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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.



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.


The Future of Work - Three Reports

Miles Brundage, Glenn Gutmacher, Andrew McAfee
Two reports on a recent Oxford University study that predicts that nearly one-half of existing jobs in the United States will be replaced by robotic machines in the next generation. Plus, a video of a related lecture by an MIT economist who specializes in the impact of technology on employment.


New robots in the workplace: Job creators or job terminators?

Cecilia Kang Washington Post
Today’s robots can do far more than their primitive, single-task ancestors. And there is a broad debate among economists, labor experts and companies over whether the trend will add good-paying jobs to the economy by helping firms run more efficiently or simply leave human workers out in the cold.
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