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:

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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:

Mark Zuckerberg tells Harvard grads that automation will take jobs, and it’s up to millennials to create more

Thank you Mark for bringing attention to future job loss due to automation.

“… today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in a lot of communities has been declining. A lot people are feeling disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void in their lives.”

The Facebook executive said that it’s time for this generation to define a “social contract” in the vein of the New Deal or the Great Society. In his remarks, Zuckerberg said that we should explore ideas such as universal basic income — the idea that everyone should receive a base salary — and explore ways to provide health care and childcare in ways that aren’t tied to an employer.

Reference:

Mark Zuckerberg tells Harvard grads that automation will take jobs, and it’s up to millennials to create more

My related posts:

Mark Zuckerberg called for exploring universal basic income in his Harvard graduation speech. Here’s what that means

Warehouse workers beware: These little robot helpers may be after your job

Robot-Proof Jobs 1: Jobs that are safe today

Robots, artificial intelligence boom may cost US, UK at least 1/3 of their jobs: Study Shows

Bill Gates: the robot that takes your job should pay taxes

Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage

Robots May Pay Taxes Under European Proposals

Why our recent technology advancement is not a revolution to economy?

A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets

The Bank of England has a chart that shows whether a robot will take your job

These adorable robots could someday put construction workers out of a job

Sustain Social Security under the Impact of Automation and a Shrinking Job Market

Mark Zuckerberg called for exploring universal basic income in his Harvard graduation speech. Here’s what that means

Thank you Mark for echoing my proposed solution to job loss due to automation.

“We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful,” he said. “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things.”

It’s an idea that has picked up momentum in an age in which increased technological advance, globalization, and automation — especially automation — threaten countless livelihoods, as Zuckerberg noted during his speech Thursday.

“Our generation will have to deal with tens of millions of jobs replaced by automation like self-driving cars and trucks,” he said.

Reference:

Mark Zuckerberg called for exploring universal basic income in his Harvard graduation speech. Here’s what that means

My related posts:

Warehouse workers beware: These little robot helpers may be after your job

Robot-Proof Jobs 1: Jobs that are safe today

Robots, artificial intelligence boom may cost US, UK at least 1/3 of their jobs: Study Shows

Bill Gates: the robot that takes your job should pay taxes

Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage

Robots May Pay Taxes Under European Proposals

Why our recent technology advancement is not a revolution to economy?

A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets

The Bank of England has a chart that shows whether a robot will take your job

These adorable robots could someday put construction workers out of a job

Sustain Social Security under the Impact of Automation and a Shrinking Job Market

America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever

I remember large retailers were so afraid of Amazon, when they asked the on-line retailer to pay for sales tax so they can have a leveled playing field. Those brick-and mortar retailers thought they could stop the inevitable trend of technical revolution.

On the contrary, they sped up their own dilemma, when Amazon quickly expended its distribution centers, because the sales tax allowed it to freely expand its sales territories than ever. Essentially, major retailers’ fear made them shoot their own feet and results in the store closing tide we see today.

History has shown us again and again that we should embrace the change, not blocking it. But, unfortunately, people still fail to learn their lessons and get themselves into their own death spiral.

Similarly, the trend of manufacturing job market is automation. Today, people still thought they could bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. But, in reality, some jobs are not deemed to be back. As I stated in my previous posts, the missing key is still universal income, or including automation in our social security pool so we can embrace the change and protect our welfare altogether. It has been more than 7 years, since I raised the issue. I am still hoping people will understand it one day and consider the solution seriously.

References:

America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever

BOTUS

Robots, artificial intelligence boom may cost US, UK at least 1/3 of their jobs: Study Shows

Bill Gates: the robot that takes your job should pay taxes

Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage

Robots May Pay Taxes Under European Proposals

Why our recent technology advancement is not a revolution to economy?

A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets

The Bank of England has a chart that shows whether a robot will take your job

These adorable robots could someday put construction workers out of a job

Sustain Social Security under the Impact of Automation and a Shrinking Job Market

BOTUS

Here is another interesting pod cast and experiment about robots and jobs.

All across Wall Street, humans are being replaced by computers. Even the people who make decisions about which stocks to buy and sell are being replaced by computer programs, by bots.

To understand what goes on inside a stock-picking bot, we at Planet Money built our own.

References:

BOTUS

Robots, artificial intelligence boom may cost US, UK at least 1/3 of their jobs: Study Shows

Bill Gates: the robot that takes your job should pay taxes

Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage

Robots May Pay Taxes Under European Proposals

Why our recent technology advancement is not a revolution to economy?

A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets

The Bank of England has a chart that shows whether a robot will take your job

These adorable robots could someday put construction workers out of a job

Sustain Social Security under the Impact of Automation and a Shrinking Job Market