Articles about automation

Robots in a factory

Is automation going to put you out of a job? Probably not, but…

Research Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, the fourth industrial revolution – we’re hearing a lot about how technology is going to automate everything and render whole cohorts of fleshy, fallible and inefficient humans surplus to needs. Some commentators highlight IT professionals as a vulnerable group here, especially those …
Dale Vile, 25 Apr 2018

Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST

On September 8th, 2015, a pilot left Point Cook Airfield in the Australian State of Victoria for a solo navigational training flight. She didn’t make it back: the plane “impacted rising terrain” about two-thirds of the way into the journey and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau report on the accident, published today, …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Apr 2018

UK web grocer Ocado takes £500k hit after robo-warehouse tech splurge

Middle-class Brit online supermarket nirvana Ocado posted losses of £500,000 for 2017, down from £12m profit the previous year – largely thanks to its "transformation" into a technology provider flogging robot-operated warehouses. The company splashed £42.8m on technology last year, up from £34.3m the year before. That …
Kat Hall, 6 Feb 2018
Futurama

No wonder Marvin the robot was miserable: AI will make the rich richer – and the poor poorer

Two research papers argue that the risk of AI-driven automation isn't so much the destruction of jobs as the amplification of wealth inequality. That is to say workers in our brave new world will still have things to do, but many of them, assisting and assisted by machines, will be paid poorly while robot owners get rich. In …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Jan 2018

Is Oomi the all-in-one smart home system we've been waiting for?

Review Typically when reviewing new electronic products – especially if it's a system of interacting components – you start from a very positive place. You imagine you could have in your hands the next big device – the thing everyone will be getting excited about in a few months' time – and then slowly, as you find its bugs and flaws …

Stop worrying and let the machines take our jobs – report

So, robots are coming to take your jobs after all* but techies shouldn't be scared, not in the slightest. This is the opinion of the Centre for Policy Studies, which today released the paper Why Britain Needs More Robots, a report that claims Britain doesn't have enough automatons in its workplaces yet – at least not of the …
Buttcrack

Robot takes the job of sitting on your arse

Poll Car-maker Ford has revealed a robot that's taken the job of sitting on your arse. Described as a “metallic butt” in video below, the device is used to determine “the exact pass pattern of a person's sitting behaviour” so that the company can design better car seats. The robot simulates sitting in and out of a car seat 25,000 …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Oct 2017

Puppet plays puppet master, gobbles up automation firm Distelli

Puppet has rolled out the corporate playbook and turned puppet master for another automation company. Oregon-based automation vendor Puppet acquired the continuous delivery software firm Distelli on Wednesday for an undisclosed amount. Puppet swapped out its founder and CEO with COO Sanjay Mirchandani back in September 2016. …
Andrew Silver, 21 Sep 2017
Red Hat AnsibleFest 2017

Red Hat speed fiends celebrate automation

While tech luminaries fret about the world-killing potential of self-directed computers amid galas and globetrotting, the industry's worker bees see automation as salvation from soul-killing drudgery. So it was at AnsibleFest in San Francisco on Thursday, which proved to be more sysadmin speed evangelism than freewheeling …

Retail serfs to vanish, all thanks to automation

About 80 per cent of jobs in retail transportation, warehousing and logistics and 63 per cent of jobs in sales are at risk of disappearing, thanks to increasingly capable automated systems. This bleak news – for workers, though not necessarily for employers – comes from Oxford researchers Carl Benedikt Frey, co-director for …

Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life

Much of the hype surrounding self-driving cars arises from the fact that people are terrible drivers. Automated systems, we're told, can help save lives. Ignoring for a moment all the technical problems that still need to be solved before people can expect to be chauffeured by machine – dealing with adverse weather or …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Aug 2017
Robot workers photo via shutterstock

Raising minimum wage will raise something else: An army of robots taking away folks' jobs

Raising the minimum wage increases the chance employers will automate low-skill jobs away, according to a paper published this week through National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-profit group of econ wonks. In People Versus Machines: The Impact of Minimum Wages on Automatable Jobs, Grace Lordan, associate professor in …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Aug 2017
Steady-Hand Eye robot

Robo-surgeons, self-driving cars face similar legal, ethical headaches

As drivers contemplate computer controlled cars, physicians get to ponder self-driven surgery tools. In a research paper published on Wednesday, "Robot Autonomy for Surgery," UC San Diego assistant professor Michael Yip and PhD student Nikhil Das explore the growing role played by surgical robots and the issues raised by …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Jul 2017

Working in maintenance? Stop reading, we need you in the server room

Average annual salaries for maintenance jobs advertised online fell by 7.5 per cent this year - but the firm behind the analysis has warned that we shouldn’t forget about the humans who look after systems just yet. According to figures released today by jobs search engine Adzuna, the average annual salary of maintenance jobs …
Rebecca Hill, 27 Jun 2017
Rainbow cloud

Cisco to reveal 'Starship' ride to cloudy server automation heaven

Cisco will next week reveal something called “Project Starship” that it promises will allow greater and easier automation of UCS servers and its HyperFlex hyperconverged appliances, no matter if they run in the data centre, remote office or a small business. Details are scarce at the time of writing, but next week's Cisco Live …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jun 2017
AI Robot viewed from the back against an arty landscape. Pic via SHuttertock

Your job might be automated within 120 years, AI experts reckon

Hundreds of AI researchers have taken a glimpse into their crystal balls to try to determine when machines will finally exceed human capabilities. A survey run by the Future of Humanity Institute, a research center that studies existential risks at the University of Oxford in the UK and Yale University in the US, asked 352 …
Katyanna Quach, 26 May 2017

Google cloud glitch hits at Beer O'Clock Friday, fix coming Monday

POLL Google's got a problem with its Cloud SQL service – about seven per cent of instances using the service's first-generation code aren't backing up properly. The problem started at 16:54 on Friday afternoon and by 17:34 the company announced it was “forcing” backups “as short-term mitigation.” There's no suggestion data is in …
Simon Sharwood, 22 May 2017
Green data centre

Hyperscale data centres win between their ears, not on the racks

Organisations that hope to improve their own data centre operations by adopting the techniques used by hyperscale operators like Google or Facebook need to consider the stuff between their ears, not just the stuff on their racks, because changing data centre culture is more powerful than changing equipment. That was the gist …
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2017

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