The Wrong Inequality Solution: No One Has Anything

The Wrong Inequality Solution: No One Has Anything

Robots are presented at the Robotics event Innorobo in La Plaine Saint-Denis on May 26, 2016. / AFP / ERIC PIERMONT (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images) The approach to the inequality question has typically been how to either create or redistribute wealth so that those at the bottom of the economic ladder have more. Inherent in that approach is an assumption that societies have the time and choice to lift up those without, compressing the difference between haves and have-nots.

But there’s another approach, one that we seem blindly headed for, that could largely reach a reduction in […]

Relax, a robot might not take you job after all

Relax, a robot might not take you job after all

Worried about being replaced by a robot? According to some recent forecasts many workers should be. There are gloomy predictions that even high-wage, knowledge jobs in finance, law and medicine won’t be spared amid the relentless rise of smart machines.

A striking 2013 study by Oxford University academics Carl Frey and Michael Osborne said 47 per cent of all employment in America is "at risk" of being replaced by computers and algorithms in the next 10 to 20 years. Earlier this year a CSIRO put the proportion of Australian jobs vulnerable to automation at a worrying 44 per cent.

But now […]

The Age of Automation – the End of Mass Employment?

So, a different topic I read and thought I’d post because it’s so slow in the Lounge since the server crash lost a bunch of threads…

It is pretty clear that the trend lines suggest that it will not be too very long before machines will make a lot of existing jobs that people do obsolete. It’s also becoming clear that new types of jobs are not being invented by new technology as quickly as technology is destroying existing jobs.

Now think about what that means for the basic assumptions and values our existing society is […]

Amazon’s robot army fuels expansion

Amazon's robot army fuels expansion

TRACY — In Amazon’s million-square-foot order-filling warehouse, two low-slung orange robots carrying stacks of consumer products are zipping across the floor, headed right at each other. One stops — not on a dime, it turns out, but rather over a QR code stuck to the floor — and allows the other to proceed, carrying inventory to a human worker who will pluck out an item, scan it and send it off for packing and shipping.

In this building the size of 28 football fields, containing four miles of conveyor belts and 15 million items awaiting customer orders from Northern California […]

Vote: Are you afraid a robot will take your job?

I’ve written about the momentous potential effects on employment of the revolution ahead in automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (see here and here ).

This week I got some company with Eduardo Porter (a fellow native Phoenician) in his New York Times column. He contends that the consensus among economists was “fraying.” It held that automation has happened since the Industrial Revolution and still didn’t lead to long-term, massive unemployment. People merely took new jobs.

But this time might be different. He writes : “As the idea sinks in that humans as workhorses might also be on the way out, what […]

The digital economy needs defending from the hard left and the far right

The digital economy needs defending from the hard left and the far right

Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office Automate work, humanize jobs. That needs to be the mantra of the digital economy, according to Matt Hancock, who as Minister for the Cabinet Office in the UK government, has responsibility in part for fostering the digital revolution.

Hancock set out his stall at the 2016 Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture. For the benefit of non-UK readers, Sir Keith Joseph was a British politician, whose long career saw him serve as a minister under four Conservative Party Prime Ministers – Harold McMillan and Alec Douglas-Home in the 1960s, Edward Heath in the 1970s and […]



The current productivity numbers do not reflect it yet, but could soon impact employment in a multitude of fields. Is your current job, or the career you are currently studying for, going to be around when the new wave of technology hits? You could find yourself being replaced by automation, and that day might be closer than you think.

I want you to think in terms of clerical work and professional services. Technologies like the Web, artificial intelligence, big data, and improved analytics, are all made possible by the ever increasing availability of cheap computing power and storage capacity. Many […]

Living in a bubble: Y Combinator’s basic income study is merely a result of white unemployment

Living in a bubble: Y Combinator’s basic income study is merely a result of white unemployment

Workers arrive for a shift at the reopened Chrysler Warren Truck Assembly plant in Warren, Michigan, U.S., on Monday, June 29, 2009. Photo credit: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Silicon Valley’s interest in basic income is based on a false prophecy of tech destroying jobs and wouldn’t be explored if those affected weren’t mostly white

Y Combinator made an announcement last Wednesday that it would pursue a short-term, exploratory study into the concept of a ‘ basic income ,’ a no-strings-attached form of welfare that would be allotted to every citizen of a given city or country. Residents of increasingly […]

The Race Between Machine and Man: Implications of Technology for Growth, Factor Shares and Employment

5 By: Daron Acemoglu ; Pascual Restrepo The advent of automation and the simultaneous decline in the labor share and employment among advanced economies raise concerns that labor will be marginalized and made redundant by new technologies. We examine this proposition using a task-based framework in which tasks previously performed by labor can be automated and more complex versions of existing tasks, in which labor has a comparative advantage, can be created. We characterize the equilibrium in this model and establish how the available technologies and the choices of firms between producing with capital or labor determine factor prices […]

Will A Robot Take Your Job?

Will A Robot Take Your Job?

A new estimate says that robots will perform more than half of all jobs by 2045. But don’t panic. (AP) A new estimate says that robots will perform more than half of all jobs by 2045, leaving the frightening prospect that millions of once solidly middle-class people will be left idle and jobless.

“If machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?” is the alarming question asked by Rice University professor Moshe Vardi , who is the source of the new estimate.

It’s a legitimate question. And Vardi answers it, claiming that the advent […]