Technology and Unemployment – Links

 

Brain-like Computers Learning from Experience – NY Times

Designing the Next Wave of Computer Chips – NY Times

IBM Invests $1 Billion in Watson Technology – Singularity Hub

Military robots may replace 25% of combat soldiers – PopSci

The Future of Jobs – The Economist

Income Inequality and Automation – Huffington Post

Robots will Stay in the Back Seat (really?) – Financial Times

Will robots take our jobs, or will aging wreck the economy? – Slate

How robots impact millions of American jobs – Bloomberg (video)

Most food stamps now go to working-age people – AP

MOOC-based Computer Science Program at Georgia Tech Begins – Udacity

New Book: “The Second Machine Age” – Brynjolfsson and McAfee

 

47% of U.S. Jobs Could Be Automated with the Next Two Decades

In my book The Lights in the Tunnel, written back in 2009, I wrote:

“So our assumption is going to be that, at some point down the line, machines or computers will take over a great many of these people’s jobs. Not all of them, but a lot. Maybe 40 percent. Maybe half. ”

Turns out that wasn’t a bad guess, at least according to some researchers at the University of Oxford. Their best estimate is that 47% of U.S. jobs are susceptible to automation within the next two decades.   PDF of the complete report is here.

Other stuff:

Textile Factories returning to the U.S.–but without the workers – NY Times

Will Robots Kill — or Create — your Next Job? – FastCompany

Robots Fill New Roles at Work – PC World

On the Future of Moore’s Law:

Samsung Manufactures 3D Integrated Circuits – Forbes

Stanford Team Builds a Carbon Nanotube Computer – NY Times

Will Automated Cars Drive Economic Growth?

An interesting debate over whether automated cars would produce economic growth.

Ryan Avent of the Economist argues “yes” … but I am not so sure. For one thing, automated cars will likely be a shared resource, at least in cities. That means fewer cars, which is certainly good for the environment, but maybe not so good for economic growth — at least in terms of the way we measure GDP. Also, another very important question is whether new technologies like automated cars will raise median incomes (which have been stagnant in the U.S. for decades).  Kind of hard for me to see how that would be the case.

I think Robert Gordon raises some valid points, although he is really getting slammed by the techno-optimist/TED Conference community. What do you think?

 

Links – Automation, Robots, AI and the Job Market

The Internet’s Greatest Disruptive Innovation — Inequality – Andrew Leonard, Salon

Businesses are adopting robots for new tasks, but will they kill jobs? – Esther Shein, ComputerWorld

The “Atlas” Humanoid Robot – John Markoff, New York Times

More high tech unemployment angst – Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post

Immigrants vs. Agricultural Robots – The Daily Caller

White House Robotics Google+ Hangout – Whitehouse.gov (video here via Washington Post)

IBM’s new Cognitive Computing Chip and Programming Language – Singularity Hub

Automated Parking Garages – Singularity Hub

counter-arguments:

For the last time, Robots DO NOT Cause Unemployment  – Scott Winship, Brookings Institution

Don’t Worry about Robots Stealing Jobs –  Henry Blodget, Business Insider

“These Luddites are Wrong” – Andy Kessler, Wall Street Journal

Could Robots and Automation cause an Unemployment Crisis — CACM Article

I have an an article in this month’s Communications of the ACM (a leading journal for the computer science community). The main point of the article is that most of the work required by the economy is on some level routine and predicatable. This is true of both blue and white collar work, and it includes many skilled occupations.  A key point is that acquiring more skills will not necessarily be a defense against advancing automation technology. Machines are getting better and better at acquiring skills. 

You can read the article here:

“Could Artificial Intelligence Create an Unemployment Crisis?”
http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2013/7/165475-could-artificial-intelligence-create-an-unemployment-crisis/fulltext

There is also an introduction by the editor-in-chief, Moshe Vardi, here:
http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2013/7/165474-the-great-robotics-debate/fulltext

Links – Robotics, AI, Automation

Robots Get a Sense of Touch – NY Times

Robots Mimic the Human Hand – NY Times

The Robot Reality: Service Jobs are Next – The Fiscal Times

What if Automation Overwhelms the Need for Employees? – Forbes

The Robots are Coming (podcast) – A Conversation with Matt Miller and Erik Brynjolfsson

TED Presentations/Debate on Future Innovation v. Stagnation – Andrew McAfee

New Initiative to Map the Human Brain – NY Times

What will Workers Do When Machines Take All the Routine Jobs? – Robohub

Willow Garage spinoff, Industrial Perception, Building Advanced Robots – Singularity Hub

Robots will Do Everything You Do — Only Better – Singularity Hub

Optimism Dims for the Middle Class – NY Times

Japan to Promote Nursing Care Robots – Bangor Daily News

Trading Algorithms Fall for Fake Twitter Post – NY Times

Campaign to Stop Killer Robots– Reuters

Robot Uncovers Ancient Burial Chambers Beneath Teotihuacan Temple – Huffington Post