Tag: automation

My notes on Al-Amoudi, I. (2018). Management and dehumanisation in Late Modernity. In Realist Responses to Post-Human Society: Ex Machina (pp. 182-194). Routledge. What does it mean to talk about work as dehumanising? In this insightful paper, Ismael Al-Amoudi identifies a number of senses in which management practices can be dehumanising: The “oppression or denial of human flourishing” such […]

The robots are coming! The robots are coming! After watching More Human Than Human, I’ve woken up preoccupied by the rise of the robots narrative and how inadequate it is for making sense of the cultural politics and political economy of automation. The film is an engaging exploration of artificial intelligence and its social significance. While its […]

In the last month, I’ve seen two scenes of automated retail which I wish I could have taken a photograph of. In the first scene, people were queuing up for the automated checkouts at Marks & Spencer in Euston station while multiple cashiers were left redundant at their station. It’s a shop I use a lot and I […]

Bleak but plausible predictions from Nick Srniceck and Alex Williams in their Inventing the Future. From loc 2020-2035: 1. The precarity of the developed economies’ working class will intensify due to the surplus global labour supply (resulting from both globalisation and automation).  2. Jobless recoveries will continue to deepen and lengthen, predominantly affecting those whose […]

An important reminder by Douglas Rushkoff in Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus. From loc 198-212: For many of us, the current system, however convoluted, is better than nothing, and changing to one in which we must create real value is frightening. Most people are not cultural creatives capable of launching a business on Etsy, […]

This is an idea put forward by James Bryce, a British observer of the United States, in 1889: This tendency to acquiescence and submission, this sense of the insignificance of individual effort, this belief that the affairs of men are swayed by large forces whose movement may be studied but cannot be turned, I have ventured […]

I gave a lecture earlier this week about the cultural politics of automation and how this might shape the emergence of mass automation as a primarily structural reality.  I wish I’d seen this Pew poll when I was preparing the lecture: This sense of the inexorability of mass automation is deeply worrying. It’s possible that people might begin to see […]

From The New Ruthless Economy, by Simon Head, loc 208-219: Economists use the term “skill complementarity” to describe how information formation technology enhances the skills of high-income workers such as architects and engineers. They speak of “skill substitution” when technology eliminates the jobs of telephone operators or bank tellers. The examples of the physician and […]

I’ve been using IFTTT for ages now to perform various acts of automation between my various social media accounts. It’s an incredibly useful service and the sheer diversity of ‘channels’ supported by it hint at all manner of future uses yet to be divined. Their new ‘Do’ button raises their game even further: allowing one […]