robots
Boston Dynamics’ New Robot Is a Giant Segway Bird That Lives to Suck

Boston Dynamics has released a new video demonstrating one of its newest robots—a birdlike creation that gracefully moves boxes around a warehouse floor like only an avian-Segway-hybrid contraption can. Read More >>

boeing
Boeing May Be About to Lose a £3.7 Billion Order for Its 737 Max Planes

An airline in Indonesia just became the first in the world to try and cancel its order for Boeing’s Max planes in the wake of the two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia within the past five months. And the move has the potential to cost Boeing billions. Read More >>

technology
Aviation Experts Have Predicted Automation Will Lead to Disasters Like the Boeing Max Crashes for 15 Years

The two tragic crashes of Boeing’s best-selling 737 Max planes increasingly look to be caused in part by a malfunctioning automated system—and the pilots’ lack of training around how to deal with it—that was designed to keep the aircraft from stalling out. The final reports aren’t in yet, but the similarities between the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that together killed 346 people, and the log of complaints from other pilots about the system, all point to trouble with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS. Read More >>

shopping
Why Self-Checkout is and Has Always Been the Worst

Automation is often presented as an inexorably advancing force, whether it’s ushering in a threat to jobs or a promise of increased leisure or larger profits. We’re made to imagine the robots rising, increasingly mechanised systems of production, more streamlined modes of everyday living. But the truth is that automation technology and automated systems very often fail. And even when they do, they nonetheless frequently wind up stranded in our lives. Read More >>

automation
Automation is Coming for the Oil Jobs, Too

When pundits, politicians, or advocates have talked about the need to reduce fossil fuel production to combat climate change, one of the most common rejoinders has been to appeal to that most central of American concerns – it creates a lot of jobs. Oil industry backers are often touting the notion that it creates lots of decent-paying jobs. It’s also why Trump loves coal; these are generally perceived as very solid and very American jobs. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Will Tech Workers Rise Up Around Automation, Too?

Over the last year or two, a number of stories have documented both an ascendent drive for representation in the workplace to a growing class consciousness, inspired by labour strikes in other industries and injustices in their own ranks. As such, it occurs to me that the time might be ripe for tech workers to consider how to collectively harness, and maybe organise around, automation for their mutual benefit. Read More >>

automation
This Automation Platform Helped Eliminate 40,000 Jobs, and Now It’s Available to Companies Everywhere

Over the last five years, the global management consulting company Accenture has developed proprietary automation software called the SynOps platform that it says has helped it cut 40,000 jobs within the company. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Is Rolling Out a ‘Robotic Tech Vest’ to Keep Workers From Getting Hit by Robots

Amazon has begun rolling out a “new worker safety wearable” to over 25 of its locations over the past year, TechCrunch reported on Friday—namely, a “Robotic Tech Vest” that alerts robots to the location of workers within a facility in order to prevent workplace accidents. Read More >>

futurism
British Kids From the 1960s Had Some Really Dark Predictions for the Future

Some of the most interesting predictions for the future don’t come from expert futurists or well-financed think tanks, they come from average kids. Today, we have video from the 1960s that features kids talking about their own vision for tomorrow. And it’s depressing as hell. Read More >>

robots
The World Bank Says Robots Aren’t Killing Jobs Yet. Don’t Listen To It.

Last week, the World Bank released its annual World Development Report, and the headline news this go round, as relayed by Bloomberg and others, is basically that “Robots Aren’t Killing Jobs.” Which, good news, if true. Read More >>

amazon
The Biggest Sign Yet That Automation Is Taking Over at Amazon

The day after Christmas, Amazon celebrated its own annual holiday tradition: announcing record-breaking sales in a very long press release that affirms its status as the largest retailer in the known universe. As such, Jeff Bezos’s Big Store said that in 2018, it surpassed its own sales records with “More Items Ordered Worldwide Than Ever Before.” Of course, Amazon announces some version of that milestone just about every year, as it continues to upend brick-and-mortar stores and march into new digital markets around the globe. Read More >>

ai
The ‘Godfather of Deep Learning’ on Why We Need to Ensure AI Doesn’t Just Benefit the Rich

Martin Ford made waves with his 2015 book, Rise of the Robots, which details the many accelerating trends in automation and how they’re slated to impact business and, especially, employment. For his next book, Architects of Intelligence: The Truth About AI from the People Building It, he, well, attempts to hone in on precisely what that subtitle describes. It’s stuffed with in-depth interviews with the biggest names in AI. One of those is Geoffrey Hinton. Currently a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto and a part of the Google Brain project, Hinton is considered by many in his field to be the ‘godfather of deep learning,’ due to his pioneering work in artificial neural networks. Read More >>

uber
Uber Driverless Cars Back on Roads Less Than a Year After Deadly Crash

Uber’s driverless cars are on the roads again, returning from their hiatus following a fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona. Read More >>

robots
Maybe People Won’t Try to Kill This Minion-esque Delivery Bot on Sight

Robotic couriers that look a whole lot like Minions could be coming to American cities next year. Read More >>