I have a love hate relationship with this show. I like the concept its in the vein of Planet of the Apes except its all animals and not just primates. Cool idea right? But it also has the same flaws as Planet of the Apes where mankind just seems to be no match for these animals even when we are armed to the Teeth!?!?! Sigh. Anyways the story is worth following which is genuinely conflicting to me lol. While the animal attacks are a fun part of the show they border on ridiculous like a prison break by a pack of wolves… Smh. Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure out how its possible because the writers sure didn’t.
The show surrounds around a team made up of scientists, a journalist, and an animal tracker hired by the French government. They are searching for the cause of the animal uprising and hopefully a solution. So they travel around the world to each incident and try to avoid the FBI and local authorities from asking too many questions. Already a few episodes in and its getting old.
Zoo is not without its charms though, a pretty good cast of characters and the random animal incidents becoming less and less random and more of a conspiracy is very interesting. The overall plot I really love and I would hope they answer a good amount of questions about what’s going on. That’s really what keeps me watching is cause I want to know what the heck is going on. What are those pesky animals really up too *Scooby Doo villain voice*
Zoo is a good time filler while many of our favorite shows are on break; but I can’t honestly say this show has or should have a future.
THE GRIPE: Wolves broke into a prison! I mean with fully armed guards they somehow broke in and burned the no place down!!!! WTH!!!!! You’ve got to be frigging kidding me!!!! Wolves bruh..wolves.. And not one guard fired a shot, as a matter of fact they ran away screaming. I…I….I just can’t smh
Take a look at the trailer for the CBS show “The ZOO” and look for more TV show reviews coming soon.
In the absence of Breaking Bad, Mr.Robot is just as intense, just as addictive and just as brilliant. From the original and theatrical opening credits each episode to the abrupt cliffhanger endings its a true perfect formula to keep you coming back week after week.
Rami Malek, who you might recognize from the Twilight saga, plays Elliot; A morphine addicted antisocial super Hacker who is a virtual vigilante. Yea its a mouthful, I know, bdut He portrays this character perfectly. The show lets you in to his mind, his inner most thoughts …we, the audience, are his imaginary friend he confides in. Somehow they keep us watching and involved in this characters life on an ethereal and outer body plain. It’s euphoric and abstract…its just wonderfully original!
Eliot’s skills as a hacker gets him recruited by a cyber corporate terrorism group called F SOCIETY aka Mr Robot. They seek to crumble the largest corporation on earth so that they can somehow create an anarchist society in which mankind no longer is a slave to money. Their pseudo Marxist utopia is only a hack away but they find that taking down the maniacal “Evil Corp” is more challenging than they expect. Filled with countless twists and turns, you can’t ever call this show predictable. This is a Top tier, top ranking show on my list and if you haven’t discovered it for yourself yet then what the heck are you waiting for.
Because this show is a drama and follows the Breaking Bad format of Performance over using music to create tension some parts can seem slow or dragging, but its all part of the experience. The soundtrack is cool though dont get me wrong but it can be misleading because its in that 8bit, 80’s syfy style reminiscent of Tron or War Games. In its own way it does add character to the world of Mr. ROBOT.
Today, I had the opportunity to interview Miss Katie Aquino aka “Miss Metaverse” is a Futurist and fans and colleagues describe Katie as a “joyful, disruptive intellect” and “the queen of innovation.” But above all, Katie is a female futurist, the world’s first Futurista™, a techno-optimist, video producer, and host. Her background is in filmmaking, having produced and created original content for 11:11 Productions, AEG Productions, and Solaris Entertainment. Katie has collaborated on series for SPIKE, MTV, TruTV, Lifetime, Discovery, Nat Geo, and several others.
She created the Futurista agency which promotes her futurist speaking, foresight, and consulting business and she will be expanding with a network of fellow futurist professionals and think tank services in 2015. Her magnetic personality, passion for spreading the futurist ideology, and extensive technology and media experience led her to present at conferences and events including the Tree Media Conference, Wearable Tech Expo, Ufront Video 4 Cast , A3C Festival, and many more. So enjoy my interview with Miss Metaverse !!!!!!
Roger- When did you start falling in love with technology?
