Will Americans Warm Up To Robots In Place Of Workers Amid Threat Of Being Exposed To Virus?
Before the pandemic, automation had been gradually replacing human work in a range of jobs, but the pandemic could speed up that process as society sees the benefits of restructuring workplaces in ways that minimize close human contact. In other health and technology news: Alexa's role in the pandemic, telemedicine use, and security concerns.
The New York Times:
Robots Welcome To Take Over, As Pandemic Accelerates Automation
The recycling industry was already struggling before the pandemic. Now, an increasing number of cities are suspending recycling services, partly out of fear that workers might contract the coronavirus from one another while sorting through used water bottles, food containers and boxes. One solution: Let robots do the job. Since the coronavirus took hold in the United States last month, AMP Robotics has seen a “significant” increase in orders for its robots that use artificial intelligence to sift through recycled material, weeding out trash. (Corkery and Gelles, 4/10)
The New York Times:
‘How Do I Get Help?’ Dying Coronavirus Patient Asked Alexa
They lived about 20 minutes apart in Michigan, but when a cousin gave the sisters Lou Ann Dagen and Penny Dagen each an Amazon Echo Show last year to make video calls, they would keep each other company for hours on end. The virtual assistant Alexa connected them during meals and discussions about what was on television. “I think she just wanted to know that I was there,” Penny Dagen, 74, said of her sister, who lived in a nursing home. (Vigdor, 4/9)
Mass INC Polling Group:
Telemedicine Use Has Nearly Tripled Among Mass. Residents, Poll Shows
As Massachusetts approaches a projected surge of COVID-19 cases, residents remain keenly aware of a widespread shortage of tests and protective medical gear. But as the health care system seizes under the weight of coronavirus, one sector of it is growing by leaps and bounds: telemedicine. A rapidly growing share of residents are "seeing" their doctors over the phone or computer, according to data from the latest MassINC/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts coronavirus tracking poll. (Duggan, 4/9)
Psychiatrists Lean Hard On Teletherapy To Reach Isolated Patients In Emotional Pain
Psychiatrist Philip Muskin is quarantined at home in New York City because he's been feeling a little under the weather and doesn't want to expose anyone to whatever he has. But he continues to see his patients the only way he can: over the phone. (Noguchi, 4/9)
Security Concerns Prompt Berkeley Unified To Suspend Use Of Zoom For Classes
Around the country, fear over organized “Zoombombing” campaigns have prompted school leaders to drop Zoom, while others have switched to alternative platforms. School meeting disruptions and reports of racist and pornographic imagery being shown to young children led the FBI to warn schools about using Zoom, and law enforcement agencies have said they'll take on Zoombombers. (Rancaño, 4/9)