The green machine

If you come by our office this month, there is a big chance that you will run into our team of the month! Dante, Lucas, Jier and Romi are crunching the numbers of electric vehicles in the Netherlands. A pretty cool domain to apply machine learning! Therefore from now they go by the name of “team green machine”.

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We <3 Robots?

The debate on robots and society has predominantly focused on their presumed talent to destroy rather than create value. Here’s two articles to balance the debate, two positive views on robots entering the workforce.

1. Amazon and its hybrid work-force
Let’s look at how the world’s largest online retailer is using robots in its fulfillment centers. By doing so Amazon has been able to drive down shipping costs and pass those savings on to customers. Cheaper shipping made more people use Amazon, and the company hired more workers to meet this increased demand. Tasks involving fine motor skills, judgment or unpredictability are handled by people. They stock warehouse shelves with items that come off delivery trucks.

In 2016 the company grew its robot workforce by 50 percent, from 30,000 to 45,000. Far from laying off 15,000 people, though, Amazon increased human employment by around 50 percent in the same period of time. Even better, the company’s Q4 2016 earnings report included the announcement that it plans to create more than 100,000 new full-time, full-benefit jobs in the US over the next 18 months. Read More

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Technology will replace X

Every job can be replaced. Except yours, right? It is a mantra that has been going on ever since the University of Oxford came out with their report on job automation (spoiler alert: 80% of jobs can be replaced). This week we came across three interesting articles that shine some new light on this discussion.

1. Doctors and Lawyers beware!
For the Harvard Business Review the brothers Susskind conducted around 100 interviews, not with mainstream professionals but with leaders and new providers in eight professional fields: health, law, education, audit, tax, consulting, journalism, architecture, and divinity. Their focus was on what has actually been achieved at the cutting edge. Read More

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