Katie- I’ve been fascinated with science and tech since as far back as I can remember and that’s reflected in the places I loved the most. I was born in Columbus, Ohio and although we moved to Long Island, New York when I was four, we would visit our extended family there every few months. Back then, my favorite places in the whole world were COSCI, a science museum in the heart of Columbus and Cedar Point, a large amusement park on Lake Erie.
When I was a little older, my father would take me and my best friend to Walt Disney World. My favorite spots were Tomorrowland and of course, Epcot! Back in my childhood days, COSCI was a state-of-the-art facility that allowed kids to explore all avenues of science and tech in fun ways. My cousins and I would have a blast pretending to be meteorologists on a green screen and there was a Van de Graaff generator (static electricity) that made our hair stand straight up when we touched it. Cedar Point, known as “America’s Rollercoast” sits on a peninsula, so to kids it looks like a massive magical roller coaster island. I’ve always loved rollercoasters, the way they sound, the designs, and the thrills. There was also an old (steam?) train inside the park that brought guests from one side of the park to the other, but this wasn’t just any train, guests were surprised as the train would roll past an old western ghost town where animatronic (robotic) skeletons would carry out various scenes. There’s something very special about animatronics.
In Tomorrowland, I loved the Carousel of Progress, Space Mountain, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. EPCOT, which stands for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, was also a very special place. I remember when Spaceship Earth “brought us into the future” and AT&T had sponsored an exhibit which showed what a video call over the computer would be like with a friend. Back then, the idea of such technology was amazing!
Just last year, I visited EPCOT again with a fellow futurist who was presenting there. I have high hopes that new exhibits with today’s emerging technologies will continue to excite kids about the future. I do have some suggestions for EPCOT though.. 😉 Last, but not least, which 80’s kids didn’t love Bill Nye the Science Guy?
Roger- How did you come up with the name Miss Metaverse?
Katie- The word Metaverse has held a significant meaning in my heart for some time. My love for “the Metaverse” began when I read Ervin Laszlo’s books which described multiple universes as a Metaverse. Instead of saying “I love you.” I’d say that person is “my Metaverse.” It sorta just became my thing… I had to laugh when I found out that the universe in Second Life is known as the Metaverse. It’s very fitting and I love it.
Roger- How long have you worked in the media industry?
Katie. A long, long time ago, I knew I wanted some kind of role in the film industry either as a writer or an indie filmmaker. I started out writing and I also tried my hand at acting (which was awful). My media career began as one thing and evolved into another. Now, I mostly dedicate my time to my own projects. It’s a great feeling.
Roger- What platforms do you use to promote your brand?
Katie– Social media is always evolving and it can become overwhelming to try and promote yourself through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Ello?, and now Periscope. I would advise others to try a little bit of it all and see what works. Radio shows and podcasts have been very helpful as well.
Roger- What makes the future so exciting for you and why should others be excited too?
Katie- Since I could (sorta) understand how the world works, I couldn’t understand how humanity had gotten things so backwards. I could write about this all day…
Having remembered life with slow (or non-existing) internet and no cellphones, it’s been exciting to see how the web has changed everything. The web has connected us all, in some ways malevolent but mostly benevolent, and I believe our most exciting years are ahead of us.
There are many different outlooks on the future and let’s just say I haven’t always been such a techno-optimist. I’ve had dark periods in my life too. When you’re young and searching for truth on the web, it’s easy to stumble up on startling (dis)information that can convince you that the world is ending as we speak (and it might be).
What we know is that glaciers are melting, oil is finite, our grocery stores have Frankenfood, and our global economy is unstable. Although all of these truths are frightening for sure, we have somehow continued to connect with each other and work hard towards creating a brighter future.
I wholeheartedly believe that humanity will evolve and prevail thanks to new technologies that are just emerging right now. This is an exciting time to be alive! There are big questions to be answered and the answers are just around the corner.
Roger- What advice do you have for women that want to follow in your foot steps?
Katie- Futurism needs more badass women who dare to bring something different to the table. In the old words of Nike, Just Do It.
Roger– Thank you Katie and to get more information about Miss Metaverse go to http://futuristmm.com and here is a look at an episode of her show AwesomeFuture.TV:
We are very excited to show you the Trailer for the upcoming film of Batman Vs Superman:Dawn of Justice.
