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Aug 18, 2020

A Human-Centric World of Work: Why It Matters, and How to Build It

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

Ogba Educational Clinic


Long before coronavirus appeared and shattered our pre-existing “normal,” the future of work was a widely discussed and debated topic. We’ve watched automation slowly but surely expand its capabilities and take over more jobs, and we’ve wondered what artificial intelligence will eventually be capable of.

The pandemic swiftly turned the working world on its head, putting millions of people out of a job and forcing millions more to work remotely. But essential questions remain largely unchanged: we still want to make sure we’re not replaced, we want to add value, and we want an equitable society where different types of work are valued fairly.

Continue reading “A Human-Centric World of Work: Why It Matters, and How to Build It” »

Aug 18, 2020

VB Special Issue: Automation and jobs in the new normal

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

Aside from staying alive and healthy, the biggest concern most people have during the pandemic is the future of their jobs. Unemployment in the U.S. has skyrocketed, from 5.8 million in February 2020 to 16.3 million in July 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But it’s not only the lost jobs that are reshaping work in the wake of COVID-19; the nature of many of the remaining jobs has changed, as remote work becomes the norm. And in the midst of it all, automation has become potentially a threat to some workers and a salvation to others. In this issue, we examine this tension and explore the good, bad, and unknown of how automation could affect jobs in the immediate and near future.

Prevailing wisdom says that the wave of new AI-powered automation will follow the same pattern as other technological leaps: They’ll kill off some jobs but create new (and potentially better) ones. But it’s unclear whether that will hold true this time around. Complicating matters is that at a time when workplace safety has to do with limiting the spread of a deadly virus, automation can play a role in reducing the number of people who are working shoulder-to-shoulder — keeping workers safe, but also eliminating jobs.

Even as automation creates exciting new opportunities, it’s important to bear in mind that those opportunities will not be distributed equally. Some jobs are more vulnerable to automation than others, and uneven access to reskilling and other crucial factors will mean that some workers will be left behind.

Aug 10, 2020

The Global Work Crisis: Automation, the Case Against Jobs, and What to Do About It

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

In the end, we look back at our careers and reflect on what we’ve achieved. It may have been the hundreds of human interactions we’ve had; the thousands of emails read and replied to; the millions of minutes of physical labor—all to keep the global economy ticking along.

According to Gallup’s World Poll, only 15 percent of people worldwide are actually engaged with their jobs. The current state of “work” is not working for most people. In fact, it seems we as a species are trapped by a global work crisis, which condemns people to cast away their time just to get by in their day-to-day lives.

Technologies like artificial intelligence and automation may help relieve the work burdens of millions of people—but to benefit from their impact, we need to start changing our social structures and the way we think about work now.

Continue reading “The Global Work Crisis: Automation, the Case Against Jobs, and What to Do About It” »

Aug 9, 2020

The covid-19 pandemic is forcing a rethink in macroeconomics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, employment, policy

« In the form it is known today, macroeconomics began in 1936 with the publication of John Maynard Keynes’s “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”. Its subsequent history can be divided into three eras. The era of policy which was guided by Keynes’s ideas began in the 1940s. By the 1970s it had encountered problems that it could not solve and so, in the 1980s, the monetarist era, most commonly associated with the work of Milton Friedman, began. In the 1990s and 2000s economists combined insights from both approaches. But now, in the wreckage left behind by the coronavirus pandemic, a new era is beginning. What does it hold? »


It is not yet clear where it will lead.

Continue reading “The covid-19 pandemic is forcing a rethink in macroeconomics” »

Aug 7, 2020

Millions of Americans Have Lost Jobs in the Pandemic — And Robots and AI Are Replacing Them Faster Than Ever

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, employment, government, health, internet, robotics/AI

Many organizations will likely look to technology as they face budget cuts and need to reduce staff. “I don’t see us going back to the staffing levels we were at prior to COVID,” says Brian Pokorny, the director of information technologies for Otsego County in New York State, who has cut 10% of his staff because of pandemic-related budget issues. “So we need to look at things like AI to streamline government services and make us more efficient.”


