How robotics and automation could create new jobs in the new normal

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Depending on who you ask, AI and automation will either destroy jobs or create new ones. In reality, a greater push toward automation will probably both kill and create jobs — human workers will become redundant in certain spheres, sure, but many new roles will likely crop up. A report last year from PA Consulting, titled “People and machines: From hype to reality,” supports this assertion, predicting that AI and automation will lead to a net gain in job numbers. This is pretty much in line with findings from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a pan-governmental economic body spanning 36 member countries, which noted that “employment in total may continue to rise” even if automation disrupts specific industries.

Automation has gained increased attention amid the great social distancing experiment sparked by COVID-19. But it’s too early to say whether the pandemic will expedite automation across all industries. Recent LinkedIn data suggests AI hiring slowed during the crisis, but there are plenty of cases where automation could help people adhere to social distancing protocols — from robot baristas and cleaners to commercial drones.

Of course, any discussion about automation invariably raises the question of what it means for jobs.

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Robot waiters serve drinks and take temperatures at this Dutch restaurant

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View of a serving robot at restaurant Dadawan on May 28, 2020 in Maastricht, Netherlands. Robots will serve food and drinks to the customers as well as to measure body temperature before customers enter the restaurant. Restaurants and cafes will re-open in The Netherlands on June 1st. as part of the Coronavirus lockdown ease.

Robots have been hired to greet customers, take their temperatures and serve them drinks at a restaurant in the Netherlands.

Dadawan, an Asian-fusion restaurant in Maastricht, reopened on 1 June as part of measures to ease lockdown restrictions in the Netherlands. And to help with social distancing, the restaurant has hired three robots named Amy, Aker and James. The humanoid robots have mechanical arms, torsos and LED-lit faces and take on some of the customer-facing tasks to reduce person-to-person contact.

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Things that may become obsolete after Coronavirus

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Life as we know it has changed since the coronavirus outbreak. We have been forced to rethink simple things that could now contribute toward the spread of the virus.

From handshakes to open-floor offices, here are eight things listed by Insider that could become obsolete once the worst of the pandemic has passed:

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‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world?

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Times of upheaval are always times of radical change. Some believe the pandemic is a once-in-a-generation chance to remake society and build a better future. Others fear it may only make existing injustices worse.

Everything feels new, unbelievable, overwhelming. At the same time, it feels as if we’ve walked into an old recurring dream. In a way, we have. We’ve seen it before, on TV and in blockbusters. We knew roughly what it would be like, and somehow this makes the encounter not less strange, but more so.

Every day brings news of developments that, as recently as February, would have felt impossible – the work of years, not mere days. We refresh the news not because of a civic sense that following the news is important, but because so much may have happened since the last refresh. These developments are coming so fast that it’s hard to remember just how radical they are.

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Gaining a Competitive Edge Through Systems Thinking

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Whole thinking driving us toward a “new normal”

Tracy Houston: Recently I came across the term ‘holonomy.’ It is a term coined by a physicist to describe the science of wholes and their interacting parts.

The concept of whole thinking was seriously missing during the Meltdown of 2008 and is one of the critical elements driving us towards a “new normal.” Directors are moving toward a set of intelligences around economic interdependencies, vulnerabilities and global coupling inherent in the 21st century business environment.

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