The film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” has a March 25, 2016 release starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Ray Fisher as Cyborg with Callan Mulvey, Holly Hunter and Tao Okamoto in new character roles for the film.Justice League is to follow directed by Zack Snyder as well.
Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
I would love to get your feed back about the trailer and your thoughts about the direction Warner Brothers is going with the role out of their superhero universe. Do you like where they are going or Does Marvel have a better Cinematic Universe?
Today, I had the opportunity to interview the founder of the Inaxxs Music Business Conference which is happening in New York City on July 24th and July 25th. The Inaxxs Music Business Conference (IMBC) is dedicated to instructing Christian music professionals, artists, and supporters of Christian music on vital and essential business keys and principles so they can create a sustainable business within the industry. So enjoy this one on one interview with the Founder of the Inaxxs Music Business Conference Mr.Andre Mullen.
Roger- What inspired you to create the Inaxxs Music Business Conference?
Andre– The Inaxxs Music Business Conference came after two conversations I had with my Pastor who knew my desire for artists to be empowered through knowledge. He encouraged me on two separate occasions to put the conference together and it wasn’t until the second time that he said it that I actually said that I would consider it. Then, a few weeks later, my business partner, Manuel, who lives in Miami, and I were talking about some of the issues we see in the music industry – the Christian side in particular. Some of our observations were funny and as we’re both laughing, I unknowingly said, “You know, that’s why there should be a conference on the business so that we don’t laugh at things like this.” Manuel agreed and I just surrendered to the thought. LOL!
Roger- Who are some of the guest speakers that will be there and why did you choose them? Andre- Well, when we started talking about the conference, I was really serious about making sure that it wasn’t like any other conference. We wanted speakers that could and would inspire the attendees. Our keynote speaker, Andre Taylor, is a business coach, author, and reknown speaker at many Fortune 500 events. Ariel Hyatt is a social media strategist who has worked with independent artists for more than 2 decades and runs Cyber PR. We have Derek Webb, co-founder and president of NoiseTrade, the site that boasts hundreds of thousands of artists that distribute their music for free in exchange for fan data. Film producer and founder of New York’s Ocktober Film Fest Emelyn Stuart will also be speaking. We also have Emmy award winning composer Michael Whalen and entertainment attorney Joyce Dollinger. All of these people were picked because we have heard them speak and/or they have compelling stories/testimonies that will inspire and activate attendees.
Roger- Tell me about your background within the entertainment business?
Andre- I have been involved in the music industry – both mainstream and Christian – for close to 15 years and 8 years in brand development and product placement via a media company that I co-founded with my business partner Manuel called FNF Media Group. With FNF Media Group, we had interests in radio, internet, and television. We left the business for a year while Manuel received a kidney transplant and needed to recover, only to discontinue the brand and create The Inaxxs Group. The Inaxxs Group really speaks to our talents as brand developers.
Roger- Why do you think Christian artists need a conference like this in NYC?
Andre– Simply put, any artist that is involved in the music industry should be knowledgeable about the workings of the industry. Unfortunately, too many artists want to be part of the industry without knowing anything about it. How many horror stories have we heard – and still hear – about artists getting ripped off because of bum contracts? In the Christian industry it’s no different. People may not be intentionally ripping them off, but ignorance, miscommunication, and impatience often lead to people being hurt in the end.
In addition, I feel the Christian artist community here in NYC is VERY SCATTERED. It’s sad because there are a lot of great and talented artists out here that I know who’s hearts are for drawing people to the powerful message of The Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Gospel of Grace. There are a lot of hurting people who need to hear what God has put on the heart of these artists and the words that are in their mouths. I want this conference to be the catalyst that will bridge the gaps and bring unity so that we can learn and teach each other.
Roger- What makes this conference so different in your opinion?
Andre- There are a couple of things that makes this conference so different. For starters, it is not a Christian conference. There won’t be a pastor delivering a word, no offering taking up – nothing to make people feel like they have come to a church service. This is a music business conference to teach the Christian music industry. We in the industry don’t have all the answers and who better than those who have some that we obviously don’t have?
