The Human(ity) Displacement Crisis

What is this?
This is a page dedicated to the complex idea that algorithms, automatic systems, A.I. Robotics essentially ‘Privatized and Automated Privilege’ is displacing humans, humanity at large and what makes us humane. This isn’t merely about increasing disparity – it is literally an assault on the probability of long term survival for the majority of the species. Disparity is an existential threat. Concentration of Prosperity, Affluence and Opportunity is an implied existential threat. A capitalist system that mass-marginalized people eventually has no recourse to apply austerity in an euthenatic (or even dysthanatic) manner. We are already seeing the latter in a widespread hatred of and war on ‘poverty’ in most of western society.
I used to manage all these links on but that medium has opted for focusing on paid services only, and is actively pushing me out. Eventually I will close those accounts down and transfer that content here.
Important: Five or so years ago I insisted to the Lifeboat Foundation that “mass disparity in opportunity and income” should regarded [by them] as an Existential Risk. Existential Risks are risks that can prematurely kill the majority (51% or more) or all people in a relatively short time, say, a decade or less. Examples of existential risks re fullblown NBC wars, asteroid strikes. The Lifeboat Foundation indicated [informally] that any interpretation of any form of disparity is not acceptable to them, as this would immediately wipe out the majority of their funding. They paraphrased this as “we don’t do class warfare ideology“, and “we are not a socialist organization“. Think about that for a moment.

May 2018

Why You Must Treat Artificial Intelligence (AI) As A Very Special Technology

There are lots of technologies that attract our attention – and money – these days. We’re obsessed with blockchain, cryptocurrency, IOT, big data analytics, cybersecurity3-D printing and drones. We’re excited about virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. We love talking about driverless cars, ships and planes. We can’t wait for 5G and Wi-Fi domes that solve all of our network access problems; and while we’re getting a little worried about social media and privacy, we’re still addicted to our ever-more-powerful smartphones. We buy everything online. We’re into wearables. But there’s one technology that we all need to embrace: artificial intelligence (AI). While there are other families in the disruptive digital technology world, this one is special and one you cannot afford to treat as just another emerging technology. AI powers, amplifies and therefore supersedes them all.Why So Special?… First, AI is special because it’s more than one technology. In fact, it’s a family of technologies. Secondly, AI is special because its application potential is so wide. Next, AI is special because it learns and sometimes even self-replicates. AI’s also special because it satisfies ROI models of all shapes and sizes. Finally, AI is everywhere: which companies – and countries – are not investing in AI? There’s a bona fide arms race underway among the players (which shows no signs of slowing anytime soon).


Technological unemployment is a hard topic because there are such good arguments on both sides. The argument against: we’ve had increasing technology for centuries now, people have been predicting that technology will put them out of work since the Luddites, and it’s never come true. Instead, one of two things have happened. Either machines have augmented human workers, allowing them to produce more goods at lower prices, and so expanded industries so dramatically that overall they employ more people. Or displaced workers from one industry have gone into another – stable boys becoming car mechanics, or the like. There are a bunch of well-known theoretical mechanisms that compensate for technological displacement – see Vivarelli for a review. David Autor gives a vivid example:….

Automation Will Leave One-Third of Americans Unemployed by 2050

One-third of American men between the ages of 25 and 54 will not be working by 2050, according to Darrell West. During a forum to debut his new book, West painted a bleak picture for our future. “We’re already at 12 percent of prime-aged men without jobs,” the Brookings Institute vice president said, forecasting an even bigger number in 30 years, thanks to the growth of artificial intelligence and automation.

Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.

Three years ago, at a conference on transatlantic issues, the subject of artificial intelligence appeared on the agenda. I was on the verge of skipping that session—it lay outside my usual concerns—but the beginning of the presentation held me in my seat. The speaker described the workings of a computer program that would soon challenge international champions in the game Go. I was amazed that a computer could master Go, which is more complex than chess. In it, each player deploys 180 or 181 pieces (depending on which color he or she chooses), placed alternately on an initially empty board; victory goes to the side that, by making better strategic decisions, immobilizes his or her opponent by more effectively controlling territory.

Chinese law professor: AI will end capitalism

April 2018


Elon Musk Fears ‘An Immortal Robot Dictator’ (Other Than Him) Will One Day Rule The World

World Bank Wants To Make Workers More Like Robots\

Undercover author finds Amazon warehouse workers in UK ‘peed in bottles’ over fears of being punished for taking a break

* An undercover author told The Sun that workers at an Amazon warehouse in the UK “peed in bottles” because they were scared walking to a bathroom would cause them to miss targets.
The author, James Bloodworth, found that staff members feared being disciplined for “idle time.”
* A separate survey of Amazon workers released Monday found that some workers who reported feeling sick – even through pregnancy – said they were penalized for not turning up or taking breaks.
* Amazon said it didn’t recognize the allegations as an accurate portrayal of its warehouse working conditions.
* The company disputed the survey findings and said it didn’t time toilet breaks.