For 23 years, Larry Collins worked in a booth on the Carquinez Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area, collecting tolls. The fare changed over time, from a few bucks to $6, but the basics of the job stayed the same: Collins would make change, answer questions, give directions and greet commuters. “Sometimes, you’re the first person that people see in the morning,” says Collins, “and that human interaction can spark a lot of conversation.”

But one day in mid-March, as confirmed cases of the coronavirus were skyrocketing, Collins’ supervisor called and told him not to come into work the next day. The tollbooths were closing to protect the health of drivers and of toll collectors. Going forward, drivers would pay bridge tolls automatically via FasTrak tags mounted on their windshields or would receive bills sent to the address linked to their license plate. Collins’ job was disappearing, as were the jobs of around 185 other toll collectors at bridges in Northern California, all to be replaced by technology.

Continue reading “Millions of Americans Have Lost Jobs in the Pandemic — And Robots and AI Are Replacing Them Faster Than Ever” »

Aug 1, 2020

Army Guard begins to reorganize force into eight divisions to prepare for possible fights with Russia and China

Posted by in categories: employment, terrorism

WASHINGTON — The Army National Guard will move most of its brigades under the command of its eight division headquarters as it reorganizes its fighting formations to give the force more combat power and some soldiers new career opportunities, officials said.

The Guard move will mark a substantial increase in the number of fully manned divisions that the Army can deploy, as only the service’s 10 active-duty divisions are now filled out with subordinate units, said Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the director of the Army National Guard. The increase to 18 complete Army divisions comes at a time when service officials believe a major conflict with a near-peer rival — namely Russia or China — would require the employment of full divisions, he said.

For the last two decades, the Army has focused on its smaller brigade combat teams as its primary fighting elements for counterterrorism operations and deployments focused on assisting the forces of other nations.

Continue reading “Army Guard begins to reorganize force into eight divisions to prepare for possible fights with Russia and China” »

Jul 20, 2020

How demand for robots and automation accelerated during the pandemic

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

The pandemic has accelerated demand for robots and automation. Robots have been regulated to marketing jobs, receptionist duties, and companionship for the elderly. But they’re really starting to come into their own and have practical use. Let’s take a look at how.

Supermarkets started to adopt robots to free up employees who previously spent time taking inventory to focus on disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces and processing deliveries to keep shelves stocked.

These retailers insist the robots are augmenting the work of employees, not replacing them. But as panic buying stops and sales decline in the recession, companies may no longer have a need for these workers.

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Jul 19, 2020

Elon Musk: ‘A.I. will make jobs kind of pointless’ — so study this

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, employment, robotics/AI

Do you agree?


Elon Musk may be a strong proponent of all things tech. But he’s far from positive on its implications for the jobs market.

In fact, the Tesla CEO says one of tech’s great developments — artificial intelligence — could spell the end of many jobs altogether.

Continue reading “Elon Musk: ‘A.I. will make jobs kind of pointless’ — so study this” »

Jul 15, 2020

Scott Morrison targets cybercrime with $748m in new initiatives and expanded security workforce

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, employment, government

Scott Morrison will unveil $748m in new cyber security initiatives, with the planned reallocation of resources from within the defence portfolio rising to $1.35bn over a decade once the government unveils a new cyber security strategy in coming months.


Resources reallocated from defence portfolio are planned to rise to $1.35bn over a decade with 500 new jobs created.

Continue reading “Scott Morrison targets cybercrime with $748m in new initiatives and expanded security workforce” »

Jul 14, 2020

Tim Cook Joins White House to Tell Unemployed Americans to Learn to Code

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, employment

Ivanka Trump, a woman with a lifetime career guarantee and a net worth equalling the GDP of a small African country, has a plan for the millions of unemployed workers, many of whom lost their jobs during the pandemic: “Find Something New.” The initiative, in partnership with the nonprofit Ad Council, Tim Cook, and IBM executive chairman Ginni Rometty, sounds like the familiar Obama-era “learn to code” trope and not exactly on-brand with the Make American Great Again promise of told Ivanka to take her own advice.

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