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Clancy Carr

on 3 June 2017

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Transcript of Automation

'Superstar firms'
Big Data
200 years later...
People's Daily, China
Is it different this time?
White-collar professions
relying on skills like decision making, paperwork, and writing are
newly susceptible to automation
via learning AI.
BCG Perspectives predicts that the current 10% of tasks that automation fulfills
will rise to 25% by 2025.
Employment of robots will increase ‘output per worker [by] up to 30 percent’, while being up to
33% more cost-effective
General purpose robots
such as 'Baxter' or 'Sawyer' have limitless potential.
The Luddites
Movement originated after the Industrial Revolution
displaced many skilled weavers and textile workers.
Objected to 'automated looms and knitting frames' that were seemingly
putting them out of work
because less-skilled laborers could operate them.
Operated under orders of (fictitious) 'General Ludd',
smashed and burnt factories
and the future of the workforce
giant companies
have managed to gobble up a larger and larger share of the market'.

Labor is getting a shrinking slice of a pie that’s not growing very much
' according to MIT economist David Autor.
Companies able to leverage innovations like the internet and automation '
reach a larger audience and gain a greater proportion of the revenue generated
' in their industries.
Therefore, they're able to '
offer more variety, cheaper prices and convenience
' while having less employees to pay.
What does this mean?
Source: '
Rise of the Robots
' p.36, Martin Ford
Andrews, E 2015, Who Were the Luddites, viewed 25/6/17 http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-were-the-luddites
Wiseman, P 2013, Luddites: They raged against the machine and lost, Yahoo viewed 25/6/17, https://www.yahoo.com/news/luddites-raged-against-machine-lost-051543595--finance.html
People's Daily, China, Robots sorting system helps Chinese company finish at least 200,000 packages a day in the warehouse, online video, 9th April 2017, viewed 25/6/17,
Bishop, T 2016, Obama: Amazon is ‘killing traditional retail,’ and ‘relentless’ automation is the real threat to jobs, GeekWire viewed 25/6/17, https://www.geekwire.com/2017/obama-amazon-killing-traditional-retail-relentless-automation-real-threat-jobs/
Amazon 2017, Amazon to Create More Than 100,000 New, Full-Time, Full-Benefit Jobs, media release, January 12, Amazon, Seattle, http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170112005428/en/
Souza, P 2012, President Barack Obama participates in a Twitter #My2k live question and answer session, Obama White House, viewed 26/6/17, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2012/12/03/president-obama-answers-my2k-questions-twitter
Cohen, P 2017, ‘Superstar Firms’ May Have Shrunk Workers’ Share of Income, New York Times, viewed 25/6/17,https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/business/economy/labor-share-economic-output.html?_r=0
Julien, G 2017, Amazon logistics center near Madrid, Getty Images, viewed 25/6/17, https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/03/09/business/09SUPERFIRM4/09SUPERFIRM4-superJumbo.jpg
Ford, M 2015 Rise of the Robots' Figure 2.1, Oneworld Publications, GB
Harrod-neutral technical progress, 2009-01-01. Oxford Reference, viewed 27/6/17 http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095922777>.
Hicks, M & Devaraj, S 2015, The Myth and the Reality of Manufacturing in America, Ball State University, viewed 27/6/17, http://conexus.cberdata.org/files/MfgReality.pdf
Schneider, D 2011, The Labor Share: A Review of Theory and Evidence, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, viewed 27/6/17, http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/series/sfb-649-papers/2011-69/PDF/69.pdf
IBM Watson 2014, IBM Watson: How it Works, online video, 7th October 2014, viewed 27/6/17,
Mims, C 2017, The High-Speed Trading Behind Your Amazon Purchase, Wall Street Journal, viewed 27/6/17, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-high-speed-trading-behind-your-amazon-purchase-1490532110
Keepa, 2017, Jet Puffed Marshmallows, graph, viewed 28/6/17, https://dyn.keepa.com/pricehistory.png?domain=com&asin=B0012IYA5U f