Second, this conference is a music business conference. We’re not discussing Christian leadership, discipleship, or responsibility. These are good and their are conferences that do address these. However, we wanted a conference that was going to instruct within the scope of business – an area that many Christian artists are not versed in again because of ignorance or just not wanting to know because it’s intimidating. We wanted to create an environment that that wasn’t the case.
This is a UMI Special Report. Today I began my day, as I usually do by getting my girls ready for school and my wife out the door so I can I spend some time with Lord thanking him for waking me up this morning and starting me on way ( as my mother taught me to do). Thank you Jesus!
After that I was cleaning out my DVR to make room for my shows I like to watch and review and I came across the Rachel Ray show with the caption about authors and chefs of a cook book called THUG KITCHEN. I was intrigued, so I sat down on the couch because I thought this might be a new cookbook by one of my favorite Hip-Hop artist that has a love for cooking and has a new cookbook out so when I saw Rachael Ray introduce MATT HOLLOWAY and MICHELLE DAVIS my jaw dropped like this the (picture below from the movie mask starting Jim Carey) cause they were two chefs that looked like they were right out of an episode of CW’S show SEVEN’S HEAVEN or DAWSON’S CREEK!!!
After I put my mouth back together….………………. . Second, before Rachel Ray introduced them she showed a clip of actress Gwyneth Paltrow saying that she discovered a hot new Tumblr Blog with this theses GANGSTA VEGAN CHEFs that is the “Best” and Rachel Ray said in the clip that this so “awesome” ready to TAKE OVER THE CULINARY WORLD “I was like Really BOO BOO” as if Gwyneth Paltrow is the expert on how Gangstas cook at home. I am all for people eating healthy which I don’t have a problem with but what I have a problem with is that how many years has urban culture uses the word Thug in songs sometimes in a negative way or in a positive term fora person who is really aggressive in pursing their dreams or passions but these chefs take the word THUG and be well received on TV shows and Business channels as Innovative, Disruptive, Cool and my favorite is CUTTING EDGE but if DRAKE came out with a cookbook called THUG KITCHEN his career would be over!!
But what would happen if African American chef famous like B.SMITH’S, G GARVIN, CHEF JEFF HENDERSON or MARCUS SAMUELSON came out with a cookbook called THUG KITCHEN and in their recipes started cussing YOU OUTT AND YOUR VEGETABLES, MEATLOAF and YOUR MAC CHEESE in their cookbook and was dropping the F BOMB and MOTHER F%^%ker eat these GREEN PEAS and I equote from their website “BETTA PUT SOME FUCKING SUNSHINE IN YOUR STOMACH” like the authors of Thug Kitchen in their recipes check it out for your self( http://www.thugkitchen.com/recipes.) I started to think who is there funding source SUGE KNIGHT and DEATH ROW RECORDS and did he tell the authors of THUG KITCHEN to start cussing like LIKE the unedited version of a 50 CENT record. Really!! YOU AND I both know these African American Chefs would be broke and never make on the RACHEL RAY or any other TV shows. YOU and I BOTH know if any African American chefs that were famous tried to release a cook book called THUG KITCHEN there would be MARCHES, PROTEST and SUPER DIVERSITY SUMMITS and NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK would be ALL OVER THIS and they would not make no money but in their UNIVERSE that authors MATT Hollway and Michelle Davis live they are the cool, innovative and would be on every national and international TV show in the world because when they use black culture terms and rebrand it for their products it is cool innovative and everybody loves it but if people of color used the word THUG in a positive way for products those entrepreneurs will never make it on a RACHAEL RAY SHOW. SOME THING TO MAKE YOU SAY HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.
Jeff Henderson http://www.chefjefflive.com/ Chef Henderson’s journey to the kitchen is unlike any other. He realized his calling for cooking while serving a 10-year prison sentence on drug charges. From a penitentiary kitchen to one that belongs to his culinary world persona, Cheff Jeff has proved himself to be a remarkably talented businessman. Today the inspiring figure owns acatering, publishing, and consulting company. He’s written books, hosted shows, and even shared his story with Oprah. There is a lesson to be learned from Henderson’s transformation — especially for young people : “I use my story to convince at-risk people that they have the gift, traits, ability to create their own business,” Henderson said. “I tell kids I’m still a homeboy, I’m still a hustler — I just changed the products and the terminology.”
