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Can Photojournalism Survive in the Instagram Era?

Can Photojournalism Survive in the Instagram Era? | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Renowned photography theorist Fred Ritchin has a simple message for those behind the camera: Innovate or die.
Digital Gloss's insight:

In this interview Fred Ritchin (Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen) says photojournalists must innovate or die. He asks if amateurs might not do a better job in some ways because they "do not know how to stylize their imagery and are not interested in making a publication seem more palatable to its potential consumers." Yet the fact that digital cameras make all of us potential photojournalists doesn't mean that some aren't better photographers than others. And when no one is paid to do this sometimes dangerous and difficult work, what important coverage will be lost to all of us? One interesting footnote: Ritchin says we need curators who can "provide context and authenticate" the billions of images being made and posted today.

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How automation is affecting our lives and workplaces
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Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee

Presentation by Dr. James Hughes (Executive Director, IEET USA) on the occasion of International Future Day Conference, India
Digital Gloss's insight:

This slideshow, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee, addresses the disappearance of work brought about by robotization, computerization, and other new technologies and what can be done about it, including the possibility of a guaranteed income.

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Repurposing Obsolete Wind-Up Toys As Quirky, Art-Making Robots | The Creators Project

Repurposing Obsolete Wind-Up Toys As Quirky, Art-Making Robots | The Creators Project | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
These obsolete devices are having their own "Brave Little Toaster" moment.
Digital Gloss's insight:

I'm adding this because, oddly, I just read "The Brave Little Toaster," and it is interesting how increasing digitization is leading to repurposing of analog devices.

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Self-Driving Cars Proposed as Solution to U.S. Highway Woes, Saving Money and Lives

Self-Driving Cars Proposed as Solution to U.S. Highway Woes, Saving Money and Lives | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
In Silicon Valley, there’s someone to argue that a disruptive new technology will solve every problem in this world and the next. For instance,
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Self-driving cars are still cars, with all the resource-use and other problems inherent in this form of transportation, but a new study says they would save money and lives: "Winston and his co-author Fred Mannering, a Purdue University civil engineering professor, argue that if just one in 10 U.S. vehicles were replaced with a self-driving car, traffic fatalities and injuries, travel time and fuel consumption would all fall, together saving $40 billion a year. If half of the cars on the road were self-driving, that would save $200 billion a year, they say.

 

"Of course, Winston and Mannering’s paper is, like those brazen Valley assurances, speculative. It focuses on how driverless cars could help because there’s no data to prove that the autonomous vehicles have fewer accidents or reduce traffic congestion. But the speculation is based on some fairly logical assumptions."

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Squarepusher Explores 'Emotional Machine Music' With 78-Fingered Robot Guitarist

Squarepusher Explores 'Emotional Machine Music' With 78-Fingered Robot Guitarist | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Worried about the impending robot takeover? Maybe you should be. Once confined to specific tasks, automatons are now capable of activities we
Digital Gloss's insight:

It's not surprising that robots can play music, and I don't think this robot guitar playing machine will take over from the jazz and rock greats just yet; however, it is a reminder that anything we can do that involves dexterity and precision can also be done by a robot.

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In Radical Shift, Robots Work Right Next to Auto Workers | MIT Technology Review

In Radical Shift, Robots Work Right Next to Auto Workers | MIT Technology Review | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
It used to be too dangerous to have a person work alongside a robot. But at a South Carolina BMW plant, next-generation robots are changing that.

Via ThoughtKast
Digital Gloss's insight:

According to Will Knight, "As a new generation of safer, more user-friendly robots emerges, BMW’s man-machine collaboration could be the first of many examples of robots taking on new human tasks, and working more closely alongside humans. While many fear that this trend could put people out of work (see “How Technology Is Destroying Jobs”), proponents argue it will instead make employees more productive, relieving them of the most unpleasant and burdensome jobs." It will be interesting to see if this is what happens."