Google Should Not Help the U.S. Military Build Unaccountable AI Systems

Thousands of Google staff have been speaking out against the company’s work for “Project Maven,” according to a New York Times report this week. The program is a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to deploy machine learning for military purposes. There was a small amount of public reporting last month that Google had become a contractor for that project, but those stories had not captured how extensive Google’s involvement was, nor how controversial it has become within the company. Outcry from Google’s own staff is reportedly ongoing, and the letter signed by employees asks Google to commit publicly to not assisting with warfare technology. We are sure this is a difficult decision for Google’s leadership; we hope they weigh it carefully.

Richest 1% on target to own two-thirds of all wealth by 2030

The hope is to create pressure for global action when leaders of the G20 group of nations gather for a summit in Buenos Aires in November. Byrne, who organised the first OECD global parliamentary conference on inclusive growth, said he believed global inequality was “now at a tipping point”. “If we don’t take steps to rewrite the rules of how our economies work, then we condemn ourselves to a future that remains unequal for good,” he said. “That’s morally bad, and economically disastrous, risking a new explosion in instability, corruption and poverty.”

Millenials are Screwed Recommended!

But generalizations about millennials, like those about any other arbitrarily defined group of 75 million people, fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. Contrary to the cliché, the vast majority of millennials did not go to college, do not work as baristas and cannot lean on their parents for help. Every stereotype of our generation applies only to the tiniest, richest, whitest sliver of young people. And the circumstances we live in are more dire than most people realize.

Homeland Security to compile database of journalists, media influencers

The Department of Homeland Security posted a contract request this week for “Media Monitoring Services,” which will compile a database of hundreds of thousands of journalists, bloggers and “media influencers” for the federal government. After an outcry on social media, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman tweeted “this is nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events in the media.”

Do you trust this computer?

Science fiction has long anticipated the rise of machine intelligence. Today, a new generation of self-learning computers has begun to reshape every aspect of our lives. Incomprehensible amounts of data are being created, interpreted, and fed back to us in a tsunami of apps, personal assistants, smart devices, and targeted advertisements. Virtually every industry on earth is experiencing this transformation, from job automation, to medical diagnostics, even military operations. Do You Trust This Computer? explores the promises and perils of our new era. Will A.I. usher in an age of unprecedented potential, or prove to be our final invention?

Elon Musk warns A.I. could create an ‘immortal dictator from which we can never escape’

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that artificial intelligence “doesn’t have to be evil to destroy humanity.” In a new documentary, “Do You Trust This Computer?”, Musk warned the creation of superintelligence could lead to an “immortal dictator.” Musk believes that humans should merge with AI to avoid the risk of becoming irrelevant.

Google workers demand end to company’s involvement in drone murder

Revelations last month that Google was designing software for the US military’s illegal drone warfare program have sparked outrage among employees. More than 3,000 Google workers have signed a letter to executives demanding that it end its involvement with the Pentagon. The program, known as “Project Maven,” involves the use of artificial intelligence systems to analyze drone footage, potentially assisting the Pentagon in identifying targets for drone assassinations, which have led to the deaths of tens of thousands of people, most of them bystanders, across the Middle East and North Africa. Google’s involvement in the program was reported by Gizmodo last month.

Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics – Pew Research Center

The lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession…


Today there are no shortage of institutions trying to make the world of work that more liveable. But what if a job is no longer enough to get by?

Automation Is Not Tomorrow — It’s Today

“The future is right now — it’s just unevenly distributed.” — William Gibson
I am writing from inside the tech bubble to let you know that we are coming for your jobs. I recently met a pair of old friends for drinks in Manhattan. One is an executive who works at a software company in New York. They replace call center workers with artificial intelligence software. I asked her whether she believed her work would result in job losses. She responded matter-of-factly, “We are getting better and better at things that will make large numbers of workers extraneous. And we will succeed. There needs to be a dramatic reskilling of the workforce, but that’s not going to be practical for a lot of people. It’s impossible to avoid a lost generation of workers.” Her confidence in this assessment was total. The conversation then quickly shifted to more pleasant topics.