B. Smith-http://bsmith.com/ Barbara Smith’s motto, “whatever you do, do it with style” is fitting. She built her culinary empire without any professional training, yet has expanded her influence in the culinary world across multi-media platforms and manifestations in several different, related industries. B. Smith’s culinary career boasts a variety of impressive projects including “The B. Smith” and “Thank You Dan Show” alongside her husband on SiriusXM Radio, serving as a culinary resource for the State Department (National Chefs Corps), various TV commercials and product endorsements, gracing the covers of magazines (such as Mademoiselle whose color barrier she broke in 1976), her hit NBC show “B. Smith with Style,” and even her own home collection with Bed Bath & Beyond. Chef Smith is, among other things, a celebrated restaurateur, author, model, TV personality, spokesperson, and culinary ambassador. You can also add patriot to that list, since her partnership with Rady Pac that aims to bring culturally diverse food to service men and women in the Armed Forces. Barbara Smith is truly, the whole package.
Bryant Terry- http://www.bryant-terry.com/ The man is as much a food justice activist as he is a chef. Bryant Terry categorically defies the “black people only eat soul food” stereotype with his Afro-vegan cookbooks — of which he’s written four — not to mention his web series Urban Organic. He graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, but he also has a masters degree in American History from NYU. It’s no surprise that a Food and Social Policy Fellows Program participant would become a concerned and conscious chef. The social context of Chef Bryant’s position in society and the world does not go unnoticed by the great talent, nor does he waste his influence hiding in a kitchen. World-renowned chef Alice Waters once aptly said, “Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege.” He is, essentially, an eco-friendly culinary superhero.
Ron Duprat- (https://twitter.com/ronduprat) The only thing wider than Chef Duprat’s palette is his heart. The Haitian-born “Top Chef” competitor and gifted food lover makes a point to align himself with and give back through organizations like No Hungry Kids, the Black Culinary Alliance (BCA), Real Men Charities Inc., the American Culinary Federation, International Youth Foundation, and FLOTUS’ Let’s Move against childhood obesity… to name a few. Additionally, Chef Duprat authored a book titled “My Journey Through Cooking.” He began his culinary career a teenager, and today encourages young people to do the same.
Marvin Woods-http://www.chefmarvinwoods.com/ An Emmy Award nomination, two popular cookbooks (“Home Plate Cooking” and “The New Low Country”), and the honor of being chosen as the first chef to kick off FLOTUS’ Let’s Move initiative combating childhood obesity are definitely things to brag about, but this foodie’s coolest accomplishment is his program, ‘Droppin’ Knowledge with Chef Marvin Woods. A testament to his concern for child health issues and affordable meals for families, Chef Woods has traveled across the country giving talks and demonstrations to educate parents and children why it’s important to eat well and why it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to do so. Miami, London, and New York are a few of the cities the Atlanta based chef has cooked at well known restaurants, yet he remains dedicated to food and cooking that is for people that don’t find themselves in Michelin star rated establishments. Chef Woods continues to travel and spread the word of healthy cooking and healthy living not just on behalf of Droppin Knowledge but for other like-minded organizations like the American Heart Association.
G. Garvin-http://www.chefgarvin.com/ Gerry Garvin is part chef, part author, part television host, and packs the same punch of personality in all three of arenas. He cooked at well known restaurants and Ritz-Carlton’s from Georgia to California and back again, before opening his own restaurant, G Garvin’s, in his hometown of Atlanta. His one-size-fits-all approach to cooking certainly seems to suit his ever-growing growing group of foodie fans. The host of two immensely popular TV series, Chef Garvin’s personality translates as wellon screen as it does in his cuisine. His most recent TV project “Road Trip”, followed“Turn Up The Heat” — also the name of the first of his three cookbooks. Chef Garvin started the One Bite At A Time Foundation in 2009. In addition to supporting communities with food drives and donation, the non-profit boasts a Culinary Boot Camp mentoring program for teenagers that teaches youth about the cooking world as well as hospitality. With this effort Garvin hopes increase awareness about a need for diversity in the culinary world and bring an end to minority stigmas in the food world. Joe Randall-http://www.chefjoerandall.com/ Chances are you’ve seen Joe Randall on TV, heard him on the radio, or read one of his recipes in a magazine — he’s worked in the culinary world for half a century. Although he’s been in the business for a long time, don’t assume for one second that Chef Randall has slowed down. He continues to teach classes at his cooking school — Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School — and remains a figure of leadership in culinary education and community service. From his early days in Air Force flight kitchens, to apprenticeships under big names at fine dining restaurants, Chef Randall has maintained a passion for sharing good food. A founding board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and connected to organizations like the American Culinary Federation, it’s safe to say you shouldn’t expect an early retirement from this culinary veteran anytime soon.
