Trumptism #2

As John Oliver defined in season 4 episode 30 of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on Nov. 12, 2017,

Delegitmizing the Media, Whataboutism, Trolling.

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Trumptism #1

As Bill Maher defined in the monologue of season 15 episode 31 “Salt in the Wound” on Oct. 20, 2017,

Bluff, Lie, Attack.

Automation, once thought to be a job-killer, is actually saving them

This article offers a few good updates about automation. However, we should not ignore social benefit of the automation to us, human. Check out other references listed after my citations about why.

There is no arguments that, when there is enough demand, automation helps businesses to meet that demand. It is, when demand drops, automation starts to hurt.

The surge in e-commerce has required the rapid build-out of a vast network of warehouses and delivery systems that include both robots and human workers. The robots didn’t take jobs from people, because many of the jobs didn’t exist before.

But worries about a “retail apocalypse” have missed a more important trend: E-commerce actually leads to more jobs by paying people to do things we used to do ourselves. When people shop online, tasks that once filled their days — driving to a store, searching through aisles for a product, taking it to a cashier and paying for it — are now done by warehouse employees and truck drivers. That means the bankruptcies and store closings in the retail sector aren’t the complete picture. While jobs have been lost in stores, many more have been gained from online shopping.

Since 2014, Amazon has deployed 100,000 robots in 25 warehouses worldwide. At the same time, it has nearly tripled its hourly workforce, from roughly 45,000 to nearly 125,000.

The explosion of online commerce is also building demand for higher-paying jobs in software and robotics. Nearly 14 percent of software job listings are now posted by retailers, according to data analyzed by Glassdoor, the job recruitment website. That share has doubled from 2012, says Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist.

“What’s going to happen next is robotic arms, combined with vision technology and suction technology,” says Marc Wulfraat, president of MWV- PL, a consulting firm. Wulfraat predicts that hundreds of smaller warehouses will be built in large cities to shorten delivery times to as low as an hour, particularly for groceries. Amazon already has 53 such facilities, and its competitors will be forced to follow suit.

References:

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.

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