petej + robots   116

Driverless Ed-Tech: The History of the Future of Automation in Education
We hear it all the time. To be fair, of course, we have heard it, with varying frequency and urgency, for about 100 years now. “Robots are coming for your job.” And this time – this time – it’s for real.
I want to suggest – and not just because there are flaws with Uber’s autonomous vehicles (and there was just a crash of a test vehicle in Arizona last Friday) – that this is not entirely a technological proclamation. Robots don’t do anything they’re not programmed to do. They don’t have autonomy or agency or aspirations. Robots don’t just roll into the human resources department on their own accord, ready to outperform others. Robots don’t apply for jobs. Robots don’t “come for jobs.” Rather, business owners opt to automate rather than employ people. In other words, this refrain that “robots are coming for your job” is not so much a reflection of some tremendous breakthrough (or potential breakthrough) in automation, let alone artificial intelligence. Rather, it’s a proclamation about profits and politics. It’s a proclamation about labor and capital.
technology  automation  education  edtech  ThrunSebastian  SiliconValley  Uber  UAV  driverlessCars  autonomousVehicles  robots  jobs  employment  capitalism  politics  regulation  deregulation  disruption  libertarianism  RandAyn  individualism  cars  driving  publicTransport  personalisation  control  precarity  surveillance  algorithms  dctagged  dc:creator=WattersAudrey 
april 2017 by petej
The Machines Are Coming - NYTimes.com
"It’s easy to imagine an alternate future where advanced machine capabilities are used to empower more of us, rather than control most of us. There will potentially be more time, resources and freedom to share, but only if we change how we do things. We don’t need to reject or blame technology. This problem is not us versus the machines, but between us, as humans, and how we value one another."
automation  algorithms  bigData  work  jobs  labour  power  control  outsourcing  surveillance  employment  technology  robots 
april 2015 by petej
John Lanchester reviews ‘The Second Machine Age’ by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee and ‘Average Is Over’ by Tyler Cowen · LRB 5 March 2015
"It’s also worth noting what isn’t being said about this robotified future. The scenario we’re given – the one being made to feel inevitable – is of a hyper-capitalist dystopia. There’s capital, doing better than ever; the robots, doing all the work; and the great mass of humanity, doing not much, but having fun playing with its gadgets. (Though if there’s no work, there are going to be questions about who can afford to buy the gadgets.) There is a possible alternative, however, in which ownership and control of robots is disconnected from capital in its current form. The robots liberate most of humanity from work, and everybody benefits from the proceeds: we don’t have to work in factories or go down mines or clean toilets or drive long-distance lorries, but we can choreograph and weave and garden and tell stories and invent things and set about creating a new universe of wants. This would be the world of unlimited wants described by economics, but with a distinction between the wants satisfied by humans and the work done by our machines. It seems to me that the only way that world would work is with alternative forms of ownership. The reason, the only reason, for thinking this better world is possible is that the dystopian future of capitalism-plus-robots may prove just too grim to be politically viable. This alternative future would be the kind of world dreamed of by William Morris, full of humans engaged in meaningful and sanely remunerated labour. Except with added robots. It says a lot about the current moment that as we stand facing a future which might resemble either a hyper-capitalist dystopia or a socialist paradise, the second option doesn’t get a mention."
automation  work  labour  robots  jobs  economics  employment  computers  post-industrialism  innovation  technology  informationTechnology  productivity  capitalism  postFordism  determinism  deflation  communism  dctagged  dc:creator=LanchesterJohn  LRB 
march 2015 by petej
Mindlessly We Roll Along | Blog | The Baffler
"The idea that work should be free, creative activity and “life’s prime want” (Marx), not just for the exceptionally gifted (and then only if they eventually generate revenue) or for youthful fanatics willing to live on next to nothing (they’re mostly youthful, since you can’t live to a ripe old age on next to nothing), is gradually becoming unintelligible. A mindless global workforce is twenty-first-century capitalism’s agenda."
computers  automation  control  management  robots  work  labour  alienation  jobs 
april 2014 by petej
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