Technology

Cheesecake Files: Machine learning heart attacks - Kidney Punch

John Pickering Aug 21, 2019

“Machine learning” rates very high on the buzz-word scale, right up there with “nano-technology” and “blockchain”. Like most buzz it is more noise than substance. However, every now and again it looks like there might be something in the noise that bites. This episode of the Cheesecake Files1 is about testing an algorithm (another buzz word) developed through a … Read More

When tech does things humans never could - FutureworkNZ

Guest Author Aug 16, 2019

Nik Green  Technological progress need not eliminate jobs; automation can allow new and expanded worthwhile activities. Technology can have many different effects on the labour market – it can replace human labour, it can make workers more productive, it can increase the overall demand for workers, and it can create demand for new skills, roles and tasks. Technological progress can … Read More

Technological change and the future of love - FutureworkNZ

Guest Author Aug 12, 2019

John MacCormick Online matchmaking has radically changed the way people search for love. Digital marketplaces for romance offer more choice, fewer constraints, and potentially less risk than “traditional” ways of finding prospective mates. How much has this changed the nature and quality of people’s romantic relationships? Jack MacCormick In a similar way, digital labour market platforms change matchmaking for … Read More

Can robots help fund nicer and more attractive places to live? - FutureworkNZ

Guest Author Aug 01, 2019

Judy Kavanagh Robots are going to take our jobs, right?  Well, maybe. The available evidence provides conflicting results: In the US, one new robot reduces employment by 5.6 workers and local wages by about 0.5% according to estimates in Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo’s much cited 2017 paper. In Germany, more robots decrease employment in the manufacturing sector but increase … Read More

Moon landings, automation fears and commissions of inquiry - FutureworkNZ

Dave Heatley Jul 27, 2019

The 50th anniversary of the moon landings got me thinking about 1960s tech and work. Not that I was working back then – I watched a scratchy B&W TV broadcast at primary school. Source: Wikimedia Commons John F. Kennedy’s 1962 speech is remembered for the line: “We choose to go to the Moon in … Read More

Who should invest their money between workers’ ears? - FutureworkNZ

Guest Author Jul 22, 2019

John MacCormick   Training is an investment in “embodied human capital” – assets stored in workers’ heads. With indentured servitude now deservedly out of fashion, workers can choose to walk out the door without the boss separating those assets from their shoulders. Why would employers invest in assets that can quit? In a simplified labour market model, employers have no reason … Read More

Remembering Apollo 11 - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jul 18, 2019

There are lots of ways of remembering the Apollo project, which resulted in a dozen men walking on the lunar surface (and some of them even driving around in their lunar buggies). Here I show a few of them, dear to my heart.  You may not have heard, but this weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, when we … Read More