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The Future of Work, a History

Kevin Baker Politico
America has a long, complicated track record of dreading that robots would take our jobs.


The Gender Gap in a Post-Automation World

Heidi Liu Onlabor
Drawing from research in labor and economic history, this post evaluates the validity of each of these claims; overall, while it’s likely that automation will benefit socially aware individuals, it’s less likely to reduce the gender gap in employment.


`Rise of the Robots' and `Shadow Work'

Barbara Ehrenreich New York Times Book Review
Even the most expensively educated - Lawyers, radiologists and software designers, among others - have seen their work evaporate to India or China. Tasks that would seem to require a distinctively human capacity for nuance are increasingly assigned to algorithms, like the ones currently being introduced to grade essays on college exams.


Why Robots Are Essential to Google’s Future

Verne Kopytoff Time Magazine
Google is aggressively moving into the business of developing a newer class of robots - those designed to be more mobile, versatile, and human-like. The goal: expanding the market for robots to small- and medium-sized companies in order to reduce their labor costs. Google recently acquired a suite of robotics-related companies, including one in Japan, and has created a new division within Google to consolidate research and development in this field.


Employment Gap Between Rich, Poor Widest on Record

Hope Yen Associated Press
"The people at the bottom are going to be continually squeezed, and I don't see this ending anytime soon," said Harvard economist Richard Freeman. "If the economy were growing enough or unions were stronger, it would be possible for the less educated to do better and for the lower income to improve. But in our current world, where we are still adjusting to globalization, that is not very likely to happen."


NYC Fast-Food Workers Fight Back Against Super-Sized Corporations

Peter Rugh The Indypendent
The ongoing organizing effort of fast-food workers has highlighted the highly exploitative conditions faced by those at the deep fryers and cash registers of America’s most profitable fast food outlets, which include Burger King, McDonald’s, Dominos, Pizza Hut and KFC. The actions and considerable media attention has also begun to chip away at the conventional image of a fast-food worker as someone who bears her servitude with a youthful grin.
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