Tag Archives | Jobs

Bill Gates: Robots Will Take Many, Many Jobs – Probably Yours

PIC: World Economic Forum (CC)

PIC: World Economic Forum (CC)

Microsoft founder and GMO enthusiast Bill Gates made some pretty grim predictions during an appearance at an event hosted by right-wing think tank the American Enterprise Institute. Grim for them? No, no, silly little person: Grim for you! According to Gates, people are underestimating the number of jobs that will be lost to robots, and unless we’re willing to cut payroll and income taxes out altogether, future businesses will likely not be willing to hire human beings that need jobs. Gates is also against raising the minimum wage, as he sees that as potential discouragement as well. So get ready to work for peanuts or not work at all.

Via the Business Insider:

Gates said that within 20 years, a lot of jobs will go away, replaced by software automation (“bots” in tech slang, though Gates used the term “software substitution”).

This is what he said:

“Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses … it’s progressing.

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Stop Saying Robots Are Destroying Jobs—They Aren’t

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.     ~Isaac Asimov

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
~Isaac Asimov

Change and the unknown may be the commonest fears, along with public speaking. All of which hold the potential of limiting progress. Perhaps some adhere to a notion of singularity, maybe ignorance, perhaps others are prone to the narratives passed down from parents. I don’t know, and I accept that. What I do know is that we all have the power to educate ourselves, and to choose. For the sake of balance I offer you this.

via MIT Technology Review

Many experts would have us believe that robots and other technologies are behind the job drought. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

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Nearly Half Of American Jobs Are Likely To Be Eliminated By Computers Over The Next Two Decades

american jobs

Humanity is nearly obsolete. MIT Technology Review writes:

Rapid advances in technology have long represented a serious potential threat to many jobs ordinarily performed by people.

A recent report from the Oxford Martin School’s Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology concludes that 45 percent of American jobs are at high risk of being taken by computers within the next two decades.

The authors believe this takeover will happen in two stages. First, computers will start replacing people in especially vulnerable fields like transportation/logistics, production labor, and administrative support. Jobs in services, sales, and construction may also be lost in this first stage.

Then, the rate of replacement will slow down due to bottlenecks in harder-to-automate fields such engineering. This “technological plateau” will be followed by a second wave of computerization, dependent upon the development of good artificial intelligence. This could next put jobs in management, science and engineering, and the arts at risk.

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The Ugly Truth: What the Drop in Unemployment Doesn’t Tell You.

ratrace

It’s the same game, only harder!

The truth is out.  We are living in a time when a shocking four out of 5 U.S. adults will struggle with joblessness or poverty.  This revelation not only flies directly in the face of another drop in unemployment, but reconfirms what many of us had already known, we’re in trouble.

If you find yourself looking for a job, you’re in an over-crowded market where the young and educated are relegated to jobs well below their intellectual station. This is due in part to the heavy competition at the of the top of the job market among the highly-skilled.  Basically, those left out of the jobs they really want are knocked down a peg, creating what Economist Paul Beaudry calls “cascading.”  The top pushes down on the middle and the middle pushes down on the bottom, burying those who are most vulnerable and under-qualified.

This phenomenon stems from what’s been deemed  The Great Reversal.”  That is, there used to be an over-abundance of high-paying jobs that required skill, intellectual capital and education, but now there just aren’t.  In fact, demand for those types of jobs peaked all the way back in the year 2000.  That’s right, even with all this talk of a “skills gap,” the need for high-skill jobs actually stopped growing 13 years ago.… Read the rest

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Here’s Your Chance To Apply For NSA Whistle-Blower Edward Snowden’s Old Job

Want to be a cog in the military-industrial surveillance apparatus? Via Buzzfeed, defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton is apparently taking resumes to replace certain individuals who didn’t perform as desired:

Edward Snowden, the man who leaked top secret information about government surveillance, is currently in hiding in Hong Kong after revealing himself. His old employer has a listing posted for a job similar to the one Snowden held.

Defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden’s former employer, has a job opening for an information security engineer in Honolulu, Hawaii. A Booz Allen spokesman would not confirm that the job posting was to fill Snowden’s job. The job requirements include “top secret clearance.”

booz allen hamilton

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Did The Internet Destroy The Middle Class?

destroy the middle classVia Salon, virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier puts forth his argument that it is so:

The photography company Kodak employed more than 14,000 people. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. The number of people who are contributing to the system to make it viable is probably the same. Instagram wouldn’t work if there weren’t many millions of people using it.

So there’s still a lot of human effort, but the difference is that whereas before when people made contributions to the system that they used, they received formal benefits, which means not only salary but pensions and certain kinds of social safety nets. Now, instead, they receive benefits on an informal basis. And what an informal economy is like is the economy in a developing country slum. It’s reputation, it’s barter, it’s that kind of stuff.

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Supermarket Giant Uses Wristband Trackers To Monitor Employees’ Every Move

If other corporations follow the example of British mega-chain Tesco, the future of working retail will become increasingly similar to being imprisoned. Via Technoccult:

The former Tesco employee said the device provided an order to collect from the warehouse and a set amount of time to complete it. If workers met that target, they were awarded a 100 per cent score, but that would rise to 200 per cent if they worked twice as quickly. The score would fall if they did not meet the target.

If, however, workers did not log a break when they went to the toilet, the score would be “surprisingly lower”, according to the former staff member, who worked in an Irish branch of Tesco. He said the devices put staff under huge pressure and many of his colleagues using them in Ireland were eastern Europeans, with limited English. Tesco confirmed that the devices were also in use across its UK stores.

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Best Job Of The Future: Marijuana Consultant For The Government

If becoming a drone operator is too dystopian, consider this. In U.S. states which have newly legalized pot, experts on its growth and consumption are needed for public service, NBC News reports:

The job description requests an unlikely mix of skills: five years of regulatory experience, with a law degree preferred, and extensive knowledge of all things marijuana. But that didn’t stop dozens of people from turning out to find out about becoming Washington state’s official marijuana consultant.

As officials figure out how to regulate the state’s newly legal marijuana, they’re hiring an adviser to fill in the gaps: how cannabis is best grown, dried, tested, labeled, packaged, regulated and cooked into brownies.

The board has advertised for consulting services in four categories. The first is “product and industry knowledge” and requires “at least three years of consulting experience relating to the knowledge of the cannabis industry, including  product growth, harvesting, packaging, product infusion and product safety.”

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Corporate Workfare Arrives In British Classrooms

Red Pepper explains the United Kingdom’s new “studio schools,” under which teenagers spend half their day performing menial jobs for corporate sponsors for little or no pay, with the (accurate) purpose being to prepare them for the real world:

Launched quietly in 2010, studio schools allow private businesses to run state education for 14 to 19-year-olds with learning ‘on the job’ and not in the classroom.

Almost any business can set up a studio school by paying a voluntary subscription of just £8,000 to the government. In return, the government builds and maintains a school, but the power to run the school remains firmly in the hands of private sponsors. National Express, GlaxoSmithKline, Sony, Ikea, Disney, Michelin, Virgin Media and Hilton Hotels are just some of the corporate players who have bought into the scheme.

Predictably, these sponsor firms only pay the minimum wage – and that’s only for their over-16 students.

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