Tech News Roundup: May 11
Philip Ellison 12 May, 2017 at 02:05
Mass automation is expected to have a significant economic impact by 2020, but experts believe that in many cases, it’s unlikely entire roles will become obsolete. Rather, specific repetitive tasks will be taken over by machines, freeing up human employees to be more creative in other areas of their work.
For all of the benefits that automation will bring companies, there is one somewhat unexpected problem. It used to be that interns and entry-level employee would be stuck with the “grunt work,” and that this helps them learn the ropes of the business, while being overseen by middle managers. But once robots start doing the grunt work, their decisions will be reviewed by humans who might not necessarily have the experience required to make these judgment calls.
Two of the longstanding obstacles to the adoption of alternative energy have been cost, and resistance to change. But Elon Musk’s roofing, designed to camouflage the solar panels, looks set to retail at a competitive price and has the potential to generate massive household savings.
As part of its mission to “make the world more open and connected,” Facebook is tackling the language barrier. The company is currently working on a new method of machine learning translation which it says is nine times faster than other systems — although it has yet to be implemented in a product.
The shoe is on the other foot, and now it’s Snapchat’s turn to mimic Instagram’s features. The app is introducing a series of new creative tools, including looping videos (à la Vine and Boomerang) and a “magic eraser” which lets you remove and paint over objects in your images.