Robots are coming for our jobs, and the work left over for humans is getting worse and paying less. Changes in technology and culture over the past decade have created jobs your high school guidance counselor could never imagine in their wildest dreams. Meanwhile, the safe, traditional jobs like lawyering and doctoring come with ever-increasing price tags and fewer career prospects. Unless the post-work utopia theorists are raving about comes around soon, picking your career is one of the most important choices of your life. You might as well make it one that's fulfilling and cuts a decent paycheck.
At the two-day RoboBusiness Conference, about 2,000 people were serenaded with lullabies and Disney tunes, including "Let It Go" from the hit film "Frozen," by a human-like robot designed to comfort senior citizens and autistic children. And next to a man-size robot that can drive a motorcycle 190 mph around a race track, a half-dozen ant-size robots quickly scurried about a miniature factory floor. "In five years, could you imagine what this conference is going to look like?" "There are going to be 8-foot robots walking all around us, talking to us, some of them maybe being smarter than us." The 12th annual conference, which wrapped up Thursday, illustrated how the focus of robotics is shifting from industrial uses to consumer products. That's especially true at a time when drones, self-driving cars and police robots that carry bombs are making news.
Drones are flown at a training class in Las Vegas in anticipation of new regulations allowing their commercial use. Drones are flown at a training class in Las Vegas in anticipation of new regulations allowing their commercial use. We are in "one of the most dramatic periods of change in the history of transportation," says Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. He was talking about all of it: the self-driving cars, the smart-city movement, the maritime innovations. The Federal Aviation Administration expects some 600,000 drones to be used commercially within a year.