Collaborating Authors

IZA World of Labor - Who owns the robots rules the world


The 2012 publication Race against the Machine makes the case that the digitalization of work activities is proceeding so rapidly as to cause dislocations in the job market beyond anything previously experienced [1]. Unlike past mechanization/automation, which affected lower-skill blue-collar and white-collar work, today's information technology affects workers high in the education and skill distribution. Machines can substitute for brains as well as brawn. On one estimate, about 47% of total US employment is at risk of computerization [2]. If you doubt whether a robot or some other machine equipped with digital intelligence connected to the internet could outdo you or me in our work in the foreseeable future, consider news reports about an IBM program to "create" new food dishes (chefs beware), the battle between anesthesiologists and computer programs/robots that do their job much cheaper, and the coming version of Watson ("twice as powerful as the original") based on computers connected over the internet via IBM's Cloud [3].

Japan turns to classroom robots in bid to boost English skills

The Japan Times

English-speaking robots will be helping out in some 500 Japanese classrooms from next year as the country seeks to improve English skills among both children and teachers using artificial intelligence. The education ministry is planning a pilot project costing around ¥250 million ($227,000) to improve students' notoriously weak oral and written skills in the language, an official said. "AI robots already on the market have various functions. For example, they can check the pronunciation of each student's English, which is difficult for teachers to do," added the official in charge of international education, who asked not to be named. AI robots "are just one example of the trial, and we are planning other measures," such as using tablet apps and having online lessons with native speakers, he said.

8 new skills you can learn by watching YouTube

Popular Science

Culinary skills are easy to find on YouTube--the platform is awash with cooking tutorials, and as the Food Network has taught us, video is a particularly good way for chefs to teach their secrets. Just prop up a laptop or iPad up in the kitchen and search for the dish you want to make. You'll find a long list of video hosts waiting to guide you through the process. Here are a few of our favorites. YouTube has cooking videos for all levels of experience--this example from Brothers Green Eats is one of the most relaxed beginner videos we've ever seen.

Etiquette Competition Teaches Kids Manners, People Skills

U.S. News

Fifth-grader Halee Butler worked the room at Bristow Elementary School as she confidently introduced herself and made small talk with local volunteers participating in an etiquette competition meant to teach students people skills.

Skills Gap Research 2017 Udemy Skills Gap Report


The vast majority of workers in geographies Udemy surveyed feel their countries are facing a skills gap, but a varying number say it affects them personally. Looking beyond the numbers reveals a confused workforce struggling to take control in the face of constant change.