Automation

Tech

Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica begins testing in San Francisco

 Waymo is bringing its self-driving cars back to San Francisco streets for testing. TechCrunch has obtained pictures of the Waymo Chrysler Pacifica autonomous test vehicle on SF city roads, and Waymo confirmed that it is indeed bringing test vehicles back to one of the first spots where it ever tested AVs in the first place.
A Waymo spokesperson provided the following statement about its… Read More

Business

Most people worry robots will replace human jobs, just not their own

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Robots may be driving cars, appealing tickets, and working construction, but they don’t have a whole lot of popular support.

That’s according to a new Pew Research study Wednesday that found around twice as many people were worried rather than enthusiastic about the prospect of more automation and artificial intelligence. Around a third of people surveyed welcomed these potential job killers, while 72 percent had a dimmer view.

This makes sense; most people work jobs that could one day be displaced by robots, according to various studies. And while some experts argue that more technology could create more jobs than it kills, it’s understandable to be wary of any economic sea change. Read more…

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Business

Google writes a $50 million check to prep the world’s workers for the rise of its robots

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Google’s philanthropic arm is launching a multimillion-dollar effort to aid workers impacted by some of the tech championed by its parent company.

Google.org said Wednesday that it’s set aside $50 million to fund nonprofits focused on teaching new job skills and supporting low-wage earners in preparation for advances in automation and artificial intelligence that could upend many of the world’s labor markets. 

“We want to make sure that as many people as possible can make the most of the new jobs, industries and opportunities that are emerging—some of which we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago,” Google.org president Jacquelline Fuller wrote in a blog post announcing the endeavor. Read more…

More about Google, Jobs, Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Google.Org

Architecture

Robots could absolutely devastate the retail market

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Robots are coming for retail jobs. 

In-store automation threatens to kill four in 10 positions in the retail sector throughout the next decade, according to a new study.

That could add up to 7.5 million lost jobs—proportionally a much bigger hit than even manufacturing took when automation devastated its labor market, according to Cornerstone Capital Group, the bank behind the report. 

It’s not as if retail workers don’t have enough to keep them up at night. Hundreds of store employees have lost their jobs over the past few years as online shopping and excess store space plunge the traditional retail industry into choppy waters.  Read more…

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Business

Bill Gates: There should be a ‘robot tax’ on the machines that take your jobs

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Automation is part of the future, and Bill Gates is already thinking about what that means for our government. 

The billionaire Microsoft founder philosophized about the future of automation in an interview with Quartz. Robots are coming for lots of jobs, he said, and wouldn’t it be fair if they paid taxes, too? 

“Right now if a human worker does, you know, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level,” Gates said. 

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