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Mainstream media articles on Automation

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Robo-Advisers for Investors Are Not One-Size-Fits-All. Photo Since the last major stock market plunge, back in 2008 and 2009, a new type of investment adviser has arrived on the scene.

Robo-Advisers for Investors Are Not One-Size-Fits-All

The robo-advisers, as they are commonly known, hold a lot of promise: They can potentially save investors from themselves in volatile markets by providing access to professionally managed portfolios of low-cost investments. They run on autopilot, cost just a fraction of traditional advisers’ fees and are typically available to people with small amounts to invest. But in most cases, investors won’t be assigned to a warm-blooded professional who will be on call should markets plummet, as they have done in attention-getting fashion for most of this year. Instead, customers may receive a video message via email from a well-seasoned adviser, imploring them not to panic, though they can also reach someone at the company via online chat or phone. The End of Work? A World Without Work.


A World Without Work

Youngstown, U.S.A. The end of work is still just a futuristic concept for most of the United States, but it is something like a moment in history for Youngstown, Ohio, one its residents can cite with precision: September 19, 1977. BBC - Capital - The end of middle management? As the US election season gets underway, American politicians are rolling out their usual lines about creating jobs for the middle class.

BBC - Capital - The end of middle management?

It’s a terrific sentiment, but if they’re talking about the middle class that used to populate middle-management jobs in offices around the country, I’m sorry to report that that train has left the station. The sad truth is that middle management is on its way to becoming virtually extinct. While there will always be some people supervising the work of other people, changes in technology, business culture and demographics are all conspiring to upend what has long been standard practice in companies. We should no longer expect traditional job ladders for managers to move up the ranks, or even retaining the notion that middle managers are the glue that connects workers and ensures goal alignment up and down the hierarchy. Washington Post - Sorry, but the jobless future isn’t a luddite fallacy. The arrival of self-driving cars is terrible news for anyone who makes a living driving.

Washington Post - Sorry, but the jobless future isn’t a luddite fallacy

(Eduardo Munoz/Reuters) With the unemployment rate falling to 5.3 percent, the lowest in seven years, policy makers are heaving a sigh of relief. Indeed, with the technology boom in progress, there is a lot to be optimistic about. Washington Post - Job Terminator: Can robots learn your skills? - Washington Post. NYTimes - China’s Troubling Robot Revolution. OVER the last decade, has become, in the eyes of much of the world, a job-eating monster, consuming entire industries with its seemingly limitless supply of low-wage workers.

NYTimes - China’s Troubling Robot Revolution

But the reality is that China is now shifting its appetite to robots, a transition that will have significant consequences for China’s economy — and the world’s. In 2014, Chinese factories accounted for about a quarter of the global ranks of industrial robots — a 54 percent increase over 2013. According to the International Federation of Robotics, it will have more installed manufacturing robots than any other country by 2017. NYTimes - The Machines Are Coming. Machines aren’t used because they perform some tasks that much better than humans, but because, in many cases, they do a “good enough” job while also being cheaper, more predictable and easier to control than quirky, pesky humans.

NYTimes - The Machines Are Coming

Technology in the workplace is as much about power and control as it is about productivity and efficiency. This used to be spoken about more openly. An ad in 1967 for an automated accounting system urged companies to replace humans with automated systems that “can’t quit, forget or get pregnant.” Featuring a visibly pregnant, smiling woman leaving the office with baby shower gifts, the ads, which were published in leading business magazines, warned of employees who “know too much for your own good” — “your good” meaning that of the employer. Why be dependent on humans? NYTimes - New Approach Trains Robots to Match Human Dexterity and Speed. BERKELEY, Calif. — In an engineering laboratory here, a robot has learned to screw the cap on a bottle, even figuring out the need to apply a subtle backward twist to find the thread before turning it the right way.

NYTimes - New Approach Trains Robots to Match Human Dexterity and Speed

This and other activities — including putting a clothes hanger on a rod, inserting a block into a tight space and placing a hammer at the correct angle to remove a nail from a block of wood — may seem like pedestrian actions. But they represent significant advances in robotic learning, by a group of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who have trained a two-armed machine to match human dexterity and speed in performing these tasks. NYTimes - Cheaper Robots, Fewer Workers. Continue reading the main story Video This is the first episode in a Bits video series, called Robotica, examining how robots are poised to change the way we do business and conduct our daily lives.

NYTimes - Cheaper Robots, Fewer Workers

Faced with an acute and worsening shortage of blue-collar workers, China is rushing to develop and deploy a wide variety of robots for use in thousands of factories. BBC - Could a big data-crunching machine be your boss one day? 8 October 2014Last updated at 19:04 ET By Matthew Wall Business reporter, BBC News Could Amelia, the "learning cognitive agent", be your boss one day?

BBC - Could a big data-crunching machine be your boss one day?

I'm on a date with Amelia. She's neatly dressed, emotionally intelligent and whip-smart. But she's a little too virtual for my tastes. ‘Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future’, by Martin Ford. LATimes - Will robots push my kids into the unemployment line? Sometimes I wonder if I'm in the very last generation of newspaper reporters.

LATimes - Will robots push my kids into the unemployment line?

After hearing Jeremy Howard talk at a Milken Global Conference panel on robotics this week, however, I'm wondering if I'm in the very last generation of workers. Howard is chief executive of Enlitic, which uses computers to help doctors make diagnoses. His technology relies on something known as machine learning, or the process by which a computer improves its own capabilities. He’s also a top data scientist, which gives him a much better view of what’s coming than most people have.

This year, Howard said, machines are better than humans at recognizing objects in an image.