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ThoughtKast's curator insight, September 17, 2013 7:23 PM

"BMW is testing even more sophisticated final assembly robots that are mobile and capable of collaborating directly with human colleagues. These robots, which should be introduced in the next few years, could conceivably hand their human colleague a wrench when he or she needs it. The company is developing the newer robots in collaboration with Julie Shah, a professor in MIT’s department of aeronautics and astronautics. “Oftentimes, the robot will need to maneuver closely around people,” says Shah. “It’ll need to possibly straddle the moving floor—the actual assembly line; it’ll need to track a person that is potentially standing on that assembly line and moving with it.”"

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Robert Reich on the Future of Manufacturing Jobs: What America Needs Now

Robert Reich on the Future of Manufacturing Jobs: What America Needs Now | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Digital Gloss's insight:

It's good that Parade Magazine featured an article about the return of manufacturing jobs to the U.S., but Robert Reich's sidebar comment is more measured than the feel-good tone of the main article. He says, "vast assembly operations of the past have given way to high-tech, precision manufacturing, producing sophisticated components like aircraft parts, medical devices, and lab testing equipment.

 

"The good news: This overhaul has increased demand for higher-paid, skilled workers—manufacturing engineers who design and improve high-tech machinery and the systems linking it together; process specialists who oversee operations and improve their efficiency; and technicians who install, monitor, repair, and upgrade the advanced equipment." But how many such skilled jobs will be created in our manufacturing renaissance, compared to the thousands of manufacturing jobs that have been lost.

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Will robots make us sexist? | Salon

Will robots make us sexist? | Salon | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Highly advanced robots are coming -- and they're more likely to reinforce sexist norms than to change them

Via The Robot Launch Pad
Digital Gloss's insight:
Digital Gloss's insight:

This challenging article implies that, in everything from Google autocompletes to the way Siri was programmed, gender stereotyping is present, and this will also apply to the deployment of sophisticated robots. These robots, will in turn, affect men and women differently in the workplace. Chemaly says, "At the 2008 Singularity Summit, Marshall Brain, author of “Robotic Nation,” describedthe predictable, potentially devastating effects of  “second intelligence” competition in the marketplace.  The service industry will be the first affected.  Brain describes a future McDonald’s staffed by attractive female robots who know everything about him and can meet his every fast food need.  In his assessment, an attractive, compliant, “I’ll get you everything you want before you even think about it” female automaton is “going to be a good thing.”  However, he went on to talk about job losses in many sectors, especially the lowest paying, with emphasis on service, construction and transportation sectors. Brain noted that robotic competition wouldn’t be good for “construction workers, truck drivers and Joe the plumber.” Nine out of 10 women are employedin service industries.  The idea that women will be disproportionately displaced as a result of long-standing sex segregationin the workforce did not factor into his analysis"

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The Robot Launch Pad's curator insight, August 28, 2013 4:59 PM

The issue becomes one of domain. Big questions are rarely answered in design, research or product development. And indeed, should they be? Can the market drive a broader and more diverse robotics?

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Boeing's secret plan to use robots to bring manufacturing back to the US - Quartz

Boeing's secret plan to use robots to bring manufacturing back to the US - Quartz | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Boeing's secret plan to use robots to bring manufacturing back to the US
Quartz
Boeing's secret plan to use robots to bring manufacturing back to the US. By Christopher Mims — August 16, 2013.
Digital Gloss's insight:

 

The author of this article states, "In bringing more manufacturing of the 777 line back to the US, Boeing is apparently looking at more than just saving on labor costs: The company also doesn’t want to outsource its new, high-tech manufacturing process and potentially give up a competitive edge over competitor Airbus, which is heavily invested in technology. Automation could allow Boeing to increase production from 8 jets per month to 10 or even 12." This is another story of bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. without necessarily bringing many jobs with it.

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The Mythical American Manufacturing Renaissance in Three Charts

The Mythical American Manufacturing Renaissance in Three Charts | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
I dunno what got into me, but this morning I watched CNBC at the gym and good earnings reports from Ford, GM, Boeing, and Dow fueled a lot of enthusiastic talk about an American manufacturing renaissance.
Digital Gloss's insight:

Matthew Yglesias questions the use of statistics to "prove" a renaissance in American manufacturing. About the last chart, he says, "Here we see why it seems like everyone has been complaining for decades about the decline of the manufacturing economy. It's been steadily shrinking as a share of employment since the end of World War II. It was shrinking in the '50s, shrinking in the '60s, shrinking in the '70s, shrinking in the '80s, shrinking in the '90s, and shrinking in the '00s. Now it's flatlining. And that's your renaissance."

