Category: Business

Why Do Tech Companies Want to Read Our Minds? (Brain-computer interfaces, surgical implants and the end of privacy)

We are free to think whatever we want. From a young age, we are told that no one else can know what we are thinking. Someone can study our actions, our facial expressions and our body language, but they can never know for sure what we are thinking. Our thoughts are private and secure, and ...

Automation and the Classic Political Response – Retrain Workers – Inadequate

When the threat of automation is raised, politicians tend to respond with banal platitudes about retraining workers. "We need to train people for the jobs of the future," they'll say. When asked what those jobs will be, they inevitably say: coding. But what if there are no jobs? And what if we can't all be ...

The Systematic Mistreatment of Casual Workers

* This is an article written by Chloe Byrne, featuring quotations from myself and others on casual work and employment laws. Casual employees within the retail and hospitality sectors are often systematically exposed to wage theft and mistreatment by employers, industry sources have said. An expectation of working unpaid hours outside of rostered shifts has ...

South Korea is Shutting Down Computers to Stop Overtime Work, We Should Too

Recently, the South Korean government announced that they will be automatically shutting down government computers to stop overtime work. Computers will be shut down preliminarily at 9pm on Fridays, before being shutdown at 7pm, after a six month waiting period. Should we be following suit? In Australia, working hours are actually higher today than in ...

Video Contest: What is a Meaningful Job?

Several years ago my girlfriend created Big Q Films, a group aimed at tackling the biggest questions with videos. Now it's your turn! Big Q Films is hosting a brand new film contest, accepting entries on the topic "What is a meaningful job?" Entries are ~1 min long and can be anything, from talking to ...

We Should Have a 15 Hour Working Week (Says an Economist from 1930)

By 2030, Keynes wrote, we should all be working 15 hours a week at full time wages (not pro rata). The question why haven't we got there yet? I answered in a previous post, which you can read by clicking the link. Here, I share John Maynard Keynes' full essay from 1930 on the topic. At ...

Kindle Launch: Essays in AI: Technology, Automation and the Future of 9-5 Work

Essays in AI looks at how new technology, automation and artificial intelligence might change our lives for the worse. It's a compilation book of various essays and articles I've written on the topic over the years. Although it's quite short, each essay packs a punch!

Automating Job Applications: Should a Robot Apply For a Job on Your Behalf?

An estimated 90% of large companies are using automated software to read and respond to resumes. From tracking software that reads a resume looking for keywords, to automated emails, phone interviews and skills testing – companies are doing less manual processing than ever before. If companies are using automated software in hiring, then job applicants should be able to ...

Expert culture has killed the innovator in workplaces

Over the last few decades, the Western world has had an increasingly specialised workforce, with workers trained in narrow skills, for increasingly narrow positions. However, the more narrow our jobs have become, the less capable we have become in inventing new technologies, products and ideas. Innovative ideas tend to come, not from specialised experts, but ...

Degrees of separation: companies shed degree requirements to promote merit over qualifications

At the end of 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that close to two-thirds of all Australians had completed a degree or apprenticeship. The growth in the number of people attending a university or TAFE has risen out of a cyclical demand-driven system called “academic inflation”. Think supply and demand. If an employer ...