Tag: robotics

Mark explores the role of robots and artificial intelligence in boosting the supply of (cheaper) oil and gas critical to economies. He is joined by two leading “imagineers” who are inventing the future: Nic Radford, founder and CEO of Nauticus Robotics, and Jon Ludwig, founder and President of Novi Labs.

Walmart Eliminates Greeters – Who Cares?


Did you ever see the movie with Jim Carrey called “Fun with Dick and Jane”, where he loses his high profile job and is forced to become a greeter at a local store? It’s so funny, but what was on the news this evening was not so funny.

Our local news reported that Walmart is eliminating the greeters at the front entrance. The person in the segment that is losing the job in April is an elderly veteran. He said this job keeps him going. They showed him saluting the patrons as they entered the store, and they smile and salute back. The local news person interviewed many of the Walmart customers who said they would no longer shop there if he wasn’t present. Wow! They were adamant that they look forward to seeing him, talking to him and that it adds to their overall store satisfaction.

At our local Walmart, it has usually been a disabled person in a wheelchair. They greet you with a smile, and offer flyers on specials throughout the store. There have been times when I’ve had to wait with my cart at the entrance, while a group of people chatted with the greeter.

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Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a proposal to replace most or all existing wealth transfer (welfare) programs with a flat grant of cash per month.  UBI has gained a following across the political spectrum.  See, for instance, this Cato Institute discussion between libertarian policy wonk Charles Murray and retired union boss Andy Stern, where they […]

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I, Robot, Am Not Taking Over any Time Soon


NoRobots-300x277In “Conservatives are Too Quick to Dismiss the Rise of the Robots,” James Pethokoukis worries that whereas in the past, technology has given rise to new jobs to replace those lost to innovation, this time it may be different.

James provides us with an excellent specimen of the kind of thinking that constantly causes macroeconomists, politicians, and other self-styled high-level thinkers to make serious errors when analyzing changes to economies and human societies. I’m not picking on James, who’s an otherwise excellent analyst, but on this error, which is so common that it really needs to be discussed.

This phrase, in particular, jumped out at me:

The Zero Economic Value Citizen


I have an article today in the Harvard Business Review, co-authored with legendary Silicon Valley marketer and venture capitalist Bill Davidow. It’s the first piece Bill and I have co-bylined since we wrote The Virtual Corporation twenty years ago. I don’t know if it will have the same impact as that book did, but it should.

In the article, Bill and I note that the current pace of technological change (though few people noticed, Moore’s Law basically went vertical in 2005), combined with the rise of artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things, means that our machines are rapidly assuming an ever-greater role in our economic life. Henry Adams despaired in the 19th century that the rate of progress — about 2 percent — was almost too much for mankind to keep up with. We’re now running at 40 percent.