Japan May Provide a Snapshot of the Automated Future

Does Japan offer a preview of the near future of more robots? Perhaps, since the nation has an aging population, and it has rejected immigration as a source of labor, choosing automation to pick up the slack.

The Atlantic magazine takes a look in a new article that visits a robot restaurant in a robot hotel […]

Africa: Robot Imports Threaten Jobs

We tend to think of automation-caused job loss to be a first world problem, but as the smart machines get cheaper, they are appearing in poor countries as well. Places like Africa, with its host of difficulties, do not have the resources to cope with worsening unemployment and angry residents. Results may range from social disruption […]

Fast Food Expert Warns That Machines Are Coming for Jobs

Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi appeared Friday on Fox Business and voiced opinions about the automation threat to employment.

Fmr. McDonald’s CEO: Human workers can’t compete with robot replacements, Fox Business, August 11, 2017

Former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi said regulation will force restaurants to turn to technology to make a profit.

“Not only is the minimum wage […]

Hotels and Restaurants Expand Use of Automation

Robot bellhops were introduced to the public as a coming thing in 2014 when trials began. Now they and other automated technology are becoming normalized, as reported in a CBS Los Angeles TV segment.

As is often the case, the media doesn’t know how to handle the automation issue and the CBS pirce wanders all over […]

Robot T-shirt Factory Is Planned for Arkansas

Here’s a snapshot of the automated, globalized future: a Chinese company has acquired a factory in Arkansas to produce t-shirts for the German company Adidas using robot sewing machines from Atlanta business SoftWear Automation.

Clothing manufacture is big business and is important to small, poor countries like Honduras where the income from sewing jobs helps keep many […]

Washington Post Notes Rise of Smart Machines (Incompletely)

The Washington Post included a front-page story about automation on Sunday, and it admitted “the surrender of the industrial age to the age of automation continues at a record pace.”

But the cause was mostly laid at the feet of the workers themselves rather than complex forces of globalization that have been accumulating for decades. The […]

Machines Compete in Amazon Robotic Challenge 

The latest Amazon Robotic Challenge took place over July 27-30 in Nagoya Japan, hosting a competition to develop a grasping machine that can pack boxes for shipment in the company’s warehouses. Or as ZeroHedge put it so clearly: Amazon Hosts Robotics Competition To Figure Out How To Replace 230,000 Warehouse Workers.

Amazon warehouses depend on the […]

Retail Robot Does Inventory -- So Long, Stock Boys!

In St. Louis, a midwestern grocery chain is making news with its test run of an inventory-taking robot, called Tally by its manufacturer. The machine is not unrelated to the LoweBot-type machine that guides customers to desired items in the store which the robot has filed in its database of what and where. The Tally […]

Robots Are the Next Generation of Farmworkers

It’s good to see traditional media connect the dots between automation and immigration, as the Los Angeles Times inadvertently did somewhat on Tuesday’s front page:

The online version of the article appeared last week, on Friday, July 21. An above-the-fold story with photo gets a lot more attention, certainly, as long as those newspaper boxes are sitting […]

Sewing Robot Technology Takes an Interesting Tack

Clothing manufacturers would love to economize on production with some sort of automation, but the materials used, which vary widely in terms of thickness, stretch, slickness and other qualities do not easily fit into the robot factory. The dexterity and sensitivity of the human hand has kept sewing in the human realm except for simple […]

Automation Will Revolutionize Retail for Shoppers and Workers

A recent Wall Street Journal piece framed its robot-replacing-human story by focusing on one employee who loses her job counting cash, but is moved to a greeter position at the same wage. Since the unnamed woman is 55, her gig as human greeter will likely go to a robot when she retires, if not before, […]

The Robot Future Requires Job Retraining

Television coverage of automation’s threat to the world of work is not common, so it was nice to see Fox’s segment on Friday. The report is decent regarding the need to rejigger education to align with future employment in the tech environment. It is certainly true that robots will require oversight and programming, but the […]

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