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The future of jobs: The onrushing wave

The future of jobs: The onrushing wave
IN 1930, when the world was “suffering…from a bad attack of economic pessimism”, John Maynard Keynes wrote a broadly optimistic essay, “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren”. It imagined a middle way between revolution and stagnation that would leave the said grandchildren a great deal richer than their grandparents. But the path was not without dangers. One of the worries Keynes admitted was a “new disease”: “technological unemployment…due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.” His readers might not have heard of the problem, he suggested—but they were certain to hear a lot more about it in the years to come. For the most part, they did not. For much of the 20th century, those arguing that technology brought ever more jobs and prosperity looked to have the better of the debate. When the sleeper wakes Be that as it may, drudgery may soon enough give way to frank unemployment. The lathe of heaven Related:  Future Work

The Robots, AI, and Unemployment Anti-FAQ Q. Are the current high levels of unemployment being caused by advances in Artificial Intelligence automating away human jobs? A. Conventional economic theory says this shouldn't happen. Suppose it costs 2 units of labor to produce a hot dog and 1 unit of labor to produce a bun, and that 30 units of labor are producing 10 hot dogs in 10 buns. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. * Many industries that would otherwise be accessible to relatively less skilled labor, have much higher barriers to entry now than in 1950. * True effective marginal tax rates on low-income families have gone up today compared to the 1960s, after all phasing-out benefits are taken into account, counting federal and state taxes, city sales taxes, and so on. * Perhaps companies are, for some reason, less willing to hire previously unskilled people and train them on the job. * The financial system is staring much more at the inside of its eyelids now than in the 1980s. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q.

The Rich and Their Robots Are About to Make Half the World's Jobs Disappear Two hugely important statistics concerning the future of employment as we know it made waves recently: 1. 85 people alone command as much wealth as the poorest half of the world. 2. 47 percent of the world's currently existing jobs are likely to be automated over the next two decades. Combined, those two stats portend a quickly-exacerbating dystopia. As more and more automated machinery (robots, if you like) are brought in to generate efficiency gains for companies, more and more jobs will be displaced, and more and more income will accumulate higher up the corporate ladder. The inequality gulf will widen as jobs grow permanently scarce—there are only so many service sector jobs to replace manufacturing ones as it is—and the latest wave of automation will hijack not just factory workers but accountants, telemarketers, and real estate agents. That's according to a 2013 Oxford study, which was highlighted in this week's Economist cover story.

Meet "Smart Restaurant": The Minimum-Wage-Crushing, Burger-Flipping Robot With a seemingly endless line of talking-heads willing to ignore essentially every study that has been undertaken with regard the effects of raising the minimum-wage; and propose what is merely populist vote-getting 'benefits' for the ever-increasing not-1% who benefitted from Ben Bernnake's bubbles - we thought the following burger-flipping robot was a perfect example of unintended consequences for the fast food industry's workers. With humans needing to take breaks, have at least 4 weekend days off per month, and demanding ever-increasing minimum-wage for a job that was never meant to provide a 'living-wage', Momentum Machines - a San Francisco-based robotics company has unveiled the 'Smart Restaurants' machine which is capable of making ~360 'customized' gourmet burgers per hour without the aid of a human. First Jamba Juice, then Applebees, next McDonalds... No human hand touched this hamburger. It was made entirely by robots

Technology Isn't Destroying Jobs; It's Creating Them A study backed by over 140 years of data refutes the claim that technology is destroying the job market. Where one avenue closes in the jobs market, others open, states a report that studied job census data from England and Wales since 1871. That’s not to say that the fear that robots are taking over laborious processes is unjustified. From the 1800s, Luddites smashed weaving machines, and nowadays retail staff worry about being replaced by automatic checkouts. The battle between man and machine does indeed exist in the physical labor industry, with jobs such as agricultural labor and launderers plummeting over the decades. The decrease of agricultural laborers over time; Image by England and Wales Census records However, the study, conducted by economists at the consultancy Deloitte, argues that this debate is often skewed to highlight the job-destroying effects of technology. The shift in professions; Image by England and Wales Census records

Here's a group that's pushing for a universal basic income in the United States In Brief A new lobbying group focusing on the universal basic income has been launched in the United States. What It Is Basic Income Action claims that it is the first national organization in the United States to push for a universal basic income. The UBI is a concept that would give a certain amount of money to all of a country’s citizens regardless of whether they qualify for welfare or other means-tested entitlements. The lobby plans to borrow campaigning techniques from marriage equality and cannabis legalization to put on events in DC, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Louisiana, Oregon, Washington, and California. The Implications The idea behind a UBI is old but has gained credibility in recent years as anxiety about automation brings into question whether there will be many good jobs in sectors like manufacturing in the coming years.

