The answer to the A.I. jobs apocalypse is all about geography


The spread of intelligence machines will worsen geographic inequality, unless we take proactive measures

Historically, the worst times for labor have been those characterized by both worker-replacing technological change and slow productivity growth. If A.I. technologies turn out to be as brilliant as some of us think, we can expect some workers to see their incomes vanish in the process — even as new jobs are created elsewhere in the economy. That is what has happened in recent years, and it is also what happened during the most tumultuous years of industrialization.

If current trends continue in the coming years, the divide between the automation winners and losers will become even wider. And there are good reasons to think that it will. Looking at the automatability of existing jobs, we have seen that most occupations that require a college degree remain hard to automate, while many unskilled jobs — like those of cashiers, food preparers, call center agents, and truck drivers — seem set to vanish, though how soon is highly uncertain. But there are also unskilled jobs that remain outside the realms of A.I. Many in-person service jobs that center on complex social interactions — like those of fitness trainers, hairstylists, concierges, and massage therapists — will remain safe from automation.

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Your health and where you live : Are these connected?


Your health depends on many factors, such as the quality of food you eat, what you put on your body, what you breathe, what chemicals you are exposed to, how much exercise you get every day, and more. While there is a considerable amount of control that comes with each of these factors, there can also be an unfortunate lack of it — depending on where you live.

I live in the beautiful northwestern city, Boise, the capital of the state of Idaho. In the last few years, Boise has been listed as one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. But that’s not all it’s known for. The City of Trees sits in the Treasure Valley, surrounded by mountains that offer skiing excursions, thousands of hiking routes of all levels, and rivers and lakes where you can go boating, kayaking, floating, swimming, and fishing.

The food culture is incredible. Local restaurants seem to pop up everyday, many prioritizing local and ethical sourcing, some fully vegan or vegetarian, and almost all serving high-quality, delicious foods that residents will not only enjoy but will feel great after eating.

These are just a few factors that make Boise a great home for its residents, not only for entertainment and happiness, but for their health as well.

Unfortunately, not every city in the U.S. is as wholesome and thriving as Boise. Where Boise has rivers and lakes, other towns have toxic water that cannot be played in and requires extensive treatment to be drinkable. Where Boise has many opportunities for hiking, biking, and walking, other cities don’t have access to trails or safe places to do them. Where Boise has high-quality restaurants and grocery stores, other towns have food deserts and only fast food options.

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Here’s what the geography of NFL fandom looks like


A map of Facebook fans of NFL teams across the United States

In the first regular season NFL football game of the season last week, the Seattle Seahawks crushed the Green Bay Packers. One way of looking at that: The 46 players wearing Seattle Seahawks uniforms had a higher score than the 46 players in Green Bay Packers uniforms, in a nationally televised game of American football.



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The West is Becoming America’s New ‘Heartland’


Missouri has been at the U.S. center since 1980 but the geography is clearly shifting, with the West beginning to emerge as America’s new heartland.

America’s population center is edging away from the Midwest, pulled by Hispanic growth in the Southwest, according to census figures. The historic shift is changing the nation’s politics and even the traditional notion of the country’s heartland — long the symbol of mainstream American beliefs and culture.


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