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Class Power and Labor’s Falling Income Share | CEPR Blog

Class Power and Labor’s Falling Income Share | CEPR Blog | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
As overall labor share has declined, income inequality within labor has left the rank-and-file with even less.
Digital Gloss's insight:

In this article Sheva Diagne gives a synopsis of the research done by social scientist Tali Kristal about why unionization and workers' wages are falling as automation and computerization proceeds apace. Diagne writes, "In her June 2013 paper, 'The Capitalist Machine: Computerization, Workers’ Power, and the Decline in Labor’s Share within U.S. Industries,' social scientist Tali Kristal ... introduces the theory of 'class-biased technological change,' which states that decades of technological change precipitated the decline of labor unions and weakened workers’ ability to bargain for a larger piece of the economic pie. First, new technologies lead to job losses in previously highly unionized sectors, like manufacturing, as work becomes more mechanized and production moves to lower-wage regions around the world. New technologies require new skills, a fact which can create a wedge between workers with and without those skills, polarize wages, and degrade workplace solidarity. Moreover, Kristal argues, new technologies empower employers to exert greater 'technocratic control' over employees and engage in union-busting tactics. Drawing on the belief that class struggle drives the income distribution process, Kristal concludes that a shift in the class’ relative power leads to a shift in relative income."

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The Internet’s greatest disruptive innovation: Inequality

The Internet’s greatest disruptive innovation: Inequality | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
The logical consequences of Silicon Valley capitalism: Social stratification and class antagonism
Digital Gloss's insight:

Andrew Leonard says, "Over the past three decades, the spread of technologies associated with the silicon chip and the Internet has been accompanied by growing income inequality and an increasingly squeezed middle class." This is another article that notes the fact that "the long-standing connection between productivity gains and employment growth has been essentially broken."

 

"In the first decade of the new millennium, the numbers are stark. A January report by the Associated Press offered a preliminary tally:

 

"In the U.S., more than 1.1 million secretaries vanished from the job market between 2000 and 2010, their job security shattered by software that lets bosses field calls themselves and arrange their own meetings and trips. Over the same period, the number of telephone operators plunged by 64 percent, word processors and typists by 63 percent, travel agents by 46 percent and bookkeepers by 26 percent, according to Labor Department statistics."

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Uh oh, San Jose State University suspends online course project with Udacity

Uh oh, San Jose State University suspends online course project with Udacity | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Just about six months after announcing a partnership with online education startup Udacity, San Jose State University says that is pausing the project.
Digital Gloss's insight:

Whether or not you like the idea of MOOCs (massive open online courses) early findings reported by The San Jose Mercury News seem to show that students don't do as well in MOOCs as they do in in-person courses. So San Jose State University has decided to take those findings seriously and re-examine its partnership with Udacity.

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3D printing 'bigger than internet' - ft business - companies - FT.com

3D printing 'bigger than internet' - ft business - companies - FT.com | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Proponents of 3D printing say it has the potential to alter radically a number of industries.
Digital Gloss's insight:

A chance to see a small-scale digital printer in operation and a chance to hear one of 3-D printing's major proponents.

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Can Facebook’s Massive Courses Improve Education For Developing Nations? | TechCrunch

Can Facebook’s Massive Courses Improve Education For Developing Nations? | TechCrunch | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Facebook is on a mission to prove that social media-empowered education can help some of the poorest nations on Earth. It recently announced a big industry..
Digital Gloss's insight:

MOOC's are a great way to learn -- I'm currently taking two at Coursera -- but they can also be seen as a form of automation. The author of this article says, "Peer assessment and collaboration are essential to helping MOOCs scale; it’s the only way hundreds of thousands of students can get their assignments graded and get answers to questions without employing thousands of more teachers."

