Tagged With automation

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When governments opine about the loss of manufacturing jobs and talk about bringing those jobs back, they are really romanticising "the good old days". Manufacturing today isn't about hundreds or thousands of workers standing at production lines. It's about skilled technicians, automation and being data-driven. I spoke with Seagate's Jeff Nygaard about the new wave of manufacturing at the company's factories.

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IFTTT, the tool that lets you automate your digital life, can help any parent whose mental load has reached max capacity — and you kind of feel like a tech magician every time you use it. Here are some great IFTTT applets that can make parenting easier.

(If you’re new to the service, check out our beginner’s guide to understand the basics.)

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I confess, I haven’t really touched iOS shortcuts much since the feature’s big debut last September, but don’t let my laziness dissuade you from fiddling around with them. If you’re just getting started, you should find some awesome premade shortcuts to integrate into your device instead of spending way too much time figuring out how to build your own. That’s fun too, but there’s no need to jump in the deep end just yet.

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Google Assistant has been given an update, linking it with Android's Clock app. Now, when your morning alarm goes off, it can trigger events such as telling you about the weather and traffic for the commute to work, turning on your coffee maker and lights, playing the news and anything else you need to kick start your day.

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During a media briefing at Seagate's 40th birthday commemoration, the company's head of operations for products and strategy, Jeffrey Nygaard, discussed the changing nature of Seagate's workforce and how long-term staff need to be retrained as the skills needed to build the next generation of storage devices evolves. That's something every business embracing automation needs to consider.

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Artificial intelligence and automation are often seen as a threat to workers but that attitude isn't universal according to new data from SEEK. Although a small number of workers are still in the dark when it comes to automation many see it as a potential benefit although there are some interesting differences between different demographic groups.

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Thinking back to the arrival of Amazon and its recommendation engine, it's easy to see that the ability for systems to look at vast arrays of data and make decisions and take action was inevitable. What has surprised many people is the way big data has been exploited by an almost infinite pool of computing power delivered by the cloud. And that (r?)evolution means many jobs that exist today will ether disappear or substantially change.

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As more tasks become automated through the use of machine learning and AI driven systems, there's been a worry that many people would lose their jobs. On the flipside, there's been optimism that automation will take people away from dreary and repetitive tasks and direct their skills to more complex or rewarding work. But a recent study by the United Nations' International Labor Organization (ILO) says the reality, at least for now, is very different.

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Going to the effort of setting up a smart home just so you can turn your lights on and off from your phone may not seem like the best use of your time and resources, but with the right gear and apps you can put together some routines that really will impress family, friends and occasional Airbnb guests. Here are five of our favourites.

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I love automation; I do. I just think it's the most fun thing ever to walk into my house and have my smart lights immediately pull up some colourful scene — not to mention all the absurd configurations I can create that changes their colours and brightness when certain things happen, ranging from "I got a tweet" to "It's midnight why are you still awake go to bed."

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The modern workplace is undergoing a substantial transition. Systems to foster collaboration, automation and machine learning are creating a workplace that is almost unrecognisable from the 1990s. Careers are built by moving between companies and, increasingly, we are expected to be the masters of our own training and development. Where is this leading and what will the workplace look like in another 20 years?

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As we use more applications and services, integration and automation become harder. So, there's a need to find ways to pull things together. Apps and services like IFTTT, Workflow and others see to automate tasks and bring our apps together. Microsoft's play in this space is Flow and the iOS version has received an update.

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With the working population shrinking as the population ages, there will be fewer people doing more work. And that means automating more tasks will become the norm. I spoke with Blue Prism's Alistair Bathgate about this as we looked into the world of Robotic Process Automation.

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Over the last 15 years, Australians have reduced the amount of time spent on physical and routine tasks at work by two hours each week thanks to automation. Retail workers have spent less time ringing up items and more time helping customers, bank employees less time counting banknotes and more time giving financial advice.

And if Australia plays its cards right, we could be making $2.2 trillion from automation by 2030, according to research commissioned by Google.

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The smart home future is here... sort of. But really how smart are a bunch of different devices all speaking different languages? Unfortunately, the smart home can be very stupid and often takes longer to set up than breathless advertisements imply. We're here to tell you how you can build a smart home where everything works in harmony.

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In July last year Centrelink rolled out a new automated income matching system for detecting and recovering debts. It became known as "Robodebt" and was designed to help the Department of Human Services collect $4.5 million in debt every day. In that sense, it was super efficient. Too efficient, even.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has just released a detailed report into the failings of the OCI - calling the system "poorly planned, deficient and unclear", confirming up to 20 per cent (possibly $3,075,503 worth) of demands to repay debt were incorrectly issued.