Automation nation

Automation nation

Drawing by Jim Barber for the Highland Community News I walked into the McDonald’s on Base Line a few days ago, a rare occasion for me. Not that I disdain fast food, although I went for 14 months without it before coming out of retirement to work for the Century Group.

It’s that I always do the drive-thru. However, the driver’s side electric window is busted and I’ve been too busy — or lazy or cheap — to fix it.

So I walk in and see machines where you can punch a few buttons to order your food. It was 6 […]

Estimates of job loss due to automation miss one big factor

Predicting the scale of AI-induced job losses has become a cottage industry for economists and consulting firms the world over. Depending on which model one uses, estimates range from terrifying to totally not a problem.

Since 2013, the most cited predictions include a study from Oxford University that predicted 47% of US jobs could be automated within the next decade or two; an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report that suggested just 9% of jobs in the United States were at high risk of automation; PwC research that found 38% of jobs in the United States were at […]

Half of Aussies not convinced automation is good

Half of Aussies not convinced automation is good

The research, conducted by Nature on behalf of SEEK, found that less than half of Australians view automation and artificial intelligence (AI) as being “probably a good thing” (48 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively).

Of those that do, the main benefits were identified as increased efficiencies (47 per cent), less repetitiveness (46 per cent) and freeing up people’s time (35 per cent).

Surprisingly, it was not just younger adults who are more receptive to these technologies and more positive about their impacts: Baby Boomers (those aged 55 to 64 years), combined with Generation Z (those aged 18 to 24) […]

To fix the unemployment problem, India must strengthen the manufacturing sector

To fix the unemployment problem, India must strengthen the manufacturing sector

The rapid service-led growth experience over the last decade has led credence to the belief that not only has India leapfrogged the phase of manufacturing-led development and set out its own idiosyncratic path of structural transformation, but also that the idea of manufacturing-led growth is obsolete. This could not be further from the truth The Labour Bureau’s last household survey (2015-16) reports India’s unemployment rate at 3.6% (by the Usual Principal Subsidiary Status definition), a figure lower than that of several advanced economies. So why are jobs such a hot button issue?

Dig a bit deeper and startling facts emerge. […]

3 ways robots can support human workers

3 ways robots can support human workers

The enterprise is beginning to embrace the use of robotics in automating daily processes, especially in the manufacturing and industrial industries. The increase in automation in these sectors alone is so significant that it will boost the global robotics market to nearly $150 billion USD by 2025, according to a recent study by Transparency Market Research.

One continent in particular is spearheading business automation: North America . This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as US tech giants like Alphabet and Amazon continue developing robotics and automated processes via artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. […]

Adair Turner: ‘Every politician’s wrong about productivity’

Adair Turner: 'Every politician’s wrong about productivity'

‘Sometimes a useful role in public debate is to throw something deliberately provocative into the pond!’ Adair Turner is being provocative again. Almost a decade ago now he scandalised bankers and traders (although not the general public) when he declared the work of financiers to be “socially useless”.

A few years ago he made himself almost equally unpopular in central banking circles by suggesting they should consider monetising debt to rebalance their economies. Between Debt and the Devil by Adair Turner, book review

And now Baron Turner of Ecchinswell’s latest thesis is that politicians, everyone from the Chancellor Philip […]

Doctor Who: Kerblam!

Doctor Who: Kerblam!

Episode 7 of the first season with Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor is called “Kerblam!” We learn why very early in the episode, as the Doctor receives a teleport delivery via robot. Kerblam, we are told, is the biggest retailer in the galaxy. The Doctor had apparently ordered a fez some time ago and forgotten about it. If that were true and there were no other factors, we would think that the company was very late in delivery. But on the one hand, this might have been the Doctor passing through the earlier time period in which the order […]

Why AI Creates Jobs And New Work Opportunities

Why AI Creates Jobs And New Work Opportunities

Right now, we’re living on the precipice of a fourth industrial revolution. The first industrial revolution brought us steam power and machinery. The second brought electrical power, and with the third came the internet.

Which brings us to number four. But this new revolution, driven by artificial intelligence and automation, is taking a different tack from the previous ones. Those movements were all about introducing new technologies and new ways of working and then dropping them on top of how we did things already. This new revolution is about the fusion of people and technology, blurring the lines between the […]

AI and Automation Will Replace Most Human Workers Because They Don’t Have to Be Perfect—Just Better Than You

AI and Automation Will Replace Most Human Workers Because They Don't Have to Be Perfect—Just Better Than You

Sawyer the Robot will work for the equivalent of $4 per day. And he’s never in a bad mood. Can you compete with that? Route 9 skims by Boston and cuts clear across Massachusetts to Pittsfield, a city of roughly 50,000, the largest in Berkshire County. Well east of Pittsfield, Route 9 becomes Worcester Road, named for a city that in earlier times was the nation’s largest manufacturer of wire—barbed wire, electrical wire, telephone wire and the wire used in the making of undergarments by the Royal Worcester Corset Co., once the largest employer of women in the United […]

Intelligent machines prepare to take over your treasured job

Intelligent machines prepare to take over your treasured job

Picture this: You are cruising along Uhuru Highway and all of a sudden, your car comes to a halt exactly two metres from the car in front of you without you having hit the brakes. After 30 minutes on the road, you arrive at the main entrance of your workplace at the exact time the car informed you when the journey started.

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You disembark and make your way to your office just in time to see the car park itself as you peer through the window to confirm that […]