How Robotics and Automation Is Changing The World

For the past several hundred years, workers have been worried about the possibility for computers and technology to take their jobs. The thinking has always been that if a machine worked a job that a person otherwise would work, that person would lose their job and become destitute. But this was often only half of the story. Far from being a constant job killer, new technology and automation often helped lead to a greater level of economic growth than was previously thought possible.

Automation began to affect jobs negatively in the early years of the Industrial Revolution. Most famously, the Luddites believed that new looms would destroy their jobs make clothing and textiles by hand. This was indeed true, but the new looms and textile machines also created numerous opportunities. New factories employed many thousands more people than the earlier hand-made, home-based clothing crafts. People had to be hired to work on machines and market products that the machines made. Factories also allowed a cash economy to flourish which allowed millions to buy the products made by machines, while the earlier Luddite clothes could only be bought by the handful of people that the Luddites came into contact with.

The process of industrial growth and expansion occurred everywhere that factories came to. People believed that they would lose their jobs, but then flourished in the influx of cash and jobs caused by the new automation. The same was true throughout the 20th century as robots stepped in to replace automobile jobs. Instead of being trained simply to pull levers or push buttons, workers in auto plants were now trained on the intricacies of robotics. This new training meant that they would be equipped for multiple jobs that would end up paying more in the future than their earlier jobs before automation.

Now, there is a boom of these new automated jobs in the form of service jobs on the internet, including jobs in forums like Youtube or TaskRabbit. Many people can use new skills and different skills than they used before this period of automation. People are given the license to be more creative, and anyone has the chance to go “viral” and become an internationally known millionaire overnight.

There will have to be preparation for this economy after a greater expansion of automation. Skills such as creativity, emotional intelligence, and technological know-how will be incredibly important. Employees will be selected more based on their ability to convey their ideas and work a computer. But if they master these skills, people will be able to make money and gain exposure like never before.

Just like the Luddites, many people today are worried about the role automation will play in the jobs of the future. Those who are worried should take a step back and look at the millions of jobs that automation has created over the past three centuries, and the ways in which automation has aided many people that the practice has touched. Then, perhaps people will start to see that they should adapt to the growing economy and discover ways to make money using its newfound opportunities, instead of always worrying about the possibility of change.

Law and Ethics In A Developing Age Of Artificial Intelligence And Robotics

Humans leveraged on automation to increase productivity and intensify the value of humanity causing the efficient and immediate progress. However, future developments, like the introduction of artificial intelligence and robotics, accelerates the process several times over. Such evolution raised concerns from different sectors of the society, even those who had been made known for the innovations that they introduced to the world. As such, Elon Musk, the man behind SpaceX and is well-known for his futuristic mindset, called AI “a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.” He is even reported to have started his campaign to stop this potential AI apocalypse.

Many may have doubts seeing robots displacing human labor. As of this writing, however, there are companies that have been working to do just that. For instance, a Taiwanese company called Foxconn, the largest contract manufacturer in the world, has about 10,000 robots called Foxbots installed and had them doing the job which human employees are supposed to do since 2011. It was also relayed that the company is planning to replace 1,000,000 of its workers with robots. The same thing is not impossible to happen to this Florida-based company like AccuPlace. This video shows how machines have already replaced human labor.

With the introduction of robotic machines with AI capabilities, the traditional way of life is totally modified. This innovation with highly automated and autonomous behaviors has raised vital normative questions of law, regulation, as well as ethics of such machinery in its interactions with humans and the dominant world. Today you see automated cars, robot machines (such as industrial machines), healthcare robots, and other similar innovations, including the human cloud which allows freelancers to work without being restricted by time and physical boundaries, to replace what we use to call the second and third industrial revolutions.

Mixing these changes with ever changing economic and demographic pressures add to the global flow of trade, making the effect of robotics even more far reaching.Wherever there is work to be done– in the home, office, hospitals, supermarkets, and so on.

These innovations present a lot of benefits to mankind, but they may also bring with them negative impacts. For one, can they be made liable for accidents, product outputs (when it comes to design issues)? How about insurance? To whom will they be liable to if ever they will be?

Russian born American author and biochemist Dr. Isaac Asimov defined The Three Laws Of Robotics in his science fiction short story in 1942 called Run Around:

What if one of these innovations break one of this law, either by accident or after another human requested or committed the accident with the assistance of the machine? Who will be liable for the action? Is there a law that will determine who is responsible for what a robot has done?