EXCLUSIVE: Robert Mercer backed a secretive group that worked with Facebook, Google to target anti-Muslim ads at swing voters

As the final weeks of the 2016 elections ticked down, voters in swing states like Nevada and North Carolina began seeing eerie promotional travel ads as they scrolled through their Facebook feeds or clicked through Google sites. In one, a woman with a French accent cheerfully welcomes visitors to the “Islamic State of France,” where “under Sharia law, you can enjoy everything the Islamic State of France has to offer, as long as you follow the rules.” The video has a Man in the High Tower feel. Iconic French tourist sites are both familiar and transformed — the Eiffel Tower is capped with a star and crescent and the spires of the Notre Dame are replaced with the domed qubba of a mosque.

March 2018


Elon Musk believes finding a new way for humans to merge with machines is imperative. He fears the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) might one day result in a digital intelligence far superior to our own. If humans are left behind, in terms of intelligence, the AI might decide human life is, at worst, something that must be destroyed.

Google’s AI And Deep Learning Researcher Warns About AI-Fueled ‘Mass Population Control’ [Opinion]

The human mind is a static, vulnerable system that will come increasingly under attack from ever-smarter AI algorithms,” he argues. Questions about Google’s data mining tendencies, AI and social media arise.

Robots Aren’t Coming for Our Jobs – Capitalists Are

Globalisation and automation: these are the trends reshaping our world, or so we are told. According to the consultancy McKinsey, 80% of jobs could technically be automated by 2050. Globalisation will bring the Global South closer to the Global North. Together, they will create a world in which an ever greater number of human beings compete for a shrinking number of jobs. But there’s a fatal flaw in this narrative: it doesn’t make any sense. ‘Globalisation’ can’t do anything – it is not an actor; it does not have agency. The same goes for ‘automation’ – whilst robots may one day become autonomous beings, as things stand they still have to be programmed by people. Hence the absurdity of claiming that ‘the robots are taking our jobs’. Robots don’t have the capacity to ‘take’ anything.


WikiLeaks is a multi-national media organization and associated library. It was founded by its publisher Julian Assange in 2006. WikiLeaks specializes in the analysis and publication of large datasets of censored or otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying and corruption. It has so far published more than 10 million documents and associated analyses. “WikiLeaks is a giant library of the world’s most persecuted documents. We give asylum to these documents, we analyze them, we promote them and we obtain more.” – Julian Assange, Der Spiegel Interview

DeepMind boss admits ‘risks’ of AI

Artificial intelligence offers huge scientific benefits but also brings risks depending on how it is used, Demis Hassabis, the head of leading British AI firm DeepMind, said Friday. “There’s a whole bunch of interesting and difficult philosophical questions… that we’re going to have to answer about how to control these systems, what values we want in them, how do we want to deploy them, what do we want to use them for,” he said. Hassabis was speaking at a screening of a documentary about AlphaGo, the AI system developed by DeepMind that stunned the world in 2016 by beating an elite human player in the complex Chinese strategy game “Go”..

If Robots Do Everything, What Will We Do?

Under the humor he does make a very valid point, something that people have been discussing since AI became the ‘in’ thing – If robots do everything, what will we do? Automation has always been at the forefront of human development, whether it’s automation to drive efficiency (reduce error), productivity (make more) or capability (make better). It’s always been happening – in different forms.

Asian companies ‘planning big shift to automation’

HONG KONG — Companies in the Asia-Pacific region are planning to automate 23% of their work on average in the next three years, reducing the need for full-time employees, according to a survey by U.S.-based consultancy Willis Towers Watson. The survey covered 909 companies across the world, including 507 from the Asia-Pacific region, and spanned manufacturing, financial, retail and other major industries. It found that work automated through artificial intelligence and robotics accounted for 13% of the workload for companies today, compared to 7% three years ago.

RISE OF THE MACHINES: New research predicts a third of Australian jobs will lost to automation by 2030

New research from jobs website Adzuna suggests a third of Australian jobs could be automated by the year 2030. – Lower-skilled and manual labour roles are most risk of being automated. – Workers in South Australia are seen as the most vulnerable to having their job replaced by a machine.

February 2018

Japan lays groundwork for boom in robot carers

Japan’s elderly are being told to get used to being looked after by robots. With Japan’s ageing society facing a predicted shortfall of 370,000 caregivers by 2025, the government wants to increase community acceptance of technology that could help fill the gap in the nursing workforce. Developers have focused their efforts on producing simple robotic devices that help frail residents get out of their bed and into a wheelchair, or that can ease senior citizens into bathtubs.

