Friday, August 21, 2015

Will Card, Kreuger and Nick Hanauer be able to measure it?

Greg Nichols of ZD Net says it's already a brave new world for robots;
Roughly 1.2 million additional robots will be used in U.S. industry by 2025, and robots will perform about 25 percent of the automatable tasks in manufacturing worldwide in the same timeframe, according to a frequently cited Boston Consulting Group report released earlier this year. As the price, size, and operating complexity of industrial robots plummet, BCG believes manufacturers will replace 22 percent of human workers with machines.
Even small businesses will (and already do) use them;
... Miraz Manji, founder of TLAC Toronto Printing & Publishing, a 2D and 3D design, print, and publishing shop in Toronto, Canada, that creates books for self-published authors. Manji's team uses a mix of automation, old fashioned design talent, and close attention to craft to produce small and medium-sized runs of physical books of exceptional quality -- a niche market until automation increased the number of artisanal books a small shop could produce.
Still have to have an author, but the actual creation of the physical product is done by TLAC's five employees.
Publishing provides an interesting historical case study precisely because it was an industry once occupied by master printers and bookbinders who were replaced en mass with the arrival of industrial-scale publishing. The old jobs were all but eliminated.
Creating the mass market books that had to sold in the tens of thousands to pay off for the publishers. Now, that economy of scale is being replaced by runs of a few hundred books.
By taking advantage of the best of human craftsmanship and the most accessible manufacturing and workflow automation tools, this little startup is helping redefine its market while pointing to a new way for savvy small manufacturers to deliver both value and quality. Ray Kurzweil should be proud.
So would Milton Friedman.

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