Festival of Work: Why job automation is an opportunity, not a threat

Festival of Work: Why job automation is an opportunity, not a threat

Garry Kasparov shared some insight into what the future workplace might involve. Image: CIPD Job automation was hotly debated by speakers at the CIPD’s Festival of Work conference this week, with many agreeing that it will replace many middle-skilled occupations. But this shouldn’t be seen as a threat to the human workforce, as Ashleigh Webber reports.

Until very recently, job automation and the idea that artificial intelligence (AI) would put swathes of the workforce out of work seemed distant concerns. However, with Amazon recently rolling out 200,000 robots across 50 warehouses and two NHS hospitals in London introducing software […]

PTC LiveWorx 2019 – Paul Roehrig of Cognizant on robots, AR, and the great jobs debate

PTC LiveWorx 2019 - Paul Roehrig of Cognizant on robots, AR, and the great jobs debate

Summary: I’m always a sucker for a robots-and-jobs debate. This time, I joust with jobs optimist and future of work expert Paul Roehrig. But Roehrig brought a LiveWorx twist, tying IoT, AI and augmented reality to the discussion. Paul Roehrig of Cognizant at PTC LiveWorx In my day one PTC Live Worx review, I honed in on views from PTC Augmented Reality customers . But it’s really the intersection of technologies (IoT, AR, AI) where the story gets fascinating. Nowhere is that more true than the future of work, a topic that gets a provocative look via the Cognizant […]

Are Humans and Machines at War?

Are Humans and Machines at War?

Follow @pisackson Peter Isackson is an author, media producer and chief visionary officer of Fair Observer Training Academy. Educated at UCLA and Oxford University, he …. Read more With robots and artificial intelligence destined to take over the economy, does anyone have an idea of how a truce might end the war between man and machine?

Wired features an article with the title, “Inside the Amazon Warehouse Where Humans and Machines Become One.” The author, Matt Simon, reveals in careful detail how Amazon’s robotic factories work today, as seen from the point of view of a human operative. […]

How Emerging Technologies Are Changing the Future of Work

How Emerging Technologies Are Changing the Future of Work

Imagine your workplace ten years from now. Chances are it’ll be very different from today thanks to fast-evolving technologies that are changing the nature of work, the dynamics of the workforce, and the notion of the workplace.

To stay relevant and competitive, you need to understand the impact of emerging technologies on the future of work. You must incorporate these innovations strategically to attract the right talent, increase efficiencies, and improve the bottom line. How the Future Of Work Will Change

Emerging technologies will impact the future of work in these major categories: The Nature Of Work Technologies […]

Advancing the Debate on Taxing Robots

Advancing the Debate on Taxing Robots

Ryan Abbott on left, moderator Gideon Lichfield, and Ryan Avert on right When Bill Gates proposed a couple of years ago that robots taking human jobs should be taxed, I confess that I wondered if Gates was as intelligent as I always thought he was. It seemed a somewhat nutty idea. Why should we tax something that leads to productivity—something our economy desperately needs? And what the heck is a robot anyway in the era of robotic process automation (RPA) and automation software of many other stripes?

The idea seemed so farfetched that I didn’t really take it seriously, but […]

re:MARS Attendee Notes Future Job Loss from Automation and A.I.

re:MARS Attendee Notes Future Job Loss from Automation and A.I.

There has been a lot of tech news coming out of Amazon’s inaugural re:MARS event in Las Vegas last week, some already noted here ( Jeff Bezos Predicts Advanced Robot Hands in a Decade ).

Below, billionaire Amazon owner Jeff Bezos chats up technology at his re:MARS conference. Many reports from attendees centered around all the sparkly new automation and A.I. advances, so it was a relief to find one that addressed the coming threat to human employment from smart machines. Author Kyle Wiggers (linked below) even included a list of dire predictions near the end of his article, […]

Brexit could speed up the rise of the robots in Wales

Brexit could speed up the rise of the robots in Wales

Robot assembling a car. Picture by Steve Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0) Keith Darlington, retired university lecturer in AI

There is widespread agreement on both sides of the political divide that Brexit has become a huge distraction that is eating away at the body politic. One of its consequences is that other important issues are getting scant attention.

One of those is robotics. According to one think tank, almost one in four jobs could be lost in Welsh cities to robotics by the year 2030.These figures could turn out to be worse because, in a week when Ford has announced the […]

Women Face Job Loss from Automation

Women Face Job Loss from Automation

This is a somewhat curious article from the Wall Street Journal because of course women will lose employment when automation takes hold since many millions of women work. The piece uses a new McKinsey study, The Future of Women at Work , that specifically notes, “ Women and men face a similar scale of potential job losses and gains, but in different areas.”

So the focus on women does supply a specific sub-topic of automation to explore.

Robot sales continue to rise, so there is no sign of the smart machine wave disappearing. In fact, when machines become cheaper than workers […]

Five Ways To Create And Implement More Ethical AI

Five Ways To Create And Implement More Ethical AI

With more innovation in artificial intelligence (AI), more unexpectedly dangerous uses — like the OpenAI and Amazon cases — are emerging. Each one is a good reminder to consider the ethics and implications surrounding AI and machine learning (ML).

First, it’s important to note that AI does not, on its own, have any intention (good or bad) or the will to misbehave. Even the most sentient-seeming AI lacks intention or motivation; it’s simply interpreting the data it’s given. Ultimately, with any ethical questions that arise from AI, humans are responsible for creating AI within an ethically sound framework.

With that premise […]

Stop saying “robots are coming for your job”; start saying “Your boss wants to replace you with a robot”

Stop saying

Tech reporter and sf writer Brian Merchant ( previously ) calls our attention to the peculiar construction of the problem statement in articles about automation and obsolescence, in which "robots are coming to steal your job."

The thing is robots don’t (yet) autonomously arrange to show up at your workplace, uninvited, and take your job. Instead, your boss entertains sales calls (or solicits them!) from companies who want to see your work replaced with a robot, and then your boss makes a decision about whether that replacement will come with an equitable sharing of the fruits of automation (shorter hours […]