Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Would you trust a robot more than a person?

64% of people in a recent survey say they’d have greater trust in robots than in their own managers. The study conducted by Oracle and Future Workplace, noting the way artificial intelligence is changing the way we work and how we feel about it. Many respondents thought new office tech could help them gain skills and free time, and also free them to be more strategic. The study presents a strong case that AI is already winning the hearts and minds of employees. The majority of respondents say they are “excited” and “optimistic” about new technologies in the office. New technologies, according to respondents, will help them master new skills (36%), gain more free time (36%), and expand their current role so that it’s more strategic (28%). (Fast Company


Kids want jobs that won’t exist

The world’s teenagers appear less imaginative about their careers than they were decades ago. The top 10 jobs cited by 15-year-olds in 2000 were even more popular among that same age group in 2018. The list includes doctors, business managers and lawyers. Such a narrowing of career prospects is worrisome because it ignores the large number of jobs created by digitization. Also, nearly 40% of the listed jobs are at risk of being replaced by automation. (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)


What are some of the most hated office tasks today?

Data entry is the most hated office task globally, according to a survey of 10,000 workers. That’s followed by managing email traffic, filing spreadsheets and PDFs into folders, and handling invoices. Workers spend almost 40% of their time facilitating digital administration, which lowers productivity. Such tasks are also behind half the employees leaving office late, the survey finds. (Automation Anywhere)


Good Samaritan finds $27,000 outside a credit union, turns it in

A man discovered a box of cash outside an ATM at a Michigan credit union. He put the money in his car and drove away, as the security video from the ATM showed. What the video didn’t show was that he was parking his car at the Westland Federal Credit Union. He then walked into the credit union with the cash and placed it on the counter, then asking “is there a reward for $40,000?” The man said they just looked dumbfounded afterwards. Security video showed an armored security guard unloading several boxes of cash from an ATM but leaving a box by the side of the street. Twenty minutes later, video showed the man getting out of his car to inspect the box. He saw a tag that said “$40,000”. It turned out there was only $27,000 left inside of the ATM, but the bank said it still rewarded him with an undisclosed amount of money. “That was a lot of money that could have resulted in a significant loss, and we just wanted to give him a token of our appreciation,” the bank’s cash manager said in a statement. The manager said that if the man had not turned in the cash, the bank would have called the police, and tracked down his car license plate through ATM footage. “I would hope that the average person would turn that in, but not everybody thinks that way. Not everybody is cognizant of the cameras around them,” the manager said. The man has faith that there are other good Samaritans out there. “It’s not mine and any honest person, I would hope, would take it back in,” he said. (WDIV)


Runner finds spike weapons hidden on popular nature trail

Police in Australia are urging the public to stay alert after a runner found homemade spikes methodically hidden on a popular running trail. The man was on Alexanders Trail in Lake Macquarie, a city in New South Wales, when he noticed a pile of leaves in the middle of the track. He found wine corks with nails protruding from them, police said in a statement posted to Facebook. They resembled caltrops, illegal weapons that have at least two sharp points sticking out of a base. He continued along the trail and found another pile of leaves with more spikes hidden. Farther along, he found another. Police are investigating. (NSW Police Force Facebook)


Man cited for using fake skeleton to drive in HOV lane

A 62-year-old man was cited in Arizona this week after trying to disguise a fake skeleton as a passenger just to use the HOV lane. The Arizona Department of Public Safety says a trooper pulled over the man after noticing he had placed a fake skeleton in the passenger’s front seat. The skeleton was sitting upright, wearing a hat and tied to the front seat. Department spokesman Raul Garcia said troopers cite about 7,000 HOV lane violators every year. Last April, a man was pulled over after driving in the HOV lane with a mannequin wearing a sweatshirt, baseball cap and sunglasses. (ABC News)


Nebraska doctor lets patients pay for surgery by volunteering

With around 43 million Americans under 65 past-due on medical bills and yearly U.S. medical debt totaling $88 billion, one surgeon in Nebraska is offering to eliminate debt for his patients. As long as they agree to pay it forward. The Surgeon saw a recurring problem at his clinic Healing Hands of Nebraska: patients who couldn’t afford surgery. So, six months ago, the nerve specialist started a program that offers patients the option to pay for surgery by volunteering for local humanitarian groups. About 10% of his patients qualify for the program. He and his staff calculate the number of volunteer hours required based on the complexity of the surgery. “I don’t care if you’re a multi-billionaire or if you’re the guy on the street corner with a Styrofoam cup. You get offered the same options. Why? Because it’s fair,” he said. He hopes his mission will inspire more doctors to find creative ways to limit their patients’ medical expenses. “This whole practice is about restoring hope for patients by giving them the opportunity to wrest back control of their health care,” he said. Right now, the program is small with just eight people, but he said since he started, his stress levels have gone down and his job satisfaction has soared. (WBNS)


The toughest places to grow up

Millions of children live in so-called low-opportunity neighborhoods where their social and economic prospects are severely limited, says a new study from Brandeis University. The research takes into consideration things like home ownership, pollution levels and poverty rates to identify these areas, and found that Bakersfield, California, had the lowest score, while Madison, Wisconsin, had the highest. Living in a low-scoring area can have serious effects for future health and economic mobility. (Diversity Data Kids)


The streaming giants’ next target market are your pets

Spotify introduced a tool that can generate tailor-made playlists for the animals in your life. And Amazon Prime offers a selection of television programs geared for animal entertainment. Are these pet-tainment offerings simply marketing ploys to keep humans tethered to their streaming plans? Not necessarily. It all depends on your pet’s personality, animal behavior experts say. Some like to relax to music or the occasional TV show. For others, it drives them up the wall. (The Guardian)


A drug to stop cancer’s spread

Researchers at the Harry Perkins Institute in Australia have developed a drug that can keep cancer from metastasizing, or spreading to other parts of a patient’s body. Before tumors make their way to other parts of the body, they lay down stakes by rending the blood vessels a bit leakier than usual. The leakiness makes it easier for cancer to invade these new regions. This particular treatment can repair leaky blood vessels, which in turn can prevent metastasis. Such a drug could help keep patients in remission. (New Atlas)


Wednesday Comes At You With:

  • Curmudgeons Day
  • Freethinkers Day
  • National Puzzle Day
  • Seeing Eye Dog Day
  • Thomas Paine Day

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