. And seldom is it recognised that machines might in effect create tasks, doing work that was never done by a human previously.

At least four types of automation can […]

No Robo-Apocalypse

No Robo-Apocalypse

It is now conventional wisdom to think that rapid automation and advances in artificial intelligence will eventually render most professions obsolete, ushering in an age of mass unemployment. But there is no economic law that says workers must lose out when new innovations are introduced.

DURHAM – The new Gilded Age is here. As the rich and powerful collect the most advanced technological gadgets, average workers are increasingly concerned about the “ rising tide of automation .”

There is plenty of fodder for a narrative about the inevitable large-scale displacement of workers by robots. Proliferating reports assert that technological unemployment will […]

Building an AI safety net

Artificial intelligence and related technologies will create as many jobs as they destroy in the UK over the next 20 years, according to PwC. The consultancy says its current forecasts suggest that the overall net effect of AI on UK jobs may be broadly neutral.

The economic sectors set to see the largest net increase in jobs due to AI over the coming two decades include health (+22%), professional, scientific and technical services (+16%) and education (+6%), according to PwC forecasts .

However, there’s bad employment news for others. The largest net long-term decreases in jobs will be in manufacturing (-25%), […]

Should you worry about automation taking your job? Yes!

Should you worry about automation taking your job? Yes!

Artificial intelligence continues to dominate the technology news. AI startups are blossoming like desert flowers after a spring rain. Venture capital continues to flow into these startups at a fantastic rate. There’s a lot of money being made, but what is the impact of AI on the economy as a whole? More importantly, what is the effect of increased automation on people’s jobs?

In the past, automation tended to affect blue-collar jobs, such as factory workers. This continues to be true, but the reach of AI is growing, which means even more manual labor is destined for automation. This will […]

From picking to pollinating, agribots are pushing farming into the future

From picking to pollinating, agribots are pushing farming into the future

A shiny, metallic one-armed robot wheels along the rows of red pepper plants, its video camera bobbing up and down to spot the ripened fruit. When it zeros-in on one, the arm, equipped with a gripper distantly resembling a human hand, stretches out and grasps the pepper, while a quick swish of a knife cuts it off the vine. The bot may not look like the elegant C-3PO from Star Wars , but don’t shrug it off as yet another dummy automation. This pepper-picker is a new breakthrough in modern engineering: a sophisticated AI-equipped machine, built by the leading […]

Robots on the job could ‘automatically’ mean losing yours

Robots on the job could ‘automatically’ mean losing yours

Are modern technological innovations now of such intensity and scale that in the future it is likely to see fewer job opportunities across the Western world and a sharp increase in leisure time? The disruption caused to the job market by Industry 4.0, robotization and the rise of people-free delivery services is already well-documented. There is evidence to suggest that changes will happen on a significant socio-economical scale, compared with the sporadic technical upgrades we have seen until now.

However, it raises several interesting questions: as a workforce are we ready, socially and psychologically, for an increase in leisure time?

Can […]

With changes in education and fair wages, technology can be a worker’s friend

With changes in education and fair wages, technology can be a worker’s friend

In a speech in Perth to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Karen Chester, the deputy chair of the Productivity Commission, has provided a bit of pushback on the doom and gloom scenarios about the future of work. But that does not mean things will all go smoothly. Chester argues for changes to education and greater incentives to move into work not able to be automated to ensure technology provides “not just more jobs but jobs for most”.

The easy headline – especially given numerous recent studies such as those done by the IMF – is to be fearful […]

Fewer Israeli Arab Men Have Jobs – and Wage Growth Has Stalled

Fewer Israeli Arab Men Have Jobs – and Wage Growth Has Stalled

File photo: An Israel-Arab construction worker near Ma’aleh Adumim. For years Israeli policy makers have focused with some success on coaxing ultra-Orthodox men and Arab women into the workforce. But as research from the Israel Democracy Institute shows, fewer and fewer Arab men have jobs and their wage growth is lagging behind other Israelis.

And the problem, says Eitan Regev, an economist and a research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, is likely to worsen as the needs of Israel’s high-tech economy diverge from the kind of jobs Israeli Arab men can perform because of their low education levels.

Among Jewish […]

AI and robotics forecast to generate 7.2 million jobs

AI and robotics forecast to generate 7.2 million jobs

A new report by PwC found that employees fear robots will replace them and artificial intelligence (AI) could, in fact, create as many jobs as it displaces.

According to the report, 7.2 million jobs could be created over the next 20 years, a slight edge on the 7 million job losses also predicted in the report.

“Artificial intelligence is a relatively new technology, and this unfamiliarity can cause people to feel uncertain about it. There is a massive wealth of opportunity with the implementation of Artificial Intelligence in terms of the jobs it will create, but there is also the need […]