Aug 17th 2017 by mike_russell • 9 Questions • 707 Points
The Associated Press is launching Future of Work, a series of stories exploring how technology and global pressures are transforming workplaces across the U.S. and around the world. The first installments went out this week and focus on workers’ relationships with robots, and how automation is changing the availability and nature of employment in manufacturing.
There’s a paradox in how we think of modern American manufacturing jobs.
While it’s true that many of these jobs have gone overseas, U.S. manufacturers have actually added nearly a million jobs in the past seven years, and federal statistics show nearly 390,000 such jobs are unfilled.
But this isn’t the kind of assembly-line work your parents and grandparents did. More and more factory jobs now demand education, technical know-how or specialized skills to run robots. Many of the workers laid off from low-tech factories lack such qualifications, and training opportunities are limited, particularly for older workers. Japan is way ahead of the U.S. in introducing robots to the workplace, but it hasn’t resulted in some of the job reductions observed in other nations. It has also not created the surge in higher-skilled employment. So, it turns out, there are plenty of manufacturing jobs. There just aren’t enough of the right kind of workers to fill them.
Here’s your chance to talk about this with some of the Associated Press journalists who reported these stories in text, photos, video and graphics across three continents. We are writer Dan Sewell and photographer John Minchillo in Cincinnati: business writer Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo: economics editor Fred Monyak in Washington: and enterprise editor Jeff McMillan in Philadelphia. Ask us anything!
This AMA is now closed. Thanks to everyone who offered questions!
How about doing this silly item description off Amazon?
The claw is an enigma: many animals have claws as natural weapons yet it is something humanity lacks. Perhaps this is why humans seek to wield them, and in a morbid twist, the Skeletal Hand Claw is a combination of humanity and the weapon it lacks. This wicked item combines a metal skeletal hand, set with resin skulls on the knuckles with a trio of wickedly long claws extending from between the knuckles. Each of the blades is subtly curved forward, with a single edge on the inside of the curve. The skeletal fingers extend out under the claws, bent slightly, to form a sort of claw on its own, as the fingers end in unsharpened points. A rubber handle provides grip and, more importantly, leverage for striking, while an arm strap keeps the claw level and secure. Resting atop the mount for the arm strap is another skull, wickedly grinning with a large chip taken from the forehead. Humanity's greatest nature weapon has always been ingenuity, and now, human ingenuity have given us the Skeletal Hand Claw, an unnatural weapon we've always lacked.
Do you think robots should be taxed?
Some people do. The idea of a tax on companies that automate human jobs out of existence isn’t being considered at the federal level. But the notion has begun to emerge in a few politically progressive pockets of the country. Officials in San Francisco, for example, are calling for a tax on companies that automate jobs and put people out of work. It’s too soon to say if the idea will go anywhere, even in San Fran. Some Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs say they’re being unfairly targeted. So prospects for the idea remain hazy. (Monyak)
Can you do this legendary intro for me please?
In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team.
Right now most of the automated jobs are things that don't require a massive amount of reflexes and instant response times. Eg maybe a robotic nurse preventing an elderly man from falling down.
Any idea about where that level of robotics is at the moment, and how soon we can expect them to actually significant affect a larger proportion of the work force ?
We did see robotic systems in plants that self-adjust (with humans monitoring) and to your question, a lot of growth is expected in the next decade with use of robots in the kind of service roles you mention becoming a major area, as the needs increase for aging Baby Boomers (like me) (Sewell)
Hey Mike! Any advice for someone with very little experience trying to break into the voiceover biz? Thanks!
Never give up. Keep on creating great demo material. Try a variety of voice over genres from radio imaging to medical scripts or audiobooks. Find out where you fit in best.