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

10 thoughts on “Links – Automation, Robots, AI and the Job Market

  1. Wow! Is economics the most closed-minded social science? The practitioners of economics see man’s mind and body as unbounded mystical wonders that can forever outperform machines. Economists need to look up and see the tremendous advances in the biological and computer sciences. Man, like all animals, is very finite in mental and physical function. Our machines continue to growing without any hard boundaries. In recent times, they’ve surpassed us in leaps and bounds.

  2. Why does Japan – probably the world leader in robotics – currently have an unemployment rate of only @4% ? – What strings have the Japanese Government pulled in order to prevent all jobs going to robots ? 😉

    1. Thanks Talon, a good point and an interesting read. But don’t forget that the Japanese are not famous for telling the truth about their economic statistics, see >> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/opinion/sunday/the-true-story-of-japans-economic-success.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=all
      There was another article I read recently that made mention of efforts made by the Japanese Government (at some point in the past) to ensure that large employers still provided enough human jobs. . . I have failed to track that down . . . perhaps someone else can help?

  3. Relevant, maybe >> http://www.theneweconomy.com/technology/manufacturing-acknowledges-the-rise-of-the-machines

    SNIPPET FROM THAT ARTICLE – Known as ‘autonomation’, the process allows the company to prevent defective products and overproduction, and to adapt to any problems that arise. The University of Michigan’s Professor Jeffrey K Liker, an expert on the firm, said: “Toyota has generally backed off when it put in too much automation and added back more people. And its latest processes have even more people than a couple of decades ago.”

  4. I have come to the conclusion that the unchecked combination of continuing rapid technological innovation which increases productivity, acting together with singular CEO focus on short term earnings improvement, that diverts resultant cost savings to stockholders, will ultimately destroy our economic/political system.

    The restoration of a healthy balance between worker and stockholder interests will require federal intervention “…to promote the general Welfare” as is found in our country’s mission statement, the preamble to the Constitution.

    There are at least four means of accomplishing this:

    Tax and redistribute

    Tax and make government employer of last resort

    Strengthen unions

    Use a punitive excess profits tax to clamp corporate payroll to earnings ratio to historical limits for each corporation.

    I prefer the latter approach because the target is specific to corporate history and the decisions on how to meet the target are made by the executive team rather than by rigid government edict. Also, the W2 and earnings records already exist to facilitate federal implementation.

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