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News Roundup: Coding Won’t Save You From Automation

November 22, 2019 Updated: September 8, 2020

“Learn to Code” Won’t Save You from Automation

A new Forrester Research study on the impact of artificial intelligence found that by 2030, a stunning 73 percent of “cubicle-related” jobs could be eliminated – including data entry, shipping clerks and loan processors. “Location-based” jobs like grocery clerks will also be impacted, with almost 40 percent of positions expected to be wiped out.

Even software developers are at risk because “coding is going to be automated,” according to the reports authors who said parents with kids in coding schools should “get them into A.I., because coding isn’t going to be a job in the future.” Simply put, coding is not the silver bullet for future job security that many claim it is.

McDonald’s Has Buyer’s Remorse on Cashless Kiosks

The fast food giant has installed self-ordering kiosks in 9,000 domestic locations since 2015, but the company is now realizing they discriminate against the 30 percent of fast-food customers who use cash. The cost of fixing this problem would largely fall on franchisees who have already paid as much as $750,000 per store for the kiosks and other improvements.

One industry expert said the world’s biggest restaurant company “should have thought about that,” adding that cash customers should “have the same access to personalization, or to get in and out quickly if there’s a line.” This could have more companies thinking twice before plowing head-first into technology that could turn customers away and hurt sales.

Don’t Get Crushed – Safety Professionals Concerned About Working Alongside Robots

As robots continue to be a part of more and more workplaces, safety experts are trying to figure out how to make sure that humans can work safely alongside them. Experts have identified four main types of ways that robots injure workers: collisions, crushing, mechanical tool injuries (like saws or drills) and injuries cause by leaking high-pressure lines or sparks or other debris flying off machines.

More complete safety assessments are needed before robots are installed and the safety assessment process should be redone every time a robot or the environment it works in changes – otherwise workers can be seriously injured.

Number of the Week: 18,000

That’s the number of jobs that Deutsche Bank has cut in an increased automation push. That includes 4,700 in the last year alone. It’s not just installing ATMs to replace tellers either – the push has almost completely eliminated the stock trading and sales division. In fact, the bank has set a goal to “automate large parts of its back-office.”


Any upcoming stories about the impact of automation on the retail industry and the economy?

If you’re interested in speaking with UFCW, email awhite@www.ufcw.org for a quote, statistics, or interviews with workers in retail and other sectors of the economy.