‘Natural’ sounds improve mood and productivity, study finds (credit: iStock) Playing natural sounds such as flowing water in offices could boost worker moods and improve cognitive abilities in addition to providing speech privacy, according to a new study from researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. An increasing number of modern open-plan offices employ sound masking systems such as “white noise” that raise the background sound of a room so that speech is rendered unintelligible beyond a certain distance and distractions are less annoying. “If you’re close to someone, you can understand them. Braasch and his team are currently testing whether masking signals inspired by natural sounds might work just as well, or better, than white noise. Recently, Braasch and his graduate student Alana DeLoach built upon those results to start a new experiment. The natural sound used in the experiment was designed to mimic the sound of flowing water in a mountain stream.

When Machines Can Do Most Jobs—Passion, Creativity, and Reinvention Rule - Singularity HUB Not long ago, schoolchildren chose what they wanted to be when they grew up, and later selected the best college they could gain admission to, spent years gaining proficiency in their fields, and joined a company that had a need for their skills. Careers lasted lifetimes. Now, by my estimates, the half-life of a career is about 10 years. I am not kidding. A question that parents often ask me is, given that these predictions are even remotely accurate, what careers their children should pursue: whether it is best to steer them into science, engineering, and technology (STEM) fields, because it is these disciplines that are making the advances happen. I tell them not to do what our parents did, telling us what to study and causing us to treat education as a chore; that instead, they should encourage their children to pursue their passions and to love learning. Technology is now as important a skill as are reading, writing, and mathematics.

Barclays Set to Cut 30,000 Jobs as It Looks to Increase Automation and Reduce Costs - Futurism | Futurism Page 1 of 25012345...102030...»Last » How Robots & Algorithms Are Taking Over by Sue Halpern The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr Norton, 276 pp., $26.95 In September 2013, about a year before Nicholas Carr published The Glass Cage: Automation and Us, his chastening meditation on the human future, a pair of Oxford researchers issued a report predicting that nearly half of all jobs in the United States could be lost to machines within the next twenty years. The term for what happens when human workers are replaced by machines was coined by John Maynard Keynes in 1930 in the essay “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren.” In retrospect, it certainly looked as if he had. When the economy faltered in 1958, and then again in 1961, for instance, what was being called the “automation problem” was taken up by Congress, which passed the Manpower Development and Training Act. That fear, though, was dormant, not gone. As more and more attention is focused on economic recovery, for 11 million people the grim reality is continued unemployment. What is a social robot?

It's No Myth: Robots and Artificial Intelligence Will Erase Jobs in Nearly Every Industry - Singularity HUB 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. Manufacturing will be returning to U.S. shores with robots doing the job of Chinese workers; American carmakers will be mass-producing self-driving electric vehicles; technology companies will develop medical devices that greatly improve health and longevity; we will have unlimited clean energy and 3D print our daily needs. The cost of all of these things will plummet and make it possible to provide for the basic needs of every human being. I am talking about technology advances that are happening now, which will bear fruit in the 2020s. But policy makers will have a big new problem to deal with: the disappearance of human jobs. It is imperative that we understand the changes that are happening and find ways to cushion the impacts. True, we are living better lives. Vivek Wadhwa Related

On-Demand Employment: How Today’s Workers Are Choosing Journeys Over Jobs The American industrialist Henry Ford, regarding diminishing customer surveys on early cars, once famously quipped, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” What’s less widely known is that Ford was one of the first employers in the world to implement a five-day workweek in factories beginning in 1926. Close to a century later, we’ve observed innovation in automobile technology, especially in recent years with self-driving cars, but the way we work has not changed to nearly the same extent. We don’t even have the equivalent to “faster horses” in the way we work. Today’s workers, especially among my generation, the Millennials, are questioning whether work must be this way. Recently, a human resource executive mentioned that she doesn’t believe in short term and contractual employment because she as an employer would not want individuals to work independently. Are we on the cusp of a similar massive shift in the workplace? What is Jobbatical?