The “Father of Artificial Intelligence” Says Singularity Is 30 Years Away

You’ve probably been told that the singularity is coming. It is that long-awaited point in time — likely, a point in our very near future — when advances in artificial intelligence lead to the creation of a machine (a technological form of life?) smarter than humans. If Ray Kurzweil is to be believed, the singularity will happen in 2045. If we throw our hats in with Louis Rosenberg, then the day will be arriving a little sooner, likely sometime in 2030. MIT’s Patrick Winston would have you believe that it will likely be a little closer to Kurzweil’s prediction, though he puts the date at 2040, specifically.

Experts Answer: Who Is Actually Going to Suffer From Automation?

Thanks to rapid advances in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, smart machines that would have once been relegated to works of science-fiction are now a part of our reality. Today, we have AIs that can pick apples, manage hotels, and diagnose cancer. Researchers at MIT have even developed an algorithm that can predict the immediate future. If only they could train it to predict how automation is going to impact the human workforce…

What Amazon Does to Poor Cities

The debate over Amazon’s HQ2 obscures the company’s rapid expansion of warehouses in low-income areas. (…) Another man, a former carpenter who works in the stow department in Moreno Valley who didn’t want his name used because he still works for Amazon, said that without warning, Amazon changed the amount of time workers had to stow an item from six minutes to four minutes and 12 seconds. “They make it like the Hunger Games,” he said. “That’s what we actually call it.” Workers are competing against an average time, and so they are, in essence, competing against each other. Those who can’t keep up are written up and then fired, he said.

‘Automating Inequality’: Algorithms In Public Services Often Fail The Most Vulnerable

In the fall of 2008, Omega Young got a letter prompting her to recertify for Medicaid. But she was unable to make the appointment because she was suffering from ovarian cancer. She called her local Indiana office to say she was in the hospital. Her benefits were cut off anyway. The reason: “failure to cooperate.” – “She lost her benefits, she couldn’t afford her medication, she lost her food stamps, she couldn’t pay her rent, she lost access to free transportation to her medical appointments,” Virginia Eubanks tells NPR’s Ari Shapiro. Eubanks is the author of a new book, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor.

This bricklaying robot works five times faster than a human

Your next home could be built by robots. Designed by Construction Robotics, this robot mason is named SAM 100, short for “Semi-Automated Mason.” According to Construction Robotics, the bot can place between 300 and 400 bricks an hour, compared to a human which can only lay around 60 to 75 bricks an hour. Last year, the construction industry began going through a boom, however the industry is facing a severe labor shortage. As skilled laborers are aging out of the workforce, the gap is expected to widen. Robot workers like SAM 100 could help alleviate some of that strain.

A Tesla employee who builds robots told us why production hell is actually a good thing

* Sheena Patterson is a staff manufacturing engineer at Tesla.
* She’s working to build the machine that builds the machine: Tesla’s highly automated assembly line for the Model 3.
* She also knows how to create robots.

Clever girl…

Facebook co-founder Hughes: The digital economy is ‘going to continue to destroy jobs in America

* U.S. workers who make less than $50,000 per year should get a government stipend of $500 per month, says Chris Hughes.
* “As long as you’re working for your country, your country takes care of you,” says Hughes, an advocate for a basic income.
* The wealthy 1 percent should pay for the program, he says.
(Elitist little rat wants to throw everyone under the bus who doesn’t currently have a job).

Foxconn unit to cut over 10,000 jobs as robotics take over

TAINAN, Taiwan — Foxconn’s panel arm Innolux is planning to slash more than 10,000 jobs this year as part of the company’s aggressive efforts to increase the use of automation in manufacturing, said Honorary Chairman Tuan Hsing-Chien on Tuesday. “We will reduce our total workforce to less than 50,000 people by the end of this year, from some 60,000 staff at the end of 2017,” Tuan said in a press conference. Innolux is a liquid crystal display-making affiliate of major iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn Technology Group. Tuan is also a technology adviser to Foxconn, Sharp and Innolux. Tuan said up to 75% of production will be fully automated by the end of 2018. Most of Innolux’s factories are in Taiwan.


Technological unemployment is a hard topic because there are such good arguments on both sides. The argument against: we’ve had increasing technology for centuries now, people have been predicting that technology will put them out of work since the Luddites, and it’s never come true. Instead, one of two things have happened. Either machines have augmented human workers, allowing them to produce more goods at lower prices, and so expanded industries so dramatically that overall they employ more people. Or displaced workers from one industry have gone into another – stable boys becoming car mechanics, or the like. There are a bunch of well-known theoretical mechanisms that compensate for technological displacement

January 2018

9 Facts About Artificial Intelligence That Might Surprise You

Here are a few things investors will need to know about the rise of the machines. Chris Neiger – Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting a lot of attention from investors these days and with good reason. It’s a technology with the potential to transform everything from transportation to cloud computing.