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Amazon claims another victim in its relentless push to take over the world

Amazon claims another victim in its relentless push to take over the world | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Another nail in the brick-and-mortar coffin: Radio Shack announces plans to close 1,200 stores
Digital Gloss's insight:

Amazon is gaining on so many retailers, and it's important to realize that automation is what makes Amazon so successful. The internet, the computerized inventory management systems, and the increasing robotization of warehouses all contribute to Amazon's ascendency. But the picture is more complex, as Andrew Leonard notes: "I’ll miss that Radio Shack if it is on the list of victims, but not as badly as I miss a good local independent bookstore. Buying cables or Wi-Fi dongles online isn’t as emotionally wrought as participating in the possible death of the publishing industry. But I do wonder where the friendly, helpful Radio Shack staffers I’ve come to appreciate over the years will end up. Hustling to drag inventory around an Amazon warehouse, while looking over their shoulder at the robots coming to take those jobs?

 

"The narrative is relentless. In 2003, Amazon and Radio Shack both posted total annual sales of $5 billion. In 2013, pointed out the Wall Street Journal’s Dennis Berman, Amazon was up to $75 billion and Radio Shack was down to $3.5 billion."

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Robot Serves Up 360 Hamburgers Per Hour

Robot Serves Up 360 Hamburgers Per Hour | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
No longer will they say, “He’s going to end up flipping burgers.” Because now, robots are taking even these ignobly esteemed jobs. Alpha
Digital Gloss's insight:

And from robots that play music, we segue to robots that make 360 hamburgers/hour: "With a conveyor belt-type system the burgers are freshly ground, shaped and grilled to the customer’s liking. And only when the burger’s finished cooking does Alpha slice the tomatoes and pickles and place them on the burger as fresh as can be. Finally, the machine wraps the burger up for serving."

 

 

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Don’t look back — the machines are gaining on you

Don’t look back — the machines are gaining on you | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
A new report predicts 47 percent of U.S. jobs are at high risk from automation. If there's a race, we are losing
Digital Gloss's insight:

Apparently, the answer to the question "How susceptible are Jobs to Computerization?" which is posed by a working paper from Oxford University is "more than you might think." Here's a quote from the study: "The reason why human labor has prevailed relates to its ability to adopt and acquire new skills by means of education. Yet as computerization enters more cognitive domains this will become increasingly challenging. Recent empirical findings are therefore particularly concerning. For example, Beaudry, et al. (2013) document a decline in the demand for skill over the past decade, even as the supply of workers with higher education has continued to grow. They show that high-skilled workers have moved down the occupational ladder, taking on jobs traditionally performed by low-skilled workers, pushing low-skilled workers even further down the occupational ladder and, to some extent, even out of the labor force. This raises questions about: (a) the ability of human labor to win the race against technology by means of education; and (b) the potential extent of technological unemployment, as an increasing pace of technological progress will cause higher job turnover, resulting in a higher natural rate of unemployment…"

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What Is Life Like For an Amazon Worker?

What Is Life Like For an Amazon Worker? | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Digital Gloss's insight:

This article is a first-person account of working at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tennessee. Among other things, these are huge operations: "like bigger than 12 city blocks. Last night when I drove to work it took me about 15 min – when you arrive there is a line of cars to get in. Waiting in that line to get to a parking space took 15 min the same time as my commute! There’s no way for me to fully describe the size of this place. There are over 7 miles of conveyor belts. The two ends of the warehouse is where product is stored. Think of a library with very small isles. Now imagine over 250 isles deep. Now imagine over 13 long isles across. Now imagine three floors of that. And finally imagine that double since there are two of these “libraries” – one on each side of the building."

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America’s Disappearing Jobs

America’s Disappearing Jobs | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
5. Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, Tile and Marble Setters — Helpers > 10-year job pct.
Digital Gloss's insight:

Of the top ten disappearing job classifications, this article at 24/7 gives automation in some form as a reason for decline for seven of them. These are: semiconductor processors; prepress technicians; word processors and typists; Textile Knitting and Weaving Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders; computer operators; Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic; and Advertising and Promotions Managers (because of the decline in print media).
 

