When Will You Lose Your Job to Robotics?

May 27 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 6 Hot

Futurist and professor Paul Saffo thinks that just as Japan will transition to a robotic society, so too will the United States and the rest of the world. He predicts the transition over here will be “more messy” and that a booming robotic manufacturing industry could potentially devastate the economy.

“New technology may destroy old jobs, but it also creates more jobs than it destroys,” explains Saffo in a recent Fora interview (see below), but “that may not be the case with the world of ubiquitous manufacturing robots.”

He points out that rapidly advancing robotics are replacing large manufacturing chunks one industry at a time. “What you see are industries calving off like icebergs, just a whole industry drops away, suddenly the human operators disappear,” he says. (cont.)

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The Future of Health Care: Part 3 (Robotics)

April 22 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Business & Work   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

By Jack Uldrich

Cross-posted from www.jumpthecurve.net

Paul Saffo recently gave a talk to the Long Now Foundation entitled: Paul Saffo recently gave a talk to the Long Now Foundation entitled: “Secret’s to effective forecasting.’ In it, Saffo argued that “inflection points are tiptoeing past us all the time.” To make his point, he used the example of how no robotic cars finished the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2004, but all 23 cars started and finished the race just a year later. (For readers interested in a more in-depth look at this exponential-like progress, I’d recommend this old post).

Saffo went on to advise forecasters to look for things that don’t fit. Using the earlier example, he noted how at the same time robotic cars were achieving their extraordinary progress; there was a massive 108 car pile-up of “human-driven” automobiles on a highway in California. Saffo’s point was that the two events point to a possible future scenario whereby robotic-driven cars become more feasible.

Well, I recently had a similar experience but instead of noting the progress in robotic cars, I have witnessed a flurry of articles documenting the amazing amount of progress being made in the field of surgical robots, and this progress juxtapositions nicely against the news suggesting that there is a growing shortage of trained health care professionals to serve America’s growing geriatric populations. (cont.)

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IBM Set to Tackle Jeopardy, Pushing Into Qualitative Search?

April 27 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2009   Rating: 1

Is IBM gearing up to compete with Wolfram Alpha in the computational search game?  Maybe.  Is IBM gearing to take on the top minds on popular TV game show Jeopardy?  Definitely. Check out this video from Big Blue:

Developments such as this have got me thinking about not just the computational search just over the horizon, but also the rise of qualitative search that futurist Paul Saffo mysteriously alluded to in this MemeBox interview.