As such, the creation of a new law that will address the concerns of this robotics and AIs need to be established. It has to include rules, codes, and standards that will answer both legal and ethical questions relating to the conduct of the Robotics and AIs in question.

What are your thoughts on this?

Is the US goverment straying from the consititution?

The constitution is without a doubt a remarkable piece of legislation, which was eons ahead of its time. But regardless of its remarkability and longevity, there are scores of important areas and factors that the US constitution fails for account for.

In a modern world, where internet is being actively used as a medium for war, terrorism and even economic terrorism, the US constitution has no particular say over how, if at all, the internet should be regulated in order to protect the country’s interests while at the same time not violating American citizen’s first amendment rights. US government’s actions to conduct surveillance on its citizens, which were recently exposed by a whistle-blower, raised concerns about how far has the government has become from the core directions of the constitution.

The constitution is supposed to the source from which the federal government of United States derives the authority to take actions in order to protect and safeguard the country. But when the US government neglects basic instructions of the constitution and violates the civil liberties, one is compelled to ask the question that where does the US government derive the sweeping authority that it now commands? It is no secret that lately the United States Government has been working or rather following the whims of those who hold power, or the ones who hold the strings of those who are in power i.e. the corporate lobbyist owned by the companies that are supposedly “too big to fail”.

It is not that there is a lack of US laws or regulatory bodies that are equipped to handle with threats to the national and internal security, but the problem is: there are too many Acts and bodies which extend their power over the cyberspace. Too many cooks spoil the broth, and that is what has happened. The lack of one clear policy about cyber threats has led to confusion and more than often has forced the government to stray from the constitution in order to stay ahead of all threats. If a constitution amendment regarding cyberspace were to be passed, that would solve all confusion and also provide the government to act without violating the civil liberties protected by the first amendment.

It seems like a daunting task but adding specific amendments that deal with cybercrime and terrorism to the constitution is a more graceful way for the US government to conduct its business rather than straying away from the constitution. This will not only provide the US government with constitutional authority to take actions to curb terrorism and cybercrime but also decrease the influence of cooperate lobbyists. Because as long as the government derives its authority from the constitution alone, no other body can influence it to its own advantage.

Not only that, such amendments will help the US government regain trust of the American people that was lost after the revelations made by an ex-NSA contractor that the US govt. was conducting surveillance on its own citizens. Actions taken in public, with constitutional backing will assure that the US government operates within the authority bestowed upon it by the constitution, and will also earn the government the trust and respect of the common Americans.

Surprising United States Employment Statistics In 2017

According to report released by BLS on 7/04/2017 from the bureau of labor statistics, current trends in employment continue to increase in certain sectors while it decreases in other. In March for example, employment in all non farm jobs recorded an increase by 98000 while it drastically dropped by 38000 in January and February. Average hourly earnings went up by 2.7% but with an average of 34.3 in the month of March. Below are the highlights in every sector.

Mining and logging

Mining and support services had been low in employment since October 2016 but in 2016 it recorded an increase of 20,000 in march and 35000 more since January. The increase in population is favored by increase in domestic oil rig counts.

Construction

Employment in the construction industry has been rising steadily with a huge increase in employment on February by 59000. In average, all months this year has been recording an increase of 33000 as compared to the 20,000 that was the last 4 months of 2016.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing industry also recorded an increase too, same and hand in hand with construction industry. It recorded an average increase of 17000 per month with March posting 11,000 jobs. There has been an increase of 67,000 jobs created since November 2016.

Wholesale trade

General wholesale stores lost about 35000 jobs in March thus affecting employment. It has since declined by 89000 since October 2016. However, if analysis was done from Jan 2016, the industry will illustrate an increase of 46,000 jobs only.

Transportation, warehousing and utilities

The transport and warehousing industry seems unchanged this year with a mere increase of jobs by 4000 in March. The overall increase in employment however for the last 12 months has risen up by 1.8%. Employment utilities decrease by 1000.

Information

In the month of March, employment in this sector dropped by 3000. That is not all. People have been losing their employment since September totaling 39,000. Of the large contributing department in this sector is telecommunication department that resulted in 63% of the jobs lost.

Financial activities

Employment in this sector continued to scale up by 9000 over the months by maintaining an average of 15000 increases per month. So far, it has created over 45000 jobs due to a swell in finance and insurance activities.

