The Trump campaign ran on bringing jobs back to American shores, although mechanization has been the biggest reason for manufacturing jobs’ disappearance. Similar losses have led to populist movements in several other countries. But instead of a pro-job growth future, economists across the board predict further losses as AI, robotics, and other technologies continue to be ushered in. What is up for debate is how quickly this is likely to occur.
Automated book-culling software drives librarians to create fake patrons to “check out” endangered titles
Two employees at the East Lake County Library created a fictional patron called Chuck Finley — entering fake driver’s license and address details into the library system — and then used the account to check out 2,361 books over nine months in 2016, in order to trick the system into believing that the books they loved were being circulated to the library’s patrons, thus rescuing the books from automated purges of low-popularity titles.
The caller ID on my office telephone said the number was from Las Vegas, but when I picked up the receiver I heard what sounded like a busy overseas call center in the background. The operator, “John,” asked if I would be interested in attending the 15th World Cardiology and Angiology Conference in Philadelphia next month.
Technological change, as we know very well, tends to provoke linguistic and cultural change, too. It’s the reason why, several times a year, dictionaries trumpet the addition of new and typically very trendy words.
But more interesting than the new words, I think, are the old words that have gotten new meanings: words such as “cloud” and “tablet” and “catfish,” with very long pre-Internet histories. The reappropriation is rarely random; in most cases, the original meaning of the word is a metaphor for the new one. Our data is as remote as a cloud, for instance; catfish are just as tricky and unpredictable as an online love interest.
A parent or teacher might wonder at the world of cyberthieves and hackers and think, “If only they used all that brain power for something positive.”
On Tuesday, White Ops, a security company that specializes in tracking online advertising, released an astonishing report about a ring of thieves based in Russia that created a huge number of fake news sites meant to look like real news sites and hundreds of thousands of bots meant to act like real users.
For better or for worse, homework has gone online. Children these days conduct research on the Internet, post messages to classroom discussion boards or complete Web-based learning programs. The Federal Communications Commission warns that students who don’t have fast Internet connections “are at a disadvantage relative to their connected peers,” which is one reason the government recently decided to spend billions a year helping low-income households hook up to broadband.
We hear a lot about the many things that are disrupting the American workplace: the decline of manufacturing, demographics, globalization, automation and, especially, technology. And it’s true — all of those are roiling the world of work, not just in America but worldwide.
Dan Roam: I am a business guy who comes out of an art background. I have drawn all my life, starting as a little kid. If you think about it, most of us have drawn when we were very young. I just kept on doing it. That brought me into a managing consulting role, where I was the weirdo who would go up to the flip chart or the white board and draw a picture of whatever I heard people talking about. Now I want to be clear, the pictures I was drawing were exceedingly simple. They might be a couple of circles, a box, a triangle, an arrow connecting them. If I was feeling really artistic, I might even add a stick figure up there somewhere and then some labels.
What if links to stories about someone’s past—stories about defrauding an international business or about medical tourism malpractice—were removed from Google search in your country, not because of your local laws but because someone was able to use the laws of another country. How would you feel about that?
They were little electronic things that did stuff for you. They would play music or record videos or give you directions or let you play games on the go. They were fun. Everyone had them. Everyone wanted them. There were whole magazines and websites and even TV shows devoted to them.