Humans and Robots: Skills, Manufacturing and Construction

At humans we are pretty good at falling into the trap of believing that what is has always been. We simplify the complexity around us by treating as many things as possible as permanent. Many of the macro systems which define our lives every day are not as permanent or historic as we treat them.

The idea of going out to a job is only a couple of hundred years old.

While Capitalism has been around since the 14th century; industrial capitalism has only been around since the 18th century.

People’s skills, and the way that they gain those skills, changed dramatically through that time. The skills we are going to need for the Robot future are likely to be very different to the skills we need today, that almost certainly means that the way we gain the skills will change dramatically also. But the big question is, will the Humans be able to keep up? In today’s Humans and Robots we look at some research by the Pew Research Centre debating the skills future.

We’ll also look at some of the areas already being impacted by the rise of the Robot:


The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training

As robots, automation and artificial intelligence perform more tasks and there is massive disruption of jobs, experts say a wider array of education and skills-building programs will be created to meet new demands. There are two uncertainties: Will well-prepared workers be able to keep up in the race with AI tools? And will market capitalism survive?

This report picks up on five major themes for skills and training in the emerging technology age:

  • Theme 1: The training ecosystem will evolve, with a mix of innovation in all education formats
  • Theme 2: Learners must cultivate 21st‑century skills, capabilities and attributes
  • Theme 3: New credentialing systems will arise as self-directed learning expands
  • Theme 4: Training and learning systems will not meet 21st‑century needs by 2026
  • Theme 5: Jobs? What jobs? Technological forces will fundamentally change work and the economic landscape

There’s a phrase that I’ve used a number of time on this blog: “Learning is work, work is learning” Harold Jarche. This is going to remain true for the present, and ever more so into the future, but it’s not clear that we will keep up, I’ll leave you with this thought:

About a third of respondents expressed no confidence in training and education evolving quickly enough to match demands by 2026.

Via Stowe Boyd – Forty Acres and a Bot


Apple’s $1 Billion Manufacturing Boost Will Likely Bring Robots, Not Factory Jobs

As we’ve explained in the past, advanced manufacturing—with all of its automation and super-efficiencies—can certainly bring productivity gains. But it won’t bring back manufacturing jobs. Just last month we finally got some hard numbers on the impact of automation on the labor force in our factories and warehouses: more robots bring with them decreased employment and lower wages. So if Apple’s focus is indeed going to be on using robotics, it’s not going to be good for the workforce.


MIT’s giant mobile 3D printer can build a building in 14 hours, and some day it may be headed to Mars

It might be targeted at Mars, but why not on Earth?

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