Welcome to the Future of Work
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Security guard Eric Leon watches the Knightscope K5 security robot as it glides through the mall, charming shoppers with its blinking blue and white lights. The brawny automaton records video and sounds alerts. According to its maker, it deters mischief just by making the rounds.
Leon, the all-too-human guard, feels pretty sure that the robot will someday take his job.
"He doesn't complain," Leon says. "He's quiet. No lunch break. He's starting exactly at 10."
HONOLULU (AP) — Driverless trucks. Factory robots. Delivery drones. Virtual personal assistants.
As technological innovations increasingly edge into the workplace, many people fear that robots and machines are destined to take jobs that human beings have held for decades. For many affected workers, retraining might be out of reach —unavailable, unaffordable or inadequate.
WASHINGTON (AP) — When the robots came to online retailer Boxed, dread came, too: The familiar fear that the machines would take over, leaving a trail of unemployed humans in their wake.
"I had a lot of people asking me, 'What is going to happen to us?'" says Veronica Mena, a trainer for the e-commerce startup, recalling the anxiety that rippled through her co-workers after company executives announced plans to open an automated warehouse in nearby Union, New Jersey.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans believe their jobs, and the jobs of those they live with, are safe from automation — at least for the next decade, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.
And more than half think automation could make their work easier or more efficient in the future.
NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy is expanding an after-school tech program for underprivileged teens as it hopes to create workers with the skills to serve increasingly savvy shoppers as well as groom future inventors who can help fill its stores with new gadgets.
MORIYA, Japan (AP) — Thousands upon thousands of cans are filled with beer, capped and washed, wrapped into six-packs, and boxed at dizzying speeds — 1,500 a minute, to be exact — on humming conveyor belts that zip and wind in a sprawling factory near Tokyo.
Nary a soul is in sight in this picture-perfect image of Japanese automation.