Tiffany Derry-http://www.tiffanyderryconcepts.com/ From IHOP, to the Art Institute of Houston, to “Top Chef,” Chef Tiffany Derry has certainly worked her way up in the culinary world. She opened the renowned, now closed, restaurant ‘Private Social’ with partner Patrick Halbert before leaving to pursue a successful career in food television. You can watch her on Spike TV’s‘Hungry Investors’ and ‘Bar Rescue’, Fox’s “Good Day” culinary segments, and various other appearances as an expert on cooking and hospitality. A friend of the Dallas Independent School District and The North Texas Food Bank, she’s not only a TV personality for the fame and fortune, but genuinely for a love of culinary arts and advocating the importance of them. It shouldn’t be hard keeping tabs on Chef Derry, being an Art Institute’s Culinary Arts Program spokesperson, a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (an organization dedicated to the philanthropic work of women leaders in the world of food and hospitality), and owning her own company, Tiffany Derry Concepts.
Govind Armstrong-http://www.chefgovindarmstrong.com/ Famous for his long dreads and devotion to sustainable, local ingredients in his cooking, Govind Armstrong’s name is well known in the restaurant circuit. A devoted California native and restaurateur, Chef Armstrong has successfully established nationwide chains like Table 8 and 8 oz Burger Bar, along with a handful of one-off spots ‘ROFL’, Post and Beam and Willie Jane in Los Angeles. He famously began apprenticed under Wolfgang Puck at the tender age of 13, and has since appeared on the likes of ‘Iron Chef America’ and ‘Top Chef’, as well as authored the cookbook “Small Bites, Big Nights.” Oh and he can count Oprah on his list of fans.
Now that machines can diagnose cancer, trade stocks, and write symphonies, they’re not just going to make humans more efficient as they have in the past—they are replacing them entirely and wrecking the economy along the way.
There’s nothing new about fears of technological unemployment. The idea goes back to the Luddites in 18th century England and John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s. Union bosses have long railed against factory automation, and governments have even resisted technology to maintain higher job levels. Yet predictions that machines would put humans out of work on a significant societal scale have never quite materialized.
However, there’s reason to be believe that, unlike those previous times, we really are entering an age when people will work less. As author Martin Ford puts it in his recent book Rise of the Robots, “this time is different.” New artificially intelligent machines, he says, are not so much tools to improve the efficiency of workers but really are tools to replace workers themselves.
This is an important distinction. Economists tend to dismiss robotization as just another form of “creative destruction.” That is, robots may displace some workers for a while before they also create new kinds of jobs, such as a job market for people who can build robots themselves. Ford says that’s a mistake. It’s true that economies go through cycles of boom and bust and that companies rise and fall. But what’s happening now, he argues, is more like the invention of the aircraft. Before Kitty Hawk, humans didn’t fly; afterwards they did.
“The question of whether smart machines will someday eclipse the capability of average people to perform much of the work demanded by the economy will be answered by the nature of the technology that arrives in the future—not by lessons gleaned by economic history,” he writes.
Surveying all the fields now being affected by automation, Ford makes a compelling case that this is an historic disruption—a fundamental shift from most tasks being performed by humans to one where most tasks are done by machines. That includes obvious things like moving boxes around a warehouse, but also many “higher skill” jobs as well, such as radiology and stock trading. And don’t kid yourself about your own importance: that list almost certainly includes your job.
