11.3 Automation, Globalization, and Outsourcing

The robots are coming, and they’re coming fast. In this fascinating Fresh Air interview, tech writer John Markoff talks about several ways that intelligent machines are likely to profoundly change our lives over the next few years. From self-driving cars to peopleless warehouses, intelligent machines will play major roles in shaping our world. He makes a critical distinction between artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligence augmentation (IA), two schools of research that take radically different approaches to the relationship between humans and machines. As a bonus, the interview ends with what is probably the funniest robot song ever recorded.

npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/08/20/433000643/how-close-are-we-really-to-a-robot-run-society

 

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More jobs every day are being automated—done by machines rather than humans. In this thought-provoking Fresh Air interview, Silicon Valley executive Martin Ford says that all kinds of jobs—even many that we assume are machine-proof—are threatened by advances in hardware and software. The implications for our economy and our society are far-reaching.

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/05/18/407648886/attention-white-collar-workers-the-robots-are-coming-for-your-jobs

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Automation in Perspective: The Workforce Crisis

December 23, 2014

We’ve speculated for decades about the impact of robots and automation on the future of jobs. But in this eye-opening TED talk, Rainer Strack considers automation as part of the larger question: How will society meet the needs of people in 2030? He raises many profoundly important questions and provides a few answers that we should all consider.

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Faster than the Speed of Money

February 21, 2013
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NPR’s Radiolab is radio at its best—entertaining, informative, provocative. This episode will change the way you think about time and speed. One segment reveals the surprising truth about the relative speeds of the human nervous system and the Internet, and the a critical role of speed in today’s computer-controlled financial marketplace.

radiolab.org/2013/feb/05

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Print a Burrito For Me

July 5, 2012
Burritobot

3D printers are used to create plastic prototypes and parts for machines, among other things. But this is the first burrito printer we’ve seen. How long will it be until the global taco chains replace people with printers?

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The Dark Story Hidden in Your Smart Phone

January 13, 2012

After seeing some mysterious photos someone found on a brand new iPhone, comedian Mike Daisey travelled to China to find out where and how our digital gadgets are made. He tells his story (EDIT: his “story” was later found out to be just that, a story) in this episode of public radio’s This American Life. […]

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Skilled labor joins the Race Against the Machine

November 9, 2011
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Here’s a quote from the first edition of Digital Planet (then called Computer Currents), written almost two decades ago: “It seems likely that, at some time in the future, machines will be able to do most of the jobs people do today. We may face a future of jobless growth–a time when productivity increases, not […]

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