Robots Could Take Half of Japanese Jobs by 2035

Gundam, Asimo, Velociraptor receptionists; Japan has been at the forefront of robotics since the inception of the concept, and new research suggests that Japanese permissive attitude toward automatons could see robots taking almost half of Japanese jobs within twenty years. A report by the Nomura Research Institute (NRI) [PDF – Japanese] in Japan revealed that, of the 601 jobs it looked at in collaboration with Oxford University, 49% of the positions could be taken by robot workers by 2035.

“Due to a shrinking population, labor shortages are predicted for Japan. We’re looking at the social repercussions of attempting to preserve the labor force by introducing AI and robots into it,” the report reads.

“We did the same kind of analysis in Japan that Professor Michael Osborne from Oxford University carried out in the UK and the US,” Yumi Wakao, a researcher at NRI, told Vice Motherboard. “We found that up to 49 percent of jobs could be replaced by computer systems.”

“However, this is only a hypothetical technical calculation,” Wakao added. “It doesn’t take into account social factors.”

The report shows that Japanese workers are at greater risk of losing their job to a robot, with the US not far behind (47%), while one-third of UK workers could be usurped by mechanical systems.

Big Brother Drone Is Watching Construction Workers

Big Brother is everywhere, from CCTV cameras on poles to the most cutting edge of democracy crushing surveillance which has been brought to you by the NSA, CIA, GCHQ and CITV, now a new American football stadium which is under construction is monitoring its workers by implementing Drones.

The sports arena is question goes by the name of Sacramento Kings in California, the workers are being monitored by drones and software that can automatically flag slow progress. So how does it work? “Once per day, several drones automatically patrol the Sacramento work site with the aim of collecting video footage. That footage is then converted into a three-dimensional picture of the site showing when each element should be finished. The software can show managers how the project is progressing, and can automatically highlight parts that may be falling behind schedule”.

In theory, this is an idea which monitors construction with the aim of planning for any future errors or for example how the weather is affecting the build. The problem lies with the notion of how this data will be used, if for example a particular worker or team falls slightly behind schedule, will those individuals be fired? The concerning information also states that

“The University of Illinois team is currently testing a system that will allow drones to attach cameras to locations across a building site, so that activity can be monitored continually. A manager can then see how different tasks are being performed overall, and how much time each individual is spending on a job”.

To me this is attempting to speed human beings up to the same level which machines can operate, collecting data for architectural and building purposes is standard to ensure safety, asking drones to fly over the top of workers and record their movements? Not so much, data needs to be overseen with proper protocols in place to ensure information is not built up with the aim of placing jobs at risk. Psychologically, if those workers feel that they are being watched 24/7, it will place them in a heightened state which might affect concentration and health.

Below is a GIF/JIF of the current phases which have been modelled for the stadium, as you can see, it’s pretty impressive, let’s hope employment rights are as futuristic as the design.

Thank you MIT for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of watchdogwire

Mozilla Set to Fire Employee Responsible for Hate Speech on Reddit

Mozilla’s CEO has vowed to fire an employee who was suspected of engaging in a vitriolic tirade on Reddit. The person in question used the alias, aoiyama and expressed joyous glee from the recent departure of Mozilla’s community organizer, Christie Koehler, and said:

“Everyone was glad to see the back of her”

“When she and the rest of her blue-haired, nose-pierced ***hole feminists are gone, the tech industry will breathe a sigh of relief.”

From a PR perspective, this was a disaster as the Reddit user is a Mozilla representative and could give an overall impression of their views on gender diversity in technology. Of course, Mozilla need to take firm, authoritative action and try to project a public image of enticing women into the technology sector. I think this proves once again to use caution when ranting on a public website and step away from the keyboard in moments of anger. Respect each other and the internet will become a more harmonious place.

Mozilla’s official response to the incident is as follows:

“It’s been brought to our attention that there’s been anonymous postings to Reddit under the handle aoiyama that crossed a line from criticism to hate speech. There’s a lot to suggest that they’re a Mozillian [an employee]. Specifically, when I’m talking about crossing the line from criticism to hate speech, I’m talking about when you start saying that ‘someone’s kind doesn’t belong here and we’ll all be happy when they’re gone.’ If that’s not hate speech, it’s pretty damn close and we’re not going to walk that line as Mozilla. So if, and when, we identify who this person is and if they are an employee, they will be fired. Either way, they are not welcome to continue to participate in the Mozilla project, so if you cross that line, I’m asking you now: please leave, because you’re not welcome.”

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Angry Birds Developer Rovio Lays off 110 Employees

It’s no surprise that the company that found luck with the insane success of Angry Birds has started to lay off employees.

Despite being the most downloaded mobile game of all time, Angry Birds is a simple game, with a simple concept, a game that arguably got in early and captured the hearts and minds of bored smartphone users before anyone else. This makes it easy to see how Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish company behind the game, hasn’t really been able to match the success of Angry Birds with any other game since.

It’s a problem that faces many mobile games – a game is an overnight success, they rely solely on that game to keep the business going, but once practically everyone owns it, there’s too few people left to buy it.

The layoffs mean the shutting down of the company’s Tampere studio, with their only presence in Finland being at their headquarters in Espoo.

Source: Wired

 

Job Posting Reveals Apple Working on Virtual Reality

One of the best ways to get an idea of what Apple is doing behind the scenes is to check their job boards.

9to5Mac reports on a new posting that reveals that Apple is looking for a software engineer that can “create high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems for prototyping”. 

They say they need someone to work on the “next generation” of software – a sign that Apple is getting serious about Virtual and Augmented Reality. This certainly isn’t the first peep we’ve had from Apple concerning the world of VR, they’ve been granted a number of patents recently for the technology too.

Whatever Apple is doing with VR, we may never get to see it, because after all, Apple is a company that says no more times than they say yes.

Source: 9to5Mac

One Third of UK Jobs to Become Automated

In this post-industrial age, the world’s labour market has shifted from machinery making the jobs of people easier and more efficient to automated technology – computerised systems and robotics – that remove the need for people entirely. Professional service firm Deloitte predict that one third of all jobs in the United Kingdom could become automated within twenty years.

Deloitte’s research was carried out in conjunction with Carl Benedikt Frey, of the Oxford Martin School, and Michael A Osborne, of the Department of Engineering Science, at the University of Oxford. Frey and Osborne’s earlier study, back in 2013, estimated that close to 50% of US jobs are at risk of automation.

The study noted a disturbing link between low-paid jobs and high risk of automation, suggesting that poor destined to suffer the most from the rise of technology. The amount of UK jobs deemed low or no risk is 40%, rising to 51% in the London area. Frey calls cities such as London, “incubators for new ideas and products,” saying that, “With the right policies, London can be at the front-line in developing the next generation of digital technologies.”

Source: Techcrunch