The virtual workplace

The Machines Are Coming

The machine hums along, quietly scanning the slides, generating Pap smear diagnostics, just the way a college-educated, well-compensated lab technician might. A robot with emotion-detection software interviews visitors to the United States at the border. In field tests, this eerily named “embodied avatar kiosk” does much better than humans in catching those with invalid documentation. Emotional-processing software has gotten so good that ad companies are looking into “mood-targeted” advertising, and the government of Dubai wants to use it to scan all its closed-circuit TV feeds. Yes, the machines are getting smarter, and they’re coming for more and more jobs. Not just low-wage jobs, either. Today, machines can process regular spoken language and not only recognize human faces, but also read their expressions. ….[READ]

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