Will Automation Kill or Create Jobs?

It is very alarming to say automation or AI will not kill jobs, because it essentially draws people’s guard down to prepare for their welfare protection. It is much fair to say that automation or AI will change the landscape of job market.

Every new technology related to the job market has a potential to cause interruption to what we are used to. I agree that it will create new types of jobs, but it will also destroy some traditional jobs. Although people can claim that the net job gain could be positive, it is a great mistake to conclude that automation / AI would create jobs instead of killing jobs. This is like comparing apples against oranges. People cannot do a simple addition / subtraction of numbers to draw their conclusions!

Just look at the current US policy of reviving manufacturing and mining jobs. The major reason of those conservatives is that they want to bring the old jobs back. They resist to the landscape change of the job market, and refuse or decide not to transition to new types of jobs. Then, under this situation, can people and scholars still subtract the numbers of old jobs from new ones in their job gain calculation? They cannot! Some people may not want to change or unable to change due to various reasons. As a result, trying to keep those traditional jobs is creating unrest in the US economy and society. Conservatives ignore the fact that our history has shown it to be impossible to reverse job trend. Resisting just prolongs the pain to face the changes and slows down our country’s progress.

Therefore, I would like to encourage policymakers to consider universal income or automation / robot / AI tax to at least protect the welfare of future generations. Do not trust the claims of net job gain to slow down the need of our welfare protection.

Here is a sample of recent articles making the false claims. Do not follow them blindly.

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American job hunters are now paranoid that robots will throw out their résumés

Here is another update of job automation. Industries continue to advance their automation of jobs.

References:

JHU Press offers 280-page report ‘Reducing Gun Violence in America’ for free download

In the wake of a mass shooting that left 59 people dead and more than 500 injured in Las Vegas, Johns Hopkins University Press is offering free copies of Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis.

The full 280-page report, authored by experts from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, can be downloaded online.

Reference: JHU Press offers 280-page report ‘Reducing Gun Violence in America’ for free download

Timelines Revisited

This is a web site showing on-going Microsoft research team working on various timeline visual representations.

There are many ways to visualize event sequences as timelines. In a storytelling context where the intent is to convey multiple narrative points, a richer set of timeline designs may be more appropriate than the narrow range that has been used for exploratory data analysis by the research community. Informed by a survey of 263 timelines, we present a design space for storytelling with timelines that balances expressiveness and effectiveness, identifying 14 design choices characterized by three dimensions: representation, scale, and layout. Twenty combinations of these choices are viable timeline designs that can be matched to different narrative points, while smooth animated transitions between narrative points allow for the presentation of a cohesive story, an important aspect of both interactive storytelling and data videos. We further validate this design space by realizing the full set of viable timeline designs and transitions in a proof-of-concept sandbox implementation that we used to produce seven example timeline stories. Ultimately, this work is intended to inform and inspire the design of future tools for storytelling with timelines.

Reference: Timelines Revisited

Pilgrim’s Pride plans to employ robots

Another manufacturer employs robots to help with production.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., the second-largest U.S. producer, is adding robotics and X-ray technology for processes such as deboning the front half of the birds, chief executive officer Bill Lovette said Thursday during the company’s secondquarter earnings conference call. Pilgrim’s is working with Scott Technology Ltd., a New Zealand automation company controlled by Pilgrim’s corporate parent, the Brazilian meat giant JBS SA.

Reference: Pilgrim’s Pride plans to employ robots

New Jersey Bails Out

This is an interesting podcast talking about a social application of data analytics to fix the bail system of New Jersey.

In New Jersey, defense attorneys, judges, and prosecutors got together to try to reform a system that treated poor defendants so differently from rich ones. In the end: they got rid of bail.

… The Risk Assessment Algorithm predicts the probability of failing to show up in courts and the probability of committing to another crime before the next trial in a 1-to-6 scale. It considers the following factors

  • Does the person have a priori conviction of violance within the past x years?
  • Have the person had failed to appear in courts in priori cases?
  • The age of the person when the crime was committed, and others.

… Data shows that, if your age was under 23 when committing a crime, the person is more likely to commit a new crime than an older person.

… Some specific factors such as race and wealth are excluded in order to prevent bias, whereas keeping the forecast reliable.

… Since the introduction of the algorithm, people are detained with real information. The jail population is reduced by almost 30%. The result is very profound.

Reference: New Jersey Bails Out

Sodas lift McDonald’s

Some interesting trend in fast food business:

  • introducing in-store ordering kiosks,
  • expanding delivery through UberEats, and
  • launching a mobile order-and-pay option.

Reference: Sodas lift McDonald’s