Monday, August 03, 2015

AMERICAN JOBS - Humans Need Not Apply

"Do labor-saving robots spell doom for American workers?" PBS NewsHour 7/30/2015


SUMMARY:  The onslaught of automation that's replacing human workers -- from golf caddies to bank tellers -- may be putting us on a path to humanitarian crisis, says Jerry Kaplan, author of "Humans Need Not Apply."  As technology grows and jobs become obsolete, income inequality and poverty could follow for millions of Americans. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  We have shown you before the rising role that automation and robots play in some parts of the work force.

Tonight, we have a more sobering and perhaps somewhat eerier picture of how those trends are gathering force more quickly than anticipated.

Economics correspondent Paul Solman looks at the promise and perils of the rise of the robot, part of our weekly series Making Sen$e, which airs every Thursday on the NewsHour.

PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  The 11th hole at Stanford University.  Chad Gray’s an OK golfer, but his caddy is really hard to beat.

CHAD GRAY, CaddyTrek:  It’s going to go wherever you want it go.  Follows you like a puppy dog.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Meet the robot CaddyTrek (video).

CHAD GRAY:  It has two ultrasound bars that send a signal back to the remote that’s on my back pocket here.

JERRY KAPLAN, Author, “Humans Need Not Apply”:  It’s an incredibly simple piece of technology.

PAUL SOLMAN:  But the implications for America’s caddies, and millions of other workers, are ominous, says computer scientist and serial entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan.  Kaplan has his own labor-saving schlepper, an R2-D2 designed to make local deliveries.

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