Don’t Wait For Davos To Save Us From AI And Automation

As the policy leaders of the world gather at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland to ponder world progress (including Gartner’s very own Peter Songergaard), there will be talk of AI and automation interspersed with presentations on the Digital Economy and In Technology We Trust?


Why the super-rich are suddenly so concerned about inequality..Lloyd Blankfein is worried about inequality. The CEO of Goldman Sachs—that American Almighty, who swindled the economy and walked off scot-free— sees new “divisions” in the country. “Too much,” Blankfein lamented in 2014, “has gone to too few people.”


A small group of researchers is studying how science could destroy the world—and how to stop that from happening

Broad unemployment in Europe: the last two years. Two graphs.

Eurostat made new data on broad unemployment available. For some countries (Ireland, Greece, Switzerland), these show a less rosy picture than the ‘normal’ unemployment data. Only the Czech Republic has low normal as well as low broad unemployment though Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria (!) and Germany seem to be heading that way. Altogether, labor slack is still immense. At this moment, wage increases are still low in non-Eastern European countries. Considering the slack this might stay so for a while, though there are more opportunities to obtain a better paying job.

Massive new data set suggests economic inequality is about to get even worse

The “endless inegalitarian spiral” may be coming for us sooner than we think. In his best-selling 2014 book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” French economist Thomas Piketty warned that if the already rich were able to accumulate wealth faster than economies were able to grow, inequality would skyrocket in the coming decades, potentially destabilizing societies in the process. Wealth, after all, is self-perpetuating. You put cash in a savings account, and it grows. You buy a home, and its value (typically) appreciates. You invest in the stock market and see an annual rate of return.

Robots Have Replaced Humans In 25% Of China’s Ammunition Factories

China is one country leading the charge when it comes to embracing robotics and artificial intelligence. Last year, the country saw the first robot dentist successfully operate on a patient, and there are plans to build an unmanned, AI-powered police station in a capital city. Both developments show signs of China’s progress to becoming a global leader in AI by 2030. To be a leader in AI, however, also means using such technology in the workforce as a replacement for human workers. Recently, China has done so in using automation to increase its supply of bombs and artillery shells.

Artificial intelligence bot beats humans at reading in a first for machines

A deep neural network model developed by Alibaba has scored higher than humans in a reading comprehension test, paving the way for bots to replace people in customer service jobs

NYC job market will be radically reshaped by automation, report says

New Yorkers may one day find themselves telling their children and grandchildren about the era of ordering food from an actual human, a new study on automation suggests. About one in 10 city jobs could be largely automated with existing technology, meaning at least 80 percent of their tasks could be currently handled by machines, according to an analysis set to be released Monday by the Center for an Urban Future. The thinktank pulled automation potential data compiled by the McKinsey Global Institute for more than 800 occupations and applied it to the city’s economy. The center found that relatively few jobs — maybe 7,000 — could be entirely eliminated, but that automation could dramatically alter positions at a slew of businesses, from Applebee’s to accounting firms.

Why Artificial Intelligence Will Eliminate Millions Of Sales Jobs

Artificial intelligence is changing the world. It’s impacting almost all aspects of modern life and business. When it comes to sales, we’ve already seen AI replace basic jobs in retail and fast food. But by 2020, a million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs, according to Forrester. AI won’t make all salespeople’s jobs irrelevant (it will make yours go away almost immediately though) — just the not-so-great salespeople. If your reps are still cold-calling or if their days are filled with busywork, AI will soon eliminate their jobs.

Warren Buffett on the US economy: ‘The tsunami of wealth didn’t trickle down. It surged upward’

Warren Buffett knows first hand the power of American capitalism. As the third richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $86 billion, the octogenarian investor has personally benefited from it. And yet, in a piece penned for Time magazine, published Thursday, Buffett says there is a problem with that economic system, which made him a king: Many individuals suffer even as those at the top prosper wildly.

Technological Unemployment in America

An interesting and very thorough study by Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo at MIT and Boston University respectively looks at how industrial robots are taking over jobs that were previously performed by humans and how this impacts the future of both wages and job creation. For the study, the authors examined the effect of industrial robot usage over the period between 1990 and 2007 (with the year 2007 selected as the last year of the study to eliminate the impact of the Great Recession) on local labor markets in the United States with the data broken down into commuting zones. Let’s look at some of their conclusions, keeping in mind that a 2013 paper by Frey and Osborne concluded that 47 percent of U.S. workers’ jobs are at risk of automation over the next two decades and that some of the impacts are felt by adding only one additional robot per thousand workers:…

Death of the American Trucker

The 1% grabbed 82% of all wealth created in 2017

More than $8 of every $10 of wealth created last year went to the richest 1%. That’s according to a new report from Oxfam International, which estimates that the bottom 50% of the world’s population saw no increase in wealth. Oxfam says the trend shows that the global economy is skewed in favor of the rich, rewarding wealth instead of work. “The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International.

