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Five for Friday: Visible Pearl Clutching

March 31, 2017

In this week's roundup we're digging into the latest Uber gossip, thinking about workforce woes ahead, resigning ourselves to the environmental battles on the horizon, and telling Roomba we love it. Just in time for your happy hours and spring breaks, here's five headlines to know and share!

  1. From HuffPo - After a collision in Arizona temporarily put the brakes on Uber's self-driving car testing, it was all systems go this week. Before you get too concerned that robots cannot be trusted to drive our nearest and eldest in the dry heat of the Southwest, consider that the collision was apparently caused by the human-driving car in the equation which failed to yield appropriately and thus hit the self-driving (and perhaps self-righteous?) vehicle. More details of the crash (including a nifty diagram!) from Business Insider
     

  2. From Recode - Although the previous article clears up what happened in Arizona, this long-form piece from Recode might explain why the spokesperson refused to be identified. From the sounds of it, there's quite a bit of turmoil at Uber, specifically in the autonomous vehicle department which is described here as a 'mini civil war'. Grab your musket and settle in for a very interesting read. (This story includes a call-back to the ongoing Uber/Google lawsuit we first brought to your attention a few weeks ago.)
     

  3. From The Atlantic - One of the biggest stories of the week has been the future of the Environmental Protection Agency in light of the latest Executive Order shenanigans. The Atlantic offers a nice civics primer on the history of the agency, what it means for it to be challenged, and what might happen next. Surprise, there's lots of legal battles ahead.
     

  4. From Tech Crunch - Workforce is a big topic when it comes to technology and where we bring in automation and remove humans. A recent report from McKinsey said half of the world’s jobs could be automated by 2055 which means we'll move well beyond blue-collar and into white-collar sectors very soon. What's more, this could exacerbate equity issues as it continues to separate and polarize communities of people.
     

  5. From A.V. Club - Exciting news but let's close this week on a high note with the cutest robot story I've ever read. A little girl gave us all a lesson in welcoming strangers and robots with open arms when she welcomed a water heater with an "I love you, robot." Make sure you hug a robot (and/or a human) you love today.

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