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Archive for the ‘employment’ category

Jun 13, 2018

If the Robots Come for Our Jobs, What Should the Government Do?

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, government, robotics/AI

But there’s a recent lesson worth learning from. Globalization and automation caused upheaval in the manufacturing industry from the 1980s through the early 2000s, and millions of factory workers lost their jobs. The disruption to communities is still being felt, and is arguably at the root of a lot of the biggest social and economic problems of this era.


Some big ideas are starting to percolate. But less dramatic ones might work, too.

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Jun 11, 2018

The robot will see you now: how AI could revolutionise NHS

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, employment, health, policy, robotics/AI

NHS hospital bosses are debating a reform involving “widespread adoption of artificial intelligence” and “full automation”.


From diagnosis to recovery, machines could take on a range of jobs, a new report suggests.

Health policy editor.

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Jun 10, 2018

America is unprepared for the “jobs apocalypse” automation will bring

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, robotics/AI

Millions of low-skilled workers who are already being pushed out will need to adapt to the new economy.

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Jun 4, 2018

The Birth of Wetware

Posted by in categories: employment, neuroscience

I t’s an odd thing for someone to say about neurons: “Let’s see if anyone is awake.” And it’s an even odder thing to hear in a cavernous, half-furnished office suite where one whole room is occupied only by copy machines and a lonely foosball table.

Not far from that foosball table, Oshiorenoya Agabi and Benjamin Sadrian are sitting in a lab at their startup, Koniku, in Berkeley, California. Agabi founded the company, and Sadrian is a senior neuroscientist. They are toggling between a microscope and a screen full of blue graphs, looking for signs of activity in a cluster of neurons. Sadrian pauses as he scrolls through slightly fuzzy readouts on the screen, reminiscent of stock charts with buzz cuts. “I wish you’d come later, even tomorrow,” he sighs.

These readouts measure signals inside cells, and Agabi and Sadrian are looking for spikes that would show Koniku’s neurons reacting to a chemical Sadrian exposed them to moments ago. When we examined them under the microscope, they glowed a faint neon green, which indicates they’re starting to mature. A few tentative dendrites reached out into the void, the neurons just beginning to form connections with one another. But the telltale spikes don’t materialize on the screen. At just six days old, these neurons are still too young to do the jobs they’ve been engineered to do.

Continue reading “The Birth of Wetware” »

May 20, 2018

A.I. could be the harbinger of a global socialist revolution

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence and automation stand poised to put millions out of work and make inequality even more pronounced. Is it possible to solve one problem with another?

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May 18, 2018

Introducing The Humans Behind Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

There’s always a lot of talk about how AI will steal all our jobs and how machines will bring about the collapse of employment as we know it. It’s certainly hard to blame people for worrying with all the negative press around the issue.

But the reality is that AI is completely dependent on humans, and it appears as if it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. In fact, as AI grows as an industry and machine learning becomes more widely used, this will actually create a whole host of new jobs for people.

Let’s take a look at some of the roles humans currently play in the AI industry and the kind of jobs that will continue to be important in the future.

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May 9, 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Here!

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, education, employment, government, information science, law, mathematics, robotics/AI

So much talk about AI and robots taking our jobs. Well, guess what, it’s already happening and the rate of change will only increase. I estimate that about 5% of jobs have been automated — both blue collar manufacturing jobs, as well as, this time, low-level white collar jobs — think back office, paralegals, etc. There’s a thing called RPA, or Robot Process Automation, which is hollowing out back office jobs at an alarming rate, using rules based algorithms and expert systems. This will rapidly change with the introduction of deep learning algorithms into these “robot automation” systems, making them intelligent, capable of making intuitive decisions and therefore replacing more highly skilled and creative jobs. So if we’re on an exponential curve, and we’ve managed to automate around 5% of jobs in the past six years, say, and the doubling is every two years, that means by 2030, almost all jobs will be automated. Remember, the exponential math means 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 100%, with the doubling every two years.

We are definitely going to need a basic income to prevent people (doctors, lawyers, drivers, teachers, scientists, manufacturers, craftsmen) from going homeless once their jobs are automated away. This will need to be worked out at the government level — the sooner the better, because exponentials have a habit of creeping up on people and then surprising society with the intensity and rapidity of the disruptive change they bring. I’m confident that humanity can and will rise to the challenges ahead, and it is well to remember that economics is driven by technology, not the other way around. Education, as usual, is definitely the key to meeting these challenges head on and in a fully informed way. My only concern is when governments will actually start taking this situation seriously enough to start taking bold action. There certainly is no time like the present.

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May 4, 2018

Japan, unlike the West, is not scared of robots stealing jobs, deputy leader says

Posted by in categories: employment, finance, robotics/AI

Japan’s labor force do not mind robots in factories because they’re seen as a source of help, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Taro Aso said in a panel discussion at the Asian Development Bank’s annual gathering in Manila.


Unlike many of their Western counterparts, Japanese workers aren’t afraid of robots stealing their jobs, a top-ranking official from the country said Friday.

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Apr 22, 2018

How robots are reshaping one of the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI, sustainability

Maybe these giant bots will stop our landfills from overflowing!


Garbage-sorting robots featuring artificial intelligence and fast-moving arms are now on the job at many recycling centers across the U.S. and around the world.

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Apr 22, 2018

Why robots could replace teachers as soon as 2027

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, employment, finance, robotics/AI

Will they teach humanities?


Some experts have suggested that autonomous systems will replace us in jobs for which humans are unsuited anyway — those that are dull, dirty, and dangerous. That’s already happening. Robots clean nuclear disaster sites and work construction jobs. Desk jobs aren’t immune to the robot takeover, however — machines are replacing finance experts, outperforming doctors, and competing with advertising masterminds.

The unique demands placed on primary and secondary school teachers make this position different from many other jobs at risk of automation. Students all learn differently, and a good teacher must attempt to deliver lessons in a way that resonates with every child in the classroom. Some students may have behavioral or psychological problems that inhibit or complicate that process. Others may have parents who are too involved, or not involved enough, in their education. Effective teachers must be able to navigate these many hurdles while satisfying often-changing curriculum requirements.

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