Hoe gaat techniek ons leven de komende generaties beïnvloeden? (Dutch)

Artificial Intelligence Isn’t Killing Jobs; It’s Killing Business Models

Artificial Intelligence is real and it is here. But successfully putting AI into action isn’t exactly a walk in the park — it requires a fundamental rethinking of the business. The pressure is on — 53 percent of executives responding to a recent survey said their industry has “already experienced disruption” due to AI. An example that applies to potential AI-driven disruption in the retail sector is Amazon’s Go store in Seattle, which employs AI to operate with no checkout clerks or lines — purchases are tracked as shoppers remove items from the shelves.

Bill Gates thinks AI taking everyone’s jobs could be a good thing (MSFT)

Bill Gates said that artificial intelligence is coming to replace some jobs, and there isn’t a lot we can do to stop it. But if it plays out like Gates predicts, it will be a net positive for the world. We might all have more free time because of AI, he says.

Robots could kill many Las Vegas jobs

Robots are coming for your job — here’s what to do about it – Elvis just started a new, somewhat boring job. When a guest at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas needs a toothbrush or an extra towel, he brings it to their room. Three-feet tall and covered in decorative stars, Elvis is a robot. And while it doesn’t replace any human employees at the moment, it is a sign of what’s next for Las Vegas.

Suncor is building a fleet of 150 driverless trucks that will cut 400 jobs over the next six years

CALGARY — About 400 jobs are expected to disappear at Suncor Energy Inc.’s oilsands mines in northern Alberta as it deploys driverless ore-hauling trucks to replace the ones humans operate now. “We have about 500 roles that will get eliminated through this and we’re going to add about 100. So the net change in our workforce is about 400 positions,” chief operating officer Mark Little said in an interview Wednesday. The company has been testing the 400-tonne capacity Komatsu trucks for about four years and has nine now. It announced Tuesday it will gradually build a fleet of more than 150 driverless trucks over the next six years, starting with the North Steepbank mine at its Base Camp north of Fort McMurray.

December 2017

The Year the Robots Came for Our Jobs

Public anxiety over the automation of the workplace reached new heights in 2017, making clear that humanity isn’t ready for the coming revolution.

World’s Biggest Pension Fund Says AI Will Replace Asset Managers

GPIF’s Mizuno: Google, Amazon could become largest managers – Traditional managers need to update business models, he says – Robots Are Coming for Jobs on Wall Street – Hiromichi Mizuno was named chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s biggest manager of retirement savings, in 2014. He has since led a push to increase equity holdings and advocated for incorporating ESG, or environmental, social and governance, factors into investing.

The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation? (Study, 2017)

We examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation. To assess this, we begin by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a Gaussian process classifier. Based on these estimates, we examine expected impacts of future computerisation on US labour market outcomes, with the primary objective of analysing the number of jobs at risk and the relationship between an occupations probability of computerisation, wages and educational attainment.

2017 Was the Year the Robots Really, Truly Arrived

THE WORLD SEEMED different this year, yes? Like something strange has been walking and rolling among us? Like we’re now sharing the planet with a new species of our own creation? Well, we are, because 2017 was the year that the robots really, truly arrived. They escaped the factory floor and started conquering big cities to deliver Mediterranean food. Self-driving cars swarmed the streets. And even bipedal robots—finally capable of not immediately falling on their faces—strolled out of the lab and into the real world. The machines are here, and it’s an exhilarating time indeed. Like, now Atlas the humanoid robot can do backflips. Backflips.

November 2017

375 million jobs may be automated by 2030, study suggests

The McKinsey Global Institute cautions that as many as 375 million workers will need to switch occupational categories by 2030 due to automation. The work most at risk of automation includes physical jobs in predictable environments, such as operating machinery or preparing fast food. Data collection and processing is also in the crosshairs, with implications for mortgage origination, paralegals, accounts and back-office processing. To remain viable, workers must embrace retraining in different fields. But governments and companies will need to help smooth what could be a rocky transition.

