Covid-19 Could Accelerate the Robot Takeover of Human Jobs

 – Re-Blogged From MIT Technology

Machines were supposed to take over tasks too dangerous for humans. Now humans are the danger, and robots might be the solution.

Inside a Schnucks grocery store in St. Louis, Missouri, the toilet paper and baking ingredients are mostly cleared out. A rolling robot turns a corner and heads down an aisle stocked with salsa and taco shells. It comes up against a masked customer wearing shorts and sneakers; he’s pushing a shopping cart carrying bread.

The robot looks something like a tower speaker on top of an autonomous home vacuum cleaner—tall and thin, with orb-like screen eyes halfway up that shift left and right. A red sign on its long head makes the introductions. “Hi, I’m Tally! I check shelf inventory!” A moment of uncertainty ensues. Tally freezes, sensing the human, and the customer pauses, seeming unsure of what to do next. Should he maneuver around the robot? Or wait for it to move along on its own? After a few seconds, the customer chooses to divert, and heads down another aisle.

Franziska Barczyk

Robots Recreating Past Temperatures

From Jennifer Marohasy’s Blog – Re-Blogged From WUWT

AI research over the last couple of years at the University of Tasmania could have been a check on the existing mess with historical temperature reconstructions. Reconstructions that suggest every next year is hotter than the last the world over. Except that Jaco Vlok began with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s temperature datasets without first undertaking adequate quality assurance (QA).

BlueTeam-LookingDown-copy-1024x819

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Robots in the Workplace

By Morgan Franklin – Re-Blogged From RS Components

The future role of robots in everyday life is a hot topic, particularly when it comes to the workplace. As more and more industries welcome automation, it’s no surprise that workers are concerned, but just how worried are they? Take a look at the infographic below to see who is most concerned [in the UK -Bob] when it comes to robots taking their job.

Google’s AI Bots Invent Ridiculous New Legs to Scamper Through Obstacle Courses

By George Dvorsky – Re-Blogged From Gizmodo

[If animations don’t display, pleas go to original article. -Bob]

Left: An unmodified walker learning how to navigate challenging terrain. Right: A self-modified walker, using new limbs and walking strategy, working through the same obstacle course.
GIF: David Ha/Google Brain/Gizmodo

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Robots With Soft Hands Could Be the Future of Sustainable Production

By Carl Vause – Re-Blogged From World Economic Forum

In 2011, Professor George Whitesides of Harvard University helped rewrite the rules of what a machine could be. He developed biologically inspired ‘soft robots’, in collaboration with Harvard and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Food handling and packaging, primarily in produce and baked items, is a highly manual process
Image: Soft Robotics

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Researchers Develop Cheaper, Better Robotic Hand

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Helth

Italian researchers on Thursday unveiled a new robotic hand they say allows users to grip objects more naturally and features a design that will lower the price significantly.

The Hennes robotic hand has a simpler mechanical design compared with other such myoelectric prosthetics, characterized by sensors that react to electrical signals from the brain to the muscles, said researcher Lorenzo De Michieli. He helped develop the hand in a lab backed by the Italian Institute of Technology and the INAIL state workers’ compensation prosthetic center.

Image: Researchers Develop Cheaper, Better Robotic Hand

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Who Is Going to Suffer From Automation?

By Kristin Houser – Re-Blogged From Futurism

Educated Guesses

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…

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Wal-Mart’s New Robots Scan Shelves to Restock Items Faster

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is rolling out shelf-scanning robots in more than 50 U.S. stores to replenish inventory faster and save employees time when products run out.

The approximately 2-foot (0.61-meter) robots come with a tower that is fitted with cameras that scan aisles to check stock and identify missing and misplaced items, incorrect prices and mislabeling. The robots pass that data to store employees, who then stock the shelves and fix errors.

Image: Wal-Mart's New Robots Scan Shelves to Restock Items Faster
Gary-Arbach/Dreamstime

International Robot Duel

By Kyree Leary – Re-Blogged From Futurism

In Brief

A giant robot duel between two teams of engineers, from the U.S. and Japan, has finally been set for October 17. However, the fight already happened to allow for repairs, meaning what’s presented on Twitch will probably be an edited version.

Transform and Duke It Out

Two years ago, a team of U.S. engineers going by the name MegaBots Inc. challenged their Japan counterparts, Suidobashi Heavy Industry, to a duel involving giant robots. After a lot of work and some back-and-forth between the two teams, the long-awaited duel will finally take place on Tuesday, October 17. It was initially set for sometime in August, but delayed for unknown reasons. We suspect it’s because robots take a long time to build and test.

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Are Deflationary Forces Here To Stay

By Sol Palha – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Manufacturing output continues to improve, even though the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. continues to decline and this trend will not stop. While some Jobs have gone overseas, the new trend suggests that automation has eliminated and will continue to eliminate a plethora of jobs. As this trend is in the early phase, the momentum will continue to build in the years to come.

Machines are faster, cheaper and don’t complain; at least not yet. So from a cost cutting and efficiency perspective, there is no reason to stick with humans. This, in turn, will continue to fuel the wage deflation trend. Sal Guatieri an Economist at the Bank of Montreal in a report titled “Wage Against the Machine,” states that automation is responsible for weak wage growth.

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A Robot Just Performed the First-Ever Surgery Inside the Human Eye

Re-Blogged From https://futurism.com

A new retinal surgery, guided by human surgeons but performed by robots, has just passed clinical trials. Robots bring much more control to delicate surgeries than can be achieved by humans alone. Soon, surgical robots will enable surgeons to perform entirely new operations which the human hand, until now, has been too clumsy to accomplish.

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