Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Web Secret 454: the robots are coming
The first: Amazon to Add 100,000 Jobs as Bricks-and-Mortar Retail Crumbles
The article's key points are:
"Amazon’s new warehouse in Baltimore is a rare economic bright spot there, employing 3,000 people full-time...
...With Amazon’s announcement ... that it plans to hire 100,000 new employees in the next 18 months, the Baltimore facility and at least 70 other Amazon fulfillment centers across the country stand to be among the biggest beneficiaries.
Fifteen miles away in the suburbs, all that is left of Owings Mills Mall is rubble, demolition having started in the fall, after the last anchor stores, Macy’s and J. C. Penney, closed within months of each other.
...the two scenes [are] an example of ... 'creative destruction'
...it’s key to remember that online retailing has destroyed many times that number of positions at malls and shopping centers across America."
The second article "Robots Will Take Jobs, but Not as Fast as Some Fear, New Report Says" opines that:
"...A measured pace is likely because what is technically possible is only one factor in determining how quickly new technology is adopted, according to a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute...
The report...concludes that many tasks can be automated and that most jobs have activities ripe for automation...
[Other reports are less sanguine.] Examining trends in artificial intelligence, researchers at Oxford University, estimated in a widely cited paper published in 2013 that 47 percent of jobs in the United States were at risk from automation...
...Such uncertainties led the McKinsey researchers to calculate the pace of automation as ranges rather than precise predictions. The report’s multifactor scenarios suggest that half of today’s work activities could be automated by 2055. That threshold could be reached 20 years earlier or 20 years later, the report adds, depending on economic trends, labor market dynamics, regulations and social attitudes.
So while further automation is inevitable, McKinsey’s research suggests that it will be a relentless advance rather than an economic tidal wave..."
What does this mean for those of us who are working in behavioral health care or employee assistance?
What we do is tech proof.
At least until right before The Singularity, when robot brains will be indistinguishable from human ones.