We really could be headed for an economy with many fewer jobs in it and a severely-eroded middle class, he argues. Together with other important trends like wealth inequality and globalization, new technology threatens to produce more unemployment and slow the main motor of the U.S. economy—consumer demand.
Here are some things robots can already do:
Write sports articles: Computers can now write sentences like “Things looked bleak for the Angels when they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning, but Los Angeles recovered thanks to a key single from Vladimir Guerrero to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.” Which sounds a lot like a newspaper account of a baseball game written by a non-robot.
Flip burgers: A company called Momentum Machines is developing a machine that shapes burgers from ground meat, grills them, then toasts a bun and adds chopped tomatoes, onions and pickles. Co-founder says Alexandros Vardakostas says the device isn’t meant to make workers’ lives easier. “It’s meant to completely obviate them.”
Perform complex office tasks: WorkFusion makes software that automatically assesses a project to see what parts can be fully automated, which parts can be crowdsourced to a freelance network like Elance, and what still needs to be handled by humans. All the while, it analyzes performance, for instance by asking freelancers questions it already knows the answers to, so that it can test their capabilities. The platform reduces the need for in-house staff by making use of freelancers, but then it looks to do away with them as well. “Even as the freelancers work under the direction of the system, they are simultaneously generating the training data that will gradually lead to their replacement,” Ford writes.
Write music: In 2012, the London Symphony Orchestra performed Transits—Into an Abyss, a composition created entirely by Iamus, a system designed at the University of Malaga. One reviewer called it “artistic and delightful.”
Replace Wall Street: At the turn of the century, Wall Street employed 150,000 people. Today, that number is less than 100,000, even though transaction volumes and profits have continued to grow. Trading algorithms are now making many of the financial decisions that used to be made by humans.
Diagnose cancer: The BD FocalPoint GS Imaging System scans slides for more than 100 signs of disease. And, according to Ford, it does a “significantly better job” of finding cancers than humans do (though doctors do still make the final decision—for now).
Ford thinks some of the biggest disruptions will take place in industries that are currently bloated and expensive for consumers—industries like higher education and health care. For instance, he forecasts that MOOCs (online courses), automated grading algorithms (which mark essays as well as multiple choice tests) and adaptive learning systems offer a path away from unsustainable college costs. But, again, these technologies may be bad for employment rates in the sector.
Of course, those people doing the automating may stand to do well financially—but perhaps not for long. Ultimately, Ford argues, complete automation will be bad for the economy because machines don’t consume goods and services the way human beings do. The “powerful symbiosis between rising incomes and robust, broad-based consumer demand is now in the process of unwinding,” he says.
“It’s possible that at some future point, rapid technological innovations might shift the expectations of consumers about the likelihood and duration of unemployment, causing them to aggressively cut their spending,” he adds. “If such an event occurred, it’s easy to see how that could precipitate a downward economic spiral that would impact even those workers whose jobs are not directly susceptible.”
The standard response to automation among economists has been to call for more education, so low-paid workers can move up the food chain. But Ford doesn’t think that will help ultimately. Many people are already over-educated for what they do—just look at all the college graduates serving coffee in Starbucks.
Ford says cramming everyone into jobs requiring more skills is “analogous to believing that, in the wake of the mechanization of agriculture, the majority of displaced farm workers would be able to find jobs driving tractors.” Nor, can we hope to stop the automation wave, he says. There’s an inevitability to these technologies, and it’s inevitable that businesses will take advantage. Whatever employers might say publicly, they don’t really want to hire more people than they need.
This leads Ford to make the case for a basic income guarantee—a government payment to all citizens so they can live to a reasonable level. His version would be tied to educational accomplishment. People who get at least a high school diploma would get slightly more money, on the thinking that not having at least a diploma in the future economy will make people even less employable than they are today. He suggests $10,000 per person (which is lower than many other proposals), which would cost about $1 trillion overall, provided the payment was means-tested at the top-end.
This might become an economic necessity, he says, if work is no longer an option for large numbers of people. “If we look into the future and assume that machines will eventually replace human labor to a substantial degree, then I think some form of direct redistribution of purchasing power becomes essential if economic growth is to continue.”