Lum, H & Reagan J, 1995, Interactive Highway Safety Design Model: Accident Predictive Module, Federal Highway Administration Publications , Vol. 59 No. 2, viewed 29/6/17, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/95winter/p95wi14.cfm
Hawk, T 2005, Saturday Morning Taxi Line, image, Thomas Hawk, viewed 29/6/17, http://thomashawk.com/2005/04/saturday-morning-taxi-line.html
Litman, T 2017, Autonomous Vehicle Implementation Predictions, Victoria Transport, viewed 30/6/17 http://www.vtpi.org/avip.pdf
Economist 2016, Automation and anxiety: Artificial intelligence: The impact on jobs, Economist, viewed 30/6/17, http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21700758-will-smarter-machines-cause-mass-unemployment-automation-and-anxiety
Sirkin, H & Zincer, M & Rose, J 2015, The Robotics Revolution: The Next Great Leap in Manufacturing, BCG Perspectives, viewed 30/6/17, https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/lean-manufacturing-innovation-robotics-revolution-next-great-leap-manufacturing/
Rethink Robotics 2015, image, viewed 30/6/17, http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/sawyer-assembly-line.jpg
Rethink Robotics, Sawyer Montage, online video, 16th September 2015, viewed 30/6/17,
CGP Grey, Humans Need Not Apply, online video, 13th August 2014,
Macron Dynamics, Manufacturing Automation, viewed 1/7/17, http://www.macrondynamics.com/wp-content/themes/macron/images/manufacturing-automation.jpg
A form of technological progress which '
increases the efficiency of labour
, so that the... efficiency units increases
than the number of workers'.
Effectively, less workers are needed to see productivity gains.
E.g. automated checkout machines perform same duties as cashier-assisted checkouts, but each
likely cost much less than a years wage
for a worker.
Labor-saving innovations reduce the 'labor share'. Automation poised to do this to
most industries
Not just manual labor at risk. Utilising enormous data sets, cognitive systems like IBM's '
' can '[find] answers and insights
locked away in volumes of data
Has potential to affect jobs ranging from medical specialists, financial consultants, to chefs.
With human-error responsible for roughly
of traffic accidents, according to the US National Transportation Safety Board, automating travel should
drastically reduce deaths
on roads.
Other potential advantages would be increased
fuel economy
(driving in slipstreams), and co-ordination could near
eliminate traffic jams.
If a service, cars would spend much less time parked doing nothing.
The transportation industry as a whole employs
of people. Where will they go?
new jobs
arise, e.g. ‘ride-along concierges’ to deal with handle luggage, or ‘remote operators’ to manage emergency situations?
Will it force people to
learn more, useful, skills
Many will be reluctant; people
'... autonomous vehicles will initially be
costly and imperfect.'
The Numbers Game
Some top sellers on eBay and Amazon are using
to competitively price their products. The AI 'learns' the market for that product and can price it higher to
to do the same, then beat
All '
set and forget
', according to provider 'Feedvisor'.
Almost entirely taking humans out of the equation.
Human-Robotic Symbiosis
"Amazon and online sales [are] killing traditional retail", according to Obama.
Amazon have downplayed their own adoption of automation, suggesting a 'symphony of software, machine learning, computer algorithms, and people'
working in unison
Amazon's use of robotics mean more
labor, and
Reflective of this, Amazon is preparing to add another
people to their workforce by mid-2018.
My report
An broad exploration of the implications of automation on the global workforce, and what that means for workers and consumers.
: Pete Souza
"Amazon and online sales [are]
killing traditional retail
", according to Obama.
: NY Times
: Sydney Morning Herald
General Purpose Robotics
: Rethink Robotics
Current robotics in factories rely on rely ‘
precise timing and positioning
’ to function.

Emerging ‘general purpose’ robots like 'Baxter' can
learn new tasks
and have three dimensional ‘vision’, making them
infinitely more useful
for their tasks.
: Yahoo
: Keepa
: Macron Dynamics
Full transcript