I’ll be speaking at the IMPAKT Festival in Utrecht, The Netherlands on Saturday November 2. Information is here.
The festival runs from Oct 30 to Nov 3, and this year’s theme is “Capitalism Catch-22”.
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.
Will Robots Kill — or Create — your Next Job? – FastCompany
Robots Fill New Roles at Work – PC World
On the Future of Moore’s Law:
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?
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
IBM’s new Cognitive Computing Chip and Programming Language – Singularity Hub
Automated Parking Garages – Singularity Hub
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
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?”
There is also an introduction by the editor-in-chief, Moshe Vardi, here:
A few months ago, I did an interview with CBC/Radio-Canada on how a future economy might work in the age of robots and automation. In it, I describe many ideas from my book, The Lights in the Tunnel, and in particular, the need for a guaranteed minimum income — perhaps incorporating some basic incentives.
The program is airing this weekend and the podcast is here.
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
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
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
Campaign to Stop Killer Robots– Reuters
Robot Uncovers Ancient Burial Chambers Beneath Teotihuacan Temple – Huffington Post