How-To Geek: How to Automate Your iPhone Based on Time, Activity, or Location. “Your iPhone can become more efficient with a few simple automations that show relevant information and hide distractions, depending on what you’re doing. Automating your iPhone can help you be more productive at work, get a better night’s sleep, or surface useful reminders at the best possible time.”
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. “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?. “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?”
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. “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.”
PC World: Microsoft is testing its own IFTTT clone within Windows. “Microsoft’s Power Platform is an entire suite of Microsoft applications you’ve probably never heard of. Think of it as a framework for developing apps for people who can’t develop apps. And now one of the applications, Power Automate Desktop, may be headed to Windows as a sort of superpowered macro tool.”
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.
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?. “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.”
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.”
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.