The Guardian view on productivity: the robots are coming

A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker. That’s why Nobel laureate Paul Krugman concluded that productivity isn’t everything – but in the long run it is almost everything. Instead of wasting the nation’s time focusing on the non-existent threat of the deficit, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, this week conceded the “everything” that Mr Krugman had identified: British productivity has stalled and as a result workers’ real wages will be lower than when the recession began. Before the crash, we would have expected living standards to double every 40 years. Now that will take 80. That means lost decades for millions of ordinary people.

Boston Dynamics CEO Believes Robotics Will Become “Bigger Than the Internet”

In the world of ever-advancing artificial intelligence (AI), robotics continues to offer glimpses into the future intelligence machines could usher in. It also serves as a reminder (or warning) about the potential alternate side of that future, which has been played out time and time again in science fiction. We’re not quite there yet, but according to Boston Dynamics CEO and founder Marc Raibert, robots will shake things up for humanity more so than any previous technological innovation — even the internet.

A New Chart Conclusively Proves That Automation is a Serious Threat

I hope that time is soon, very soon, because I look around at our reality, and I wonder if we’re going to get our act together before it’s too late, if it isn’t already. As long as we force each other to work for money in order to live, automation will work against us instead of for us. It is a civilizational imperative that we decouple income from work so as to create economic freedom for all. Without an unconditional basic income, the future is a very dark place. With unconditional basic income, especially one that rises as productivity rises as a rightful share of an increasingly automating economy, the future is finally a place for humanity.

Jaron Lanier: ‘The solution is to double down on being human’

He’s the Silicon Valley visionary who gave us virtual reality. Now, in a new memoir-cum-manifesto, Jaron Lanier recounts his sad, unusual childhood and calls for a re-evaluation of our ties with the digital environment

A new analysis of Trump supporters has uncovered 5 key psychological traits about them… (Rawstory November 2017)

Siemens Plans to Cut Nearly 7,000 Jobs in Traditional Power Generation (GTM, November 2017)

Siemens announced massive cuts last week that would eliminate 2 percent of the industrial giant’s workforce. Nearly all of the layoffs will come from its Power and Gas division, reducing labor on its power plant turbine business.

Your boss might be better as an algorithm

The Guardian view on productivity: the robots are coming (The Guardian, 2017)

A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker. That’s why Nobel laureate Paul Krugman concluded that productivity isn’t everything – but in the long run it is almost everything. Instead of wasting the nation’s time focusing on the non-existent threat of the deficit, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, this week conceded the “everything” that Mr Krugman had identified: British productivity has stalled and as a result workers’ real wages will be lower than when the recession began. Before the crash, we would have expected living standards to double every 40 years. Now that will take 80. That means lost decades for millions of ordinary people.

Robots Will Run Mines Within the Next Decade, Anglo Says (Bloomberg, November 2017)

Some mines in the next decade will run without humans and instead rely on robots, virtual models and sensors, according to Anglo American Plc.

Elon Musk: Say ‘Sweet Dreams,’ Humanity (LiveScience, November 2017)

Twitter user Alex Medina, a designer for Vox Media, posted a clip of a Boston Dynamics humanoid robot called Atlas doing a backflip with the short caption: “we dead.” In reply, Musk wrote, “This is nothing. In a few years, that bot will move so fast you’ll need a strobe light to see it. Sweet dreams.”

Robots Are Coming for Jobs of as Many as 800 Million Worldwide (Bloomberg, November 2017)

As many as 800 million workers worldwide may lose their jobs to robots and automation by 2030, equivalent to more than a fifth of today’s global labor force.

Elon Musk Is Right, Artificial Intelligence is Growing Like Crazy (November 2017)

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is renowned for making dire predictions about how artificial intelligence will be a threat to humankind. While it’s not yet self-evolving to the point of being an imminent danger, in 2017 AI did grow like crazy. At least that’s the topic several CEOs wanted to mention when asked what they saw as the biggest trends in tech this year.

Undercover at Amazon: Exhausted humans are inefficient so robots are taking over (November 2017)

Mirror investigative reporter says: ‘Amazon has recognised humans are the least efficient part of the operation – it makes more money by treating its workers as expendable commodities’

October 2017

SoftBank CEO Promises “Super Artificial Intelligences” With IQ of 10,000 in 30 Years

Son recently spoke at the Future Investment Initiative held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he mentioned that the singularity might just happen in about 30 years, when artificial intelligence develops an IQ of 10,000 —and SoftBank’s invested $100 billion to build chips capable of such IQ levels. That’s well beyond what’s considered average by human standards, which is at 100, and even greater than a human genius with a 200 IQ.

September 2017

Which tech jobs are safe from automation until at least 2045?

Ask someone in tech what they do every day. If they can give you a step-by-step explanation of their job, with no intangibles or other ambiguities that cannot be specified precisely, then it’s likely that someday in the not-so-distant future some entrepreneur will find a way to automate it.

