The Rapid Rise and Fall of Robot Babysitters
During the winter of 2017, an 18-year old college student named Canon Reeves spent much of his time trailing a knee-high robot around Fayetteville, Arkansas, as it delivered Amazon packages to students. The robot, created by a start-up called Starship Technologies in 2014, is basically a cooler on wheels; it uses radars, sensors, and nine cameras to make deliveries. Reeves's job was to monitor how it handled various grounds, field comments from the public, and press the off switch if necessary. He said, "People would also ask if it could deliver beer." It couldn't.
Broadly speaking, jobs of caring for robots fall under the umbrella of careers in automation, which include maintenance, engineering and programming. The demand for people with this skill set is considerable, with 20 million to 50 million new jobs to be expected in this category by 2030, according to the Mckinsey Global Institute. In the year that ended in June 2018, Indeed.com had almost three times the number of positions on the recruitment committee that ended in June 2016.
Over the last year, a 34-year-old businessman named David Rodriguez spent hundreds of hours following a machine called the KiwiBot around UC Berkeley's campus while it delivered Red bull and other drinks to students. To retrieve (检索) orders, the app encourages students to give the robot a wave; the robot's digital eyes will roll depending on its mood. Rodriguez, who heads business development for the start-up, was tasked, early on, with monitoring the KiwiBot for problems – even carrying it, should the motors fail. Since April 2018, though, the KiwiBot has largely been left unattended, and the majority of human interactions involve technical checks and loading food into the robot. To eliminate the boring work, the team is developing a restaurant robot to collect and load orders – which could happen in 2020. However, Rodriguez assured me that his staff won't be out of work. Everyone holds double roles in the company. Greater robot self-governing just means employees will shift their focus to accounting, engineering, and design.
Mckinsey estimates that millions of jobs globally could be lost to automation by 2030. "A huge number of jobs will be produced as autonomous vehicles are released into the environment," Ramsey said. In 2016, Bosch started training students from Schoolcraft College, a community college in Michigan, in autonomous-vehicle repair; Toyota has trained students in maintenance as well. "We might even see a return to low-level jobs where people come and fuel the car for you," Ramsey said. "Until we can wirelessly charge, someone needs to refuel them." The hardest-to-automate industries, as it happens, are the ones that require looking after humans, such as childcare, education and health care. Robot babysitters might feel like they have scored the job of the future, but in fact, they might be better positioned.
Two good friends, Simon and Jason, met with a car accident on their way home one snowy night. The next morning, Simon woke up blind. His legs were broken. The doctor, Mr. Smith, was standing by his bed, looking at him worriedly. When he saw Simon awake, he asked, " How are you feeling, Simon?” Simon smiled and said, “Not bad, doctor. Thank you very much for doing the special operation. Mr. Smith was moved by Simon. When he was leaving, Simon said, "Please don’t tell Jason about it. “Well…Well…OK,” Mr. Smith replied.
Months later when Jason’s wounds healed, Simon was still very sick. He couldn’t see or walk. He could do nothing but stay in his wheelchair all day long. At first, Jason stayed with him for a few days. But days later, Jason thought it boring to spend time with a disabled man like Simon. So he went to see Simon less and less. He made new friends. From then on, he didn’t go to visit Simon any more. Simon didn’t have any family or friends except Jason. He felt very sad.
Things went from bad to worse. Simon died a year later. When Jason came, Mr. Smith gave him a letter from Simon. In the letter Simon said, “Dear Jason, I am disabled. But I want you to be a healthy man. So I gave my eyes to you so that you can enjoy life as a healthy man. Now you have new friends.
I’m glad to see that you are as healthy and happy as usual. I’m glad you live a happy life. You are always my best friend". Simon”. When he finished reading the letter, Mr. Smith said, “I have promised that I will keep this a secret until Simon is gone. Now you know it.
Jason stood there like a stone. Tears ran down his face.
a. Jason made new friends.
b. Simon gave his eyes to Jason.
c. Simon and Jason met with a car accident.
d. Jason felt bored when staying with Simon.
e. Simon died and Jason knew the truth.
On Friday, Germany's telecom regulator(电信业管理者), the Federal Network Agency, announced that a number of children s smartwatches, designed for ages 5 to 12, can allow someone to remotely tap into the watch s microphone and secretly spy from remote places. The regulator isn't just worried about the potential of people spying on children-it's worried the devices(设备) can be used to spy on anyone.
And in Germany, it's illegal to record private conversations without permission. "According to our investigations, parents were using the watches, for example, to listen in on their children during class, said Federal Network Agency President Jochen Homann in a statement.
Smartwatches that make phone calls, like the Apple Watch, are legal in Germany. The problem with many of the children's smartwatches, however, is that the devices have a classic spying function, similar to a baby monitor, which can be easily activated (激活) just by using an app.
The German regulator is so serious about destroying these devices. It's asking citizens to document the watches' destruction and file evidence online. Once the watches are destroyed, the regulator will provide a "certificate of destruction," confirming the deed was done.
This isn't the first time the Federal Network Agency told German citizens to destroy a consumer device. The regulator once prohibited the doll "My Friend Cayla", which was fitted with radio transforming technology that could allow children to be spied on.
