Silicon Valley Newspaper Floats Free Money Idea to Remedy Robot Job Loss

Sunday’s San Jose Mercury had a front-page article (graphic shown) about the possibility of instituting a universal basic income to remedy the huge job loss predicted from automation. As usual, nobody promoting the idea has any suggestion of how the government would finance the trillions of dollars annually required. Perhaps a start would be to […]

Robots Threaten Millions of Retail Jobs

Tech experts all say that simple jobs are the easiest to automate. Therefore we can expect to see a lot more self-checkout when shopping. How hard is it to scan bar codes and calculate the total cost? My local Safeway added several DIY checkout stations a couple years ago in a major remodel.

Self-checkout — get […]

Report Explores the ‘Human Cost’ of Automation

The video piece from an Albany, New York, TV station starts out well enough, showing how automation is moving into jobs like supermarket checkout, restaurant cashier and cab driving.

But the piece wanders into sketchy territory when it poses a hopeful retraining message. Certainly the schools need to teach more tech-oriented curricula that will prepare young […]

President Trump Approves of Continuing Big Immigration

It was disappointing, although not entirely surprising to read President Trump’s disinterest in limiting legal immigration, as remarked in a May 11 Economist interview and quoted by Mark Krikorian in National Review:

Do you want to curb legal immigration?
Oh sure, you know, I want to stop illegal immigration.

And what about legal immigration? Do you want to […]

San Francisco Considers Robot Tax to Counter Job Loss

San Francisco County Supervisor Jane Kim is investigating how a tax on robots might help to mitigate the job destruction of the coming automated workplace, perhaps following the suggestion of Microsoft founder Bill Gates who recommended a few months ago that job-killing robots should be taxed.

Is this not an ironic turn of politics? The famously […]

Retail Use of Automation Is Increasing

Automation is creating a revolution in shopping: from ordering merchandise from Amazon to visiting a local supermarket with self-checkout, the machines are moving in. In particular, big changes are coming in retail out where the public will see them. Store sales persons who can advise and help customers are pretty much on the way out.

Below, […]

Robot Apple Picker Will Displace Illegal Alien Workers

Automation’s threat to jobs is not entirely negative, considering that robot pickers can replace an agricultural workforce that is generally estimated to be half illegal alien. The Associated Press article below notes that in Washington state, “several counties near the Canadian border are now majority-Hispanic.”

Abundant Robotics has developed a vacuum-based system that doesn’t bruise the […]

Automation-Caused Job Loss May Spawn Third-World Instability, World Bank Warns

It would be a mistake to think that automation is a first-world affliction only. As the cost of robots decrease, they will replace workers in the third world also. (See my Social Contract article on this topic: How Automation Threatens Third World Stability.)

Third-world automation is happening now, as shown by robot arms painting motorcycle gas […]

CBS Imagines the American Future as Automation Nation

The CBS Sunday Morning show began a special edition focusing on money with a report on automation and its threat to employment now and going forward. The eight-minute video report included tough facts about job loss across the skills spectrum with expert comments by Rise of the Robots author Martin Ford and other involved in the […]

Warehouse Robotics See Advances in Technology

Warehouse robots are a big part of the revolution transforming a growing portion of consumer shopping from stores to online. Amazon led the way by purchasing the Kiva system and then keeping it for itself so other competitors could not spring up easily. (See my 2016 Social Contract article, “Amazon Robotics: A case study of […]

Treasury Secretary Blunder Sparks Discussion of Automated Future

When Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin remarked about robots taking US jobs that “It’s not even on our radar screen … 50-100 more years,” heads exploded across the tech world. Mnuchin’s comments during an interview with Axios on March 24 [Watch] sparked more than 700,000 responses online as of today, nearly all negative. Some observed that […]

New Evidence Shows that Automation Is a Threat to Jobs and Wages

A new automation report has been published and it tackles the measurement of a vital trend, namely the amount of robotization that has already occurred.

As has been noted here, in 2013 the Associated Press published a series documenting how the Great Recession had prompted many businesses to invest in technology, thereby killing middle-class jobs and […]

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