Stephen Hawking: Automation and AI Are Going to Decimate Middle Class Jobs (Futurism, September 2017)

Artificial intelligence and increasing automation is going to decimate middle class jobs, worsening inequality and risking significant political upheaval, Stephen Hawking has warned.

375 million jobs may be automated by 2030, study suggests (CNN Tech September 2017)

The McKinsey Global Institute cautions that as many as 375 million workers will need to switch occupational categories by 2030 due to automation. The work most at risk of automation includes physical jobs in predictable environments, such as operating machinery or preparing fast food. Data collection and processing is also in the crosshairs, with implications for mortgage origination, paralegals, accounts and back-office processing.

August 2017

July 2017


June 2017

De opmars van de robot (dutch)

De voortgaande technologisering van de samenleving door het steeds meer inzetten van robots, verdergaande automatisering en het massaal opslaan van data verandert de samenleving compleet. Het gaat arbeidsplaatsen kosten, heel veel arbeidsplaatsen. Dat betoogt Martin Ford in zijn boek “De opmars van de robots”.

Why Automation is Different this Time (June 2017)

Half of all jobs could be automated in the next twenty years. That means some pretty radical changes for society. In this video, I look at some of the steps we’ll need to take in order to survive the Robot Revolution.

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017


The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment (Book, Martin Ford 2016)

In a world of self-driving cars and big data, smart algorithms and Siri, we know that artificial intelligence is getting smarter every day. Though all these nifty devices and programs might make our lives easier, they’re also well on their way to making “good” jobs obsolete. A computer winning Jeopardy might seem like a trivial, if impressive, feat, but the same technology is making paralegals redundant as it undertakes electronic discovery, and is soon to do the same for radiologists. And that, no doubt, will only be the beginning. In Silicon Valley the phrase “disruptive technology” is tossed around on a casual basis. No one doubts that technology has the power to devastate entire industries and upend various sectors of the job market. But Rise of the Robots asks a bigger question: can accelerating technology disrupt our entire economic system to the point where a fundamental restructuring is required? Companies like Facebook and YouTube may only need a handful of employees to achieve enormous valuations, but what will be the fate of those of us not lucky or smart enough to have gotten into the great shift from human labor to computation?

World Minerals are fast and irreversibly depleting …


Automation and Exponential Growth: Not a Problem. Until it is.

Four years ago I wrote about the concern I had about automation and the problems it would cause to society. It seemed as logical then as it does now that at some point computers and machines will be able to do every task better and more efficiently than humans. Since then, I have noted that many prominent academics, like Stephen Hawking, have come to the same conclusions.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Yuval Harrari, 2015)

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda. What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. – Audiobook Link.





Robotic Nationrecommended

I went to McDonald’s this weekend with the kids. We go to McDonald’s to eat about once a week because it is a mile from the house and has an indoor play area. Our normal routine is to walk in to McDonald’s, stand in line, order, stand around waiting for the order, sit down, eat and play. On Sunday, this decades-old routine changed forever. When we walked in to McDonald’s, an attractive woman in a suit greeted us and said, “Are you planning to visit the play area tonight?” The kids screamed, “Yeah!” “McDonald’s has a new system that you can use to order your food right in the play area. Would you like to try it?” The kids screamed, “Yeah!” We can end poverty, hunger, slums etc. for all humans. Click here to see how. The woman walks us over to a pair of kiosks in the play area. She starts to show me how the kiosks work and the kids scream, “We want to do it!” So I pull up a chair and the kids stand on it while the (extremely patient) woman in a suit walks the kids through the screens. David ordered his food, Irena ordered her food, I ordered my food. It’s a simple system. Then it was time to pay. Interestingly, the kiosk only took cash in the form of bills. So I fed my bills into the machine. Then you take a little plastic number to set on your table and type the number in. The transaction is complete.




What will the economy of the future look like? (Book, 2009)

Where will advancing technology, job automation, outsourcing and globalization lead? Is it possible that accelerating computer technology was a primary cause of the current global economic crisis—and that even more disruptive impacts lie ahead? This groundbreaking book by a Silicon Valley computer engineer and entrepreneur explores these questions and shows how accelerating technology is likely to have a highly disruptive influence on our economy in the near future—and may well already be a significant factor in the current global crisis.





It looks like I will be closing down my and transferring links to my blog right here. It was time.
* Human(ity) Displacement Studies
“In this [conceivably] terminal phase of human existence Democracy and Freedom are more than ‘values to be treasured’ – they may well be essential to survival.” – Noam Chomsky.