Route Fifty: Artificial Intelligence, Automation Aren’t Killing Labor Market, Reports Says

Route Fifty: Artificial Intelligence, Automation Aren’t Killing Labor Market, Reports Says. “The report examines decades’ worth of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics across 10 industries—construction, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, wholesale trade, financial activities, information, education and health services and manufacturing. The report found rates of job loss in each industry were lower in the third quarter of 2020 than in 1995. The third quarter of 2020 represented a stabilization of the American job market following a significant spike in job losses due to the pandemic that reached as high as 45% in the leisure and hospital industries.”

Associated Press: Do we need humans for that job? Automation booms after COVID

Associated Press: Do we need humans for that job? Automation booms after COVID. “The pandemic didn’t just threaten Americans’ health when it slammed the U.S. in 2020—it may also have posed a long-term threat to many of their jobs. Faced with worker shortages and higher labor costs, companies are starting to automate service sector jobs that economists once considered safe, assuming that machines couldn’t easily provide the human contact they believed customers would demand.”

News@Northeastern: Who Is At Fault When Autonomous Systems Behave In Unpredictable Ways?

News@Northeastern: Who Is At Fault When Autonomous Systems Behave In Unpredictable Ways?. “In Tempe, Arizona, a few years back, a self-driving car failed to identify a woman jaywalking across the street in time to stop, and fatally struck her. The human driver, meant to be supervising the vehicle, had been watching a TV show on her cell phone at the time. And the artificial intelligence system within the car wasn’t designed to slam on the brakes to reduce the severity of an unavoidable accident, the way a human driver would. So, who is at fault for this pedestrian’s death?”

Jamestown Foundation: Automation and Digitalization of Justice in China’s Smart Court Systems

The Jamestown Foundation: Automation and Digitalization of Justice in China’s Smart Court Systems. “The automation of justice has become a worldwide phenomenon. Various big data and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technological applications have been introduced in the administration of justice over the past years. These range from predictive analytics to automated divorce proceedings and automated decisions in small claims cases… The People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) stands at the vanguard of this development.”

NBC News: Manufacturers embrace robots, the perfect pandemic worker

NBC News: Manufacturers embrace robots, the perfect pandemic worker. “The latest jobs report shows the manufacturing sector grew at its fastest level since the pandemic began, jumping by 50,000 positions. However, there are still about half a million fewer employed manufacturing workers than there were a year ago. The question is how many of those jobs will come back — and how many have been permanently disrupted by digital processes.”

Make Tech Easier: 5 Chrome Extensions that Automate Boring Browsing Tasks

Make Tech Easier: 5 Chrome Extensions that Automate Boring Browsing Tasks. “Working in today’s fast-paced world can be daunting. There is so much to do with so little time available. Thankfully, automation is fast becoming a solution available to everyone. Activities such as filling out forms and job registrations are no longer tedious. Complex activities like scouring the Internet for information are now automated, thanks to browser automation extensions!” Bunch of stuff here I hadn’t heard of.

From Yahoo! Pipes to Zapier: A brief history of web app automation (The Next Web)

The Next Web: From Yahoo! Pipes to Zapier: A brief history of web app automation. “In 2020, just about everyone has used — or at least heard of — apps like Zapier, IFTTT, and Integromat, or at least used built-in automation tools and workflow builders inside apps like Slack. For many businesses, automation is a non-optional investment. If they want to compete in their industry, then automation is a must. But how did we get there? How exactly has business process automation evolved? When did it take over the workplace? And what’s next, now that seemingly every app has automation built-in?”

Android Police: A beginner’s guide to Tasker: How to automate (almost) anything on your phone

Android Police: A beginner’s guide to Tasker: How to automate (almost) anything on your phone. “Tasker is one of the most powerful apps on the Play Store for automating tasks on your smartphone, but it’s far from the easiest to get to grips with, which is where this guide comes in… For the completely uninitiated, Tasker — which does cost $3.49 — lets you add extra customizations and automations to Android phone. It combines triggers (such as reaching a location, or opening up a particular app) with actions (so turning off Wi-Fi, or boosting screen brightness). The possibilities are almost limitless, provided you can get your head around it to begin with.”

The Verge: How hard will the robots make us work?

The Verge: How hard will the robots make us work?. “On conference stages and at campaign rallies, tech executives and politicians warn of a looming automation crisis — one where workers are gradually, then all at once, replaced by intelligent machines. But their warnings mask the fact that an automation crisis has already arrived. The robots are here, they’re working in management, and they’re grinding workers into the ground.”

Skynet, But For Welfare: Automating Social Services Is Killing People (Techdirt)

Techdirt: Skynet, But For Welfare: Automating Social Services Is Killing People. “Citizens looking for government assistance have grown accustomed to jumping through red tape hoops. Now, the hoops are inaccessible, but still must be jumped through. The most marginalized members of society are given URLs instead of contact names and numbers when many of them have no reliable access to the internet or a computer. A new series by The Guardian shows the human cost of going paperless. It’s happening all over the world, and it’s literally killing people.”

MakeUseOf: How to Use IFTTT Applets With Advanced Filters to Superpower Your Tasks

MakeUseOf: How to Use IFTTT Applets With Advanced Filters to Superpower Your Tasks . “IFTTT is a great way to automate your everyday processes on your computer, your phone, and your smart home. But its basic functionality is somewhat limited. There is a way to create more advanced IFTTT applets that only run under certain conditions. We’ll show you how, using an option called Filters in the IFTTT developer platform.”

Hackaday: Bots That Snag The Hottest Fashion While Breaking Social Trust In Commerce

Hackaday: Bots That Snag The Hottest Fashion While Breaking Social Trust In Commerce. “At DEF CON 27 [FinalPhoenix] took the stage to share her adventures in writing bots and uncovering a world that buys and sells purchasing automation, forming groups much like cryptocurrency mining pools to generate leads on when the latest fashion is about to drop. This is no small market either. If your bots are leet enough, you can make a ton of cash. Let’s take a look at what it takes to write a bot, and at the bots-for-sale economy that has grown up around these concepts.”

How-To Geek: What is Microsoft Flow?

How-To Geek: What is Microsoft Flow?. “As part of Microsoft’s push towards cloud and mobile apps, they’ve invested in several cloud-only additions to the old familiar Office apps. One of these is Flow, a trigger-based system for creating automated workflows.” Nice overview.