Yahoo Lost One-Third of Its Staff in 2015

Ailing multinational company Yahoo has lost over a third of its workforce over the last twelve months, in a shocking show of no-confidence in current CEO Marissa Mayer, according to a report in the New York Times.

“Basically, it shows employees losing faith in Marissa Mayer and Yahoo,” Scott Dobroski, spokesman for employment rating site Glassdoor, said.

While Mayer has fought hard to retain staff members that have been offered positions at competing companies with lucrative retention packages, the move has had the knock-on effect of causing resentment amongst colleagues who otherwise remained loyal when offered jobs elsewhere. Her strategy having backfired, Mayer is now pursuing mass layoffs, to be announced at the end of this month. Yahoo shareholders are desperate for Mayer to be fired before she can enact this plan.

“Only 34 percent of employees believe that Yahoo’s prospects are improving, according to surveys conducted by Glassdoor, a firm that collects data on jobs and employers,” the New York Times report reads. “That compares with 61 percent who are optimistic at Twitter, another troubled tech company, and 77 percent who see a bright future at Google, Ms. Mayer’s former employer.”

“One Yahoo employee who was interviewed said she was praying to be laid off so she could collect a severance payment and move on with her life,” the report continues. “Others said they were actively looking for their next jobs — a task made more difficult because of the taint of failure that potential employers sometimes associate with anyone at the struggling company.”

“We’re still hiring, and our application numbers are strong,” Yahoo said in a statement. The company refused to comment on staff morale.

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

First Robot Olympics To be Hosted by Tokyo in 2020

Japan has high hopes of bringing a new type of Olympics in 2020, alongside the actual summer games. Shimzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, said that he hopes to bring the world’s first Robot Olympics, having discussed the creation of ‘robotic revolution’. He apparently wants to gather all robots around the world and place them in an event where they could compete based on their technological skills. Abe states that this event could increase the value seen in the robotics industry, while also boosting the nation’s economy and encourage people to sign up for the robot factory workforce.

It is not currently clear on what to expect from the event just yet. The Prime Minister is said to be keen on showing off technical talents for robots, focusing on care and industrial use. It is said that there are more and more reports about robots taking over human jobs, with 47% of the US labor (702 humans) being threatened by the change. One example of a technologically advanced robot is Baxter, made by Rethink Robotics, who can already learn from human factory supervisors. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are also said to be working on a robot that can think like a person, with many more examples being out there. Therefore, it’s everybody’s guess on what to expect from the 2020 Robot Olympics.

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