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Job-pocalypse: The Rise of The Robots?

(WBEN) In a world where advanced manufacturing has added a layer of safety and precision to some big jobs and the Pentagon is working on robo-soldiers (pictured above) , there is also a slow and steady rise in everyday automation, bringing us everything from robotic bartenders and baristas, to talking tire pressure pumps.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Your New Personal Trainer?  | Robot in West Seneca Elementary School | Replacing Your Doctor? | On The WBEN Liveline

Author Ben Way is getting buzz with  his prediction of a "Job-pocalypse", saying that 70 percent of our jobs could become automated within the next thirty years

" I believe we are the inflection point where robotics are going to change everything you know and do,’ says Ben Way, author of Jobocalypse, a book about about the rise of the robots, told MailOnline. (see below)  Among his predictions:
  • Scientists predict a ‘jobocalypse’ as robots take over manual jobs
  • Drivers, teachers, babysitters and nurses could be replaced by robots
  • It could mean the end of the eight-hour, five-day working week  
" I think that you are starting to see it in day-to-day settings. Do I think they are going to replace humans? No. I don''t think we are at 'Terminator'  stage yet."

   - Art Wheaton, Cornell's Workplace School

Is it the end of the world as we know it?
Do you fear your job could be replaced by a 'robot' or 'automation'?
( 11% )
Not really, but I feel the impact of robotics and automation in my job!
( 25% )
( 64% )

"I think you can see it right now if you go into Tops or Wegman's, you can automatically check out,.There are all sorts of automated coffee machines where you say what kind of coffee do you want, you can make it yourself," says Arthur Wheaton with the Buffalo extension office of Cornells' NYS Labor School.

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Arthur Wheaton" I think its a good thing if it replaces a job that's dangerous or undesirable. I think it's a bad thing if it replaces everyone's job," Wheaton says, adding that it is used extensively at Ford's Woodlawn Stamping plant, and to a less degree at GM's Tonawanda engine facility.

 "The Job-calypse is a new term, but the concept has been around for a long time, but the concepts been along for a long time. For at least the auto industry you can go back thirty years and they've been talking about having robots and technology replace workers on he line, and I think you've seen a lot of advancements in both robots and other advanced equipment, that has taken some of the dangerous or undesirable jobs."

Robot At The Gym?

Cheektowaga, NY (WBEN) - From the cashier at the grocery store, to the teller at the bank, technology is taking more and more jobs away from actual humans.

Now, with smartphone apps, wrist monitors, and computer chips that go inside your sneakers, could the personal trainer be the next job replaced by technology?

"The apps, and there's so many of them right now, can give you numbers on everything from calories to how much sleep you're getting at night. However, the problem is that you're not having that accountability and you're not being monitored by someone who's an expert," said veteran personal trainer Robbie Raugh.

Raugh says that no technology can read people like another human can, nor can it provide accurate health advice that is truly tailored to a specific person.

Andrew David is the General Manager of the Buffalo Athletic Club in Cheektowaga, he agrees that apps are great for tracking workouts and giving numbers, but you still need someone to tell you what to do with those numbers.

David also says that one of the most important things a trainer provides is Motivation, something technology just can't replicate. "The feeling that people get from a trainer or an instructor helps them get to the gym. If you have a machine, you're not going to feel like 'I'm going to go to the gym today to meet my robot.' You're not going to have that caring attitude that a trainer can bring."

While keeping track of your fitness is something that both Raugh and David encourage, it may not be a good idea to mix your apps with your trainer. David says that during a session, your personal trainer probably isn't a fan of you being distracted by an app.


From Doctors to Personal Trainers, Robotics Are Here To Help With Your Health

CARMICHAEL, Calif. (AP) — The doctor isn't in, but he can still see you now.

Remote presence robots are allowing physicians to "beam" themselves into hospitals to diagnose patients and offer medical advice during emergencies.

A growing number of hospitals in California and other states are using telepresence robots to expand access to medical specialists, especially in rural areas where there's a shortage of doctors.

These mobile video-conferencing machines move on wheels and typically stand about 5 feet, with a large screen that projects a doctor's face. They feature cameras, microphones and speakers that allow physicians and patients to see and talk to each other.

Dignity Health, which runs Arizona, California and Nevada hospitals, began using the telemedicine machines six years ago to diagnose patients suspected of suffering strokes — when every minute is crucial to prevent serious brain damage.

The San Francisco-based health care provider now uses the telemedicine robots in emergency rooms and intensive-care units at about 20 California hospitals, giving them access to specialists in areas such as neurology, cardiology, neonatology, pediatrics and mental health.

"Regardless of where the patient is located, we can be at their bedside in several minutes," said Dr. Alan Shatzel, medical director of the Mercy Telehealth Network. "Literally, we compress time and space with this technology. No longer does distance affect a person's ability to access the best care possible."

Dignity Health is one of several hospital chains that  began using RP-VITA, which was jointly developed by InTouch Health and iRobot Corp. It's approved for hospital use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"Hospitals are now using this type of technology in order to leverage the specialists that they have even better and more efficiently," said Dr. Yulun Wang, CEO of Santa Barbara-based InTouch Health.

Nearly 1,000 hospitals in the U.S. and abroad have installed InTouch telemedicine devices, according to company officials. The company rents out the RP-VITA for $5,000 per month.

When a doctor is needed at a remote hospital location, he can log into the RP-VITA on-site by using a computer, laptop or iPad. The robot has an auto-drive function that allows it to navigate its way to the patient's room, using sensors to avoid bumping into things or people.

Once inside the hospital room, the doctor can see, hear and speak to the patient, and have access to clinical data and medical images. The physician can't touch the patient, but there is always a nurse or medical assistant on-site to assist.

On a typical morning, Dr. Asad Chaudhary, a stroke specialist at Dignity Health, beamed into a robot at the neuro-intensive care unit at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael to evaluate Linda Frisk, a patient who recently had a stroke.

With his face projected on the robot screen, Chaudhary asked Frisk to smile, open and close her eyes, make a fist and lift her arms and legs — common prompts to test a patient's neurological functioning.

"If you develop any weakness, any numbness, any problem with your speech or anything else, let us know right away," Chaudhary told Frisk before the robot turned around and left the room.

"It's just like being with the patient in the room," Chaudhary said. "Of course, nothing can replace seeing these patients in person, but it's the next best thing."

Frisk, 60, who was flown into the hospital for treatment, said she was surprised when she first saw the robot, but quickly got used to the doctor's virtual presence.

"You feel like he was right there," said Frisk, who lives near Merced. "Although I am a little spoiled and like to see him in person."

Devon CarrowRobot In West Seneca Classroom Lets Student Be There 
Allergic Child Has Classroom at Home- While  Robot Goes To School   
 Read More In An Earlier Story
- from February 2013

 In an elementary school hallway, a teacher takes her second-graders to the library, leading a single-file line of giggling boys and girls, and a sleek white robot with a video screen

Devon Carrow's life-threatening allergies don't allow him to go to school. But the 4-foot-tall robot with a wireless video hookup gives him the school experience remotely, allowing him to participate in class, stroll through the hallways, hang out at recess and even take to the auditorium stage when there's a show..

From the Daily Mail in Great Britain, here's some more examples:


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