Search Results: robots

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Among the ghosts of Chernobyl

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 14 August 2018
    4 Comments

    The earthworms and bees were the first to know, wrote Nobel laureate and Belarusian native Svetlana Alexievich. The bees stayed in their hives; the worms buried themselves so deep that fishermen digging for bait on the banks of the Pripyat River were perplexed that they couldn't find any. The humans were slower to learn.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Robots are not the real threat to work

    • Osmond Chiu
    • 24 May 2018
    1 Comment

    While the threat from automation is often overstated, there are big technological shifts occurring which are undermining job security. But the experience is that work is created as well as displaced by new technology. Change in social relationships, not technology, explains what is happening in labour markets today.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fearing and loathing that toad, Work

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 May 2018
    7 Comments

    Philip Larkin spent 30 years as a librarian, but famously wrote a rebellious poem in which he asks plaintively: 'Why should I let/the toad work/Squat on my life?' Technology is not the only force that shapes our destinies, an idea I need to remind myself of whenever I start worrying about the future of my children and grandchildren.

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  • RELIGION

    Muslim forgiveness jars circle of prejudice

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 November 2017
    5 Comments

    Last week we saw the magnanimity and depth of Raeed Darwiche. While travelling in the hearse carrying the body of Jihad, his eight year old son, he pleaded for an end to the vituperation directed at Maha Al-Shennag, whose car had crushed his son. Darwiche appealed to his Islamic faith in explaining why he forgave Al-Shennag.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    A terrifying new arms race

    • Todor Shindarov
    • 06 August 2017
    4 Comments

    Today’s highly technological era amazes us with possibilities for human growth and innovation, but in our amazement we often forget to tackle various pitfalls. Arguably, the biggest risk is the emerging military technology, about which there are many unanswered questions. We are faced with many uncertainties: security risks due to loss of competitiveness, potential control over advanced weapons by terrorists and, most importantly, reduced comprehension by the wider society—let alone any participation in the decision making process, as the frenzied pace of technological development increases.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reimagining work is a project for the unemployed, too

    • Susan Leong
    • 22 June 2017
    4 Comments

    When I wrote recently that the future of work lies in understanding work as 'pleasure in the exercise of our energies', one reader noted 'these discussions have little meaning when you are poor or dispossessed'. Spending your life doing what you are competent at pales into insignificance when set against the prospect of a life engrossed in one's passions. That is a decision that every worker has it within their power to make. And as it turns out, it should be a concern of the unemployed, too.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The power of poetry in the age of Twitter

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 18 May 2017
    13 Comments

    Does poetry still matter in our Twitter society? Such was the question that caught my eye during a random Google session. The answers consisted of some lugubrious comments to the effect that poetry, like the novel, is dying. It is hard to believe that poets were once considered celebrities, and that poetry was once a pre-eminent form of entertainment. We also generally refrain from mentioning poetry and politics in the same breath. 'Twas not always thus.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Wage inequality is a bigger threat to workers than robots

    • David James
    • 20 November 2016
    9 Comments

    The idea that machines will replace humans, transforming the work force, is far from new. As technology develops at an accelerating pace, there is growing concern that new social divisions are emerging. While there are signs of deepening social divisions between the rich and the rest of the working population, previous predictions of a collapse in employment have proven to be wrong. This is largely because a confusion arises from conflating production and transactions. They are not the same thing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Innovating for a jobless society

    • Rick Measham
    • 06 November 2016
    28 Comments

    Growing up in Geelong, many friends worked at Ford, or Alcoa, Pilkington or any of the other allied suppliers. As each of these stopped manufacturing in Victoria's second city, employers and governments promised retraining. But where are the jobs? Factories are quickly moving to a 'lights out' operation, with no lights, no air conditioning — and no humans. Modelling suggests nearly 5000 Geelong residents will lose their jobs to the decline in manufacturing before the end of 2017, and 200,000 nationwide. Can we find new-economy jobs for every one of them?

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  • Frank Brennan, Ambassador from the Republic of Conscience

    • Kristina Keneally
    • 03 June 2015
    12 Comments

    'As a legislator and a Catholic, I often felt gratitude for Frank Brennan's ambassadorship from the republic of conscience. I found the need to weave, this need to take 'data points' from many places and form my conscience. I regarded Frank as a bit of a hero.' Kristina Keneally launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at Our Lady of the Way Parish, North Sydney, 2 June 2015.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Shrugging off the robots

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 15 September 2014
    8 Comments

    We created the robots to make our lives easier. Before we knew what was happening the robots had transformed our world. Each day people go about their business, feeling unhappy but unable to name the source of that dissatisfaction. 

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  • RELIGION

    Theologians should face Peter Singer's challenge

    • Peter Vardy
    • 31 July 2014
    27 Comments

    At the least, religious philosophers and theologians should further engage with the challenge to traditional ethics that Peter Singer's position provides. Singer puts forward a powerful case and it is one which, in the current climate where people seek happiness and quality of life above everything else, will find increasing support particularly with the difficulty of funding medical care for those who are old or disabled.

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