Remind tech producers: The German government won't just ban devices that can spy on anyone, they'll demand the devices be destroyed with hammers (or whatever means of destruction one prefers) — even if they're dolls.
The world's population is more mobile (移动的)today than ever before. In 2010, more than 200 million people left their home countries to live in a new country. This is about 3 percent of the total world population. Some experts believe that number will swell to 400 million by 2050. Rates of immigration have remained strong for the last 300 years, but patterns of immigration have changed since World War II. The backgrounds and experiences of today's immigrants are different from those of the typical European immigrant of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Contemporary immigrants range from unskilled laborers to highly skilled professionals, and they come from and go to countries all over the world.
In the nineteenth century and until World War II, immigration was primarily in one direction- from the Old World to the New World. This is no longer the case. Countries such as Russia and China, which have long been, and continue to be, significant source countries, are now also destination countries. There is also considerable mobility inside regions, such as from one European country to another, or among the countries of the former Soviet Union.
In spite of such differences, the push and pull factors for immigration remain essentially the same as they were 100 years ago. Most people move to another country because they want a better life. For the majority of immigrants, this means better economic conditions. As in past generations, a labor shortage in one country often draws workers from another country, especially if wages are significantly higher. In some small countries, for example, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, there are more jobs than citizens. The demand for labor is so high that the majority of the population consists of foreign-born workers, ranging from highly skilled engineers and financial experts to domestic and construction workers.
In traditional destination countries, such as the United States, however, labor needs have changed. Today, although there is still demand for unskilled labor, there is increasing demand for people with a high level of skill and education. The need for less skilled labor has shifted to other countries. As work on farms and in industry in the United States and Canada once drew workers from all over the world, now work in factories in Taiwan and south Korea attracts workers from Vietnam, the Philippines, and Cambodia.
Most global immigration is legal: however, a large number of people also move across national borders illegally in pursuit of(寻找) employment. Experts estimate that about 15 to 20 percent of immigrants worldwide are in their new countries illegally. The United States has the largest number of these immigrants, followed by South Africa, with significant numbers also in Northern and Western Europe and Mexico. These immigrants face particular challenges because they often must hide from the authorities who might deport them back to their home countries. Their illegal status also means that employers may take advantage of them by forcing them to work longer hours and paying them less than the legal minimum wage.
Although economics remains the most important motivation in all forms of immigrant, other factors are also important. Some people decide to leave their home countries because their actions or political beliefs make it dangerous for them to remain. Others choose to leave because their home country has become too dangerous and unstable, often because of war or political unrest. They wish to find a place that is secure for themselves and their families. Education is also a significant factor for many modern immigrants. They want to raise their children in a place where they can get a good education, which, in turn, they hope will provide them with better prospects for the future. Finally, family and community ties also play a role in immigration decisions. As in the past, once a group of people from one country establishes a community in a new country, more people from that country is likely to follow.
The pattern, direction, and rate of immigration may change as the global economy changes. However, as long as life in a new country is more attractive than life in the old country, immigration will continue.
Show Biz Summer 2019
Location: Rosewood Center for Family arts
● Tuition paid on the first day of class. No tuition refunds(退款).
● DCT reserves the right to cancel any class; refunds made for cancellation(取消).
● Please accompany student to the first day of class.
● Registration begins one-half hour before class time.
How To Register:
● Mail: fill out the form in this brochure.
● Be sure to list the class and group that you want & the dates.
Entering Grades: Group A: 1st-2nd Group B: 3rd-5th
Time: July 2-July 6
● Create the situations and scenes
● SHOWTIME—invite family and friends to your Friday Showcase!
● Bring a sack lunch and drink each day!
Laugh Out Loud—$175
Entering Grade: 5th
Time: July 23-July 27
● Tell a joke! Learn why old jokes can be the best!
● Work with your class to put on a Comedy Show for family and friends!
Entering Grades: Group A: 1st-2nd Group B: 3rd-4th
Time: August 4-August 8
● Start with the characters: Who are you? Be the Star of your Dreams.
● Work with your class to create the plot.
Entering Grades: 5th-6th
Time: August 11-August 15
● Do you want to be an actor?
● Improve your skills with instructions from professional actors & directors.
Google, hoping to put down a protest by employees upset that the technology they were working on could be used for deadly purposes, will not renew a contract with the Pentagon(五角大楼) for artificial intelligence work when a current deal expires next year.
Diane Greene, who is the head of the Google Cloud business that won a contract with the Pentagon's Project Maven, said during a weekly meeting with employees Friday that the company was backing away from its AI work with the military, according to a person familiar with the discussion but not permitted to speak publicly about it.
Google's work with the Defense Department on the Maven program, which uses artificial intelligence to interpret video images and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes, riled the internet giant's workforce.
About 4,000 Google employees signed a petition(请愿书) demanding "a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology," and a handful of employees resigned in protest.
The money for Google in the Project Maven contract was never large by the standards of a company with profit of $110 billion last year — $9 million, one official told employees, or a possible $15 million over 18 months, according to an internal email.
But some company officials saw it as an opening to much greater revenue down the road. In an email last September, a Google official in Washington told colleagues she expected Maven to grow into a $250 million-a-year project, and eventually it could have helped open the door to contracts worth far more.