Professional and business services

Architectural and engineering services tops in this industry by adding 7000 more jobs this year as compared to the 2000 it did in 2016. March leads in increase in employment with 22000 jobs created. This first quarter alone, this sector has created 151,000 jobs compared to 137,000 it posted in the last quarter of 2016. Services related to buildings led to increase of 17,000 jobs, administrative and waste services gave 33,000 jobs. Help services jobs was not left behind as it also increased by 11000

Private education and health services

Healthcare industry has added 20000 more jobs per month due to an increase of job creation by 9000 and 6000 in- inpatient and outpatient respectively.

“While the increase in employment is promising, we’re still seeing a ton of disputes between unions and companies, and individual employees who are being wrongfully dismissed, and thus the need for Employment Lawyers has grown substantially.” – says Brian of Hummingbird Lawyers LLP

Leisure and hospitality

Compared with last year 2016 where this sector was creating 23,000 jobs per month, it is posting an average of 20,000 per month this year. This records a drop of 3000 jobs that has been lost mainly by the entertainment and recreation industry.

Other services

This recorded flat results of 1000 increase in jobs every month all the year 2016. The trend is continued in 2017.

Government

This is another sector that is recording a flat of 2000 increase with a slight change in March where it increased jobs by 9,000.

All above information are current and directly sourced from US Bureau of labor statistics.

Employment Law Case : Y Aslam, J Farrar & Others Vs. Uber London Ltd

The Employment Tribunal Case of Y Aslam, J Farrar & Others Vs. Uber London Ltd. (Employment Tribunal Case No. 2202550/15) dealing with the Employment Rights Act 1996 has been the most popular and most followed cases in the past year 2016. This case has gained a lot of attention and publicity during the trials.

This case was put forward to the Employment Tribunal on 19 July 2016 by Mr. Y Aslam and J. Farrar for the failure to pay the minimum wage under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and failure to provide paid leave associated with the Working Time Regulations 1998. Following the filing of this case by the Uber drivers, they have complained about the ill treatment by the company as well.

Uber informed the tribunal that as per company’s contractual rules and regulations, they employ the drivers on contractual terms. Hence, they are termed as the self-employed contractors instead of employees. Uber argued with the Tribunal that Uber operates its services through its Uber application and facilitates a swift and easy arrangement to its customers.

Having heard the arguments and the facts put forward by both, the claimants and Uber, Tribunal acknowledged the fact that it is Uber that runs the transportation business and employs drivers for the service to their customers. On the other hand, Mr. Aslam and other claimants do not offer such services. All the proceedings are carried out in the name of Uber and not in the name of drivers. The passengers are introduced by Uber to the drivers. The drivers do not have the right to negotiate the fare charges with the passengers. Instead, they are offered trips and accept the fare charges strictly on Uber’s terms. Moreover, the drivers work on the times decided by Uber and not themselves. The drivers provide their expert skills to Uber; which in turn delivers its services to passengers to make profits.

The Employment Tribunal reviewed the authenticity of the liaison between Uber and drivers and identified the following feature while imparting their decision on the matter.

1) It is the sole discretion of Uber to retain, accept or decline passenger bookings;

2) Uber interviews and recruits its drivers;

3) Uber controls key passenger information and does not disclose the same with its drivers;

4) Uber requires drivers to accept and not to cancel trips – it enforces this by ‘logging off’ drivers who breach these requirements;

5) Uber defines the default route for each trip and it is imperative for the driver to follow the same

6) Uber sets the fare and drivers do not have the rights to negotiate the fare with the passenger;

7) Uber imposes various conditions on drivers (including restrictions to their vehicle choice), instructs drivers as to how to undertake their work and controls the performance of their duties;

8) Uber subjects its drivers to a rating system in what substantially amounts to a performance management/disciplinary procedure;

9) Uber determines rebates to passengers, at times without first consulting the driver, despite the fact it may have a financial impact upon them

10) The guaranteed earnings schemes introduced by Uber now stands discontinued

11) Uber accepts the risk of loss to which its drivers would be liable if they were genuinely self-employed, an example of this would be in the case of fraud;

12) Uber handles passenger complaints, including complaints made against the driver; and

13) Uber reserves the capacity to unilaterally alter its drivers’ terms

Finally, on 28 October 2016, the Employment Tribunal in London (“Tribunal”) ruled that Mr. Aslam and Mr. J. Farrarr would now become ‘workers’ according to their engagement with Uber under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“Act”), as against to being self-employed drivers, regardless of their contracts.