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Wal-Mart’s newest scheme to ruin the middle class

Wal-Mart’s newest scheme to ruin the middle class | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Just as bad as the original '80s campaign, "Buy America" 2.0 continues Wal-Mart's planned takeover of urban markets
Digital Gloss's insight:

Walmart's new "Buy America" program, according to Stacy Mitchell, will not result in bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. She cites two major reasons for that. First of all, most of the American-made goods that Walmart will buy will be foodstuffs. (Groceries now account for 55% of Walmart's U.S. earnings, up from 24% in 2003.)  Mitchell says this will probably mean lower wages for workers in food production. Secondly, those manufacturing jobs that are returning to the U.S. are mostly highly automated jobs in the South. She gives the case of 1888 Mills, a Georgia towel maker that will make towels for Walmart. Except that 1888 Mills will maintain its overseas workforce of 14,000 to make most of the towels and only add 35 jobs to its U.S. factory -- and these jobs will pay $12-14 an hour.

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IBM Moving from a hardware-based supply chain to one that is "software-defined" - United States

IBM Moving from a hardware-based supply chain to one that is "software-defined" - United States | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Infographic: How can Electronics companies prepare for the disruptive transformation ahead?
Digital Gloss's insight:

IBM says changes in electronics manufacturing will take place because of three things: "3D printing, intelligent robotics and open source electronics. Together, they are creating a manufacturing environment that can be defined and executed through managing software and data files – a transformation we describe as moving from a hardware-based supply chain to one that is 'software-defined.'"

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Massive Online Courses Are Terrible for Students and Professors

Massive Online Courses Are Terrible for Students and Professors | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
The word mooc sounds a bit like slang from Goodfellas or the affectionate shortening of the already-affectionate name of a former outfielder for the New York Mets.
Digital Gloss's insight:

Jonathan Rees' take on MOOC's is that they will undercut academics and hurt students. He says, "From an administrative standpoint, the beauty of MOOCs is that they provide an easy opportunity to drastically cut labor costs by firing existing faculty members or simply hiring poorly trained ones—whom they won't have to pay well—to help administer the class. After all, this way of thinking goes, why should I hire a new Ph.D. when I can get the best professors in the world piped into my university's classrooms?"

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PIN-Punching Robot Can Crack Your Phone's Security Code In Less Than 24 Hours (Video)

PIN-Punching Robot Can Crack Your Phone's Security Code In Less Than 24 Hours (Video) | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Video There's nothing particularly difficult about cracking a smartphone's four-digit PIN code. All it takes is a pair of thumbs and enough persistence to try all 10,000 combinations.
Digital Gloss's insight:

The R2B2 robot will be shown at the Def Con hacker conference next month in Las Vegas. It can automatically punch PIN numbers at a rate of one guess/second which is fast enough to crack an Android phone's number in 20 hours. Workplace automation proceeds apace, this time taking work from black hat hackers.

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Can Photojournalism Survive in the Instagram Era?

Can Photojournalism Survive in the Instagram Era? | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
Renowned photography theorist Fred Ritchin has a simple message for those behind the camera: Innovate or die.
Digital Gloss's insight:

In this interview Fred Ritchin (Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen) says photojournalists must innovate or die. He asks if amateurs might not do a better job in some ways because they "do not know how to stylize their imagery and are not interested in making a publication seem more palatable to its potential consumers." Yet the fact that digital cameras make all of us potential photojournalists doesn't mean that some aren't better photographers than others. And when no one is paid to do this sometimes dangerous and difficult work, what important coverage will be lost to all of us? One interesting footnote: Ritchin says we need curators who can "provide context and authenticate" the billions of images being made and posted today.

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The 3-D Future of Fashion, One Synthetic Thread at a Time

The 3-D Future of Fashion, One Synthetic Thread at a Time | Workplace Automation | Scoop.it
I always work together with an architect, as I am not good with the 3-D programs myself, one designer explains.
Digital Gloss's insight:

3-D printing is likely to have a place in the fashion world where one-of-a-kind shoes, jewelry, and clothing could be created, as Michael Schmidt did for Dita Von Teese's Swarovski crystal-encrusted "mesh" black dress.

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