researchers estimate that half of the job losses resulted from robots directly replacing workers. The rest of the jobs disappeared from elsewhere in the local community ... after a factory sheds workers, that economic pain reverberates, triggering further unemployment at, say, the grocery store or the neighborhood car dealership ... some consultants believe that the number of industrial robots will quadruple in the next decade, which could mean millions more displaced manufacturing workers.

robotics and artificial intelligence call for another education revolution ... working lives are so lengthy and so fast-changing that simply cramming more schooling in at the start is not enough...the lifelong learning that exists today mainly benefits high achievers—and is therefore more likely to exacerbate inequality than diminish it. If 21st-century economies are not to create a massive underclass, policymakers urgently need to work out how to help all their citizens learn while they earn.

Adidas’ robotic shoe manufacturing plant in Germany is now up and running. The athletic footwear giant shared its first shoe made almost entirely by robots late last week, building on the company’s long-term plan to add robot-staffed, custom shoemaking factories, dubbed Speed Factories, to its global supply chain. The sportswear company currently outsources the majority of its production to China and other countries in Asia, where it manufactures around 300 million shoes yearly, mostly by hand.

A very, very small quadcopter, one inch in diameter can carry a one- or two-gram shaped charge ... You can program the code to say: “Here are thousands of photographs of the kinds of things I want to target.” A one-gram shaped charge can punch a hole in nine millimeters of steel ... There will be manufacturers producing millions of these weapons ... You need only three guys to write the program and launch them ... They could be here in two to three years.

the process of finding out if things have been properly shelved is time-consuming and never ending ... Singapore’s National Library Board has a new alternative: a library robot ... The not-at-all-humanoid robot wheels around library stacks, using RFID and laser mapping technology to scan shelves with 99 percent accuracy. It then produces a report of missing and out-of-sequence books that can be given to a staffer for easy re-shelving

There were 856,000 warehouse workers in May ... About half the human labor in warehouses slogs away on simple, arduous tasks that involve...doing work that's the equivalent of restocking shelves in a grocery store. It's strenuous work, with employees often walking more than a dozen miles a day as part of their job. As new robots become available, particularly to e-commerce warehouses with vast inventories and complex packing operations, these are the people whose jobs will be most at risk.

The “click to ship” cycle used to be around 60-75 minutes when employees had manually to sift through the stacks, pick the product, pack it, and ship it. Now, robots handle the same job in 15 minutes ... These robots are not only more efficient but they also take up less space... That means warehouse design can eventually be modified to have more shelf space and less wide aisles ... Each Kiva-equipped warehouse can hold 50% more inventory per square foot than centers without robots

Despite the optimism behind driverless cars, at times they will have to decide whether it is better to harm the driver or pedestrians ... If it's a human-driven car, what you have there is just an accident. It's a reflex. Maybe you have bad reflexes. But we understand that that's just a reflex, it's not premeditated. But when you're talking about how we ought to program a robot car, now you're talking about pre-scripting the accident

the number of women in computer science has been declining for the past few decades. In 1985, 37% of computer-science degrees went to women ... Women received just 18% of undergraduate computer-science degrees in 2011

A paraplegic has walked without robotics using his own brain waves ... Scientists used a computer to "link" 28-year-old Adam Fritz's brain to his legs over a Bluetooth connection, bypassing the severed region of his spinal cord. An EEG then picked up signals from his brain, which were relayed by a "brain-control interface" (BCI) computer to electrodes on his knee, triggering walking movements ... The next step is to reduce the EEG components enough that they can be implanted in the brain