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Once our jobs are automated, all we'll do is play video games...

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The Bytes Newsletter

January 17 · Issue #1 · View online
All the tech worth reading about with @dnlshkh + @shubham

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As always, make sure to check out the latest episode of our podcast, here.

Nintendo Hopes to Switch It Up
Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch
Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch
What happened?: 
Nintendo fully unveiled its next console, the Switch, a mobile and home console hybrid, is designed to allow users to continue playing, no matter where they are. The device will go on sale on March 3 for $299 USD. The company’s stock was down nearly 6% in Tokyo, driven primarily by investors’ negative reaction to the Switch’s price.
What does this mean?:
This is a make or break period for Nintendo. The company has been facing pressure from investors to divert attention from it’s hardware business and instead focus on mobile games, especially after the spectacular failure that was the Wii U. Investors are concerned that the high price of the Switch ($299, vs. mid $200s for the PS4 and the XBOX One), won’t do much to attract mainstream consumers.
Over the last year, the company released Pokemon GO, which was an international hit, and Super Mario Run, which was met with mixed reviews from fans and criticized for its pricing model by investors.
Why should I care?:
This could be another in a long line of signals that the end is near for the dedicated video game console business. As mobile phones have proliferated, mobile games have become a huge business and have made dedicated video game consoles, which serve too-specific a purpose for most, redundant. 
Ultimately, video game companies compete in the market for consumer attention, which is currently more divided than it has ever been before. Nintendo has a lot of work to do to convince consumers that their latest efforts are worth consumers’ attention. 
Links
Nintendo Looks to Switch Fortunes With Hybrid Game Console - The Wall Street Journal
The Robo-takeover is Coming... Slowly
Robots
Robots
What happened?: McKinsey released a report last week stating that almost 50% of time spent on work activities could be automated with technologies that either already exist or are currently being developed in labs.
What does this mean?: According to the report, by 2055, plus or minus 20 years, half of the work activities that employees perform today, could be automated. That means that many of the skills relevant for today’s economy may no longer be relevant tomorrow.
Why should you care?: Though the adoption of automation technologies is highly dependent on attitudes towards automation, regulations, and the pace of technology development, the economic impact of entire skills and jobs being automated can be immense, even though McKinsey predicts that only 5% of jobs can be entirely automated.
This topic will continue to be a pressing one as governments struggle with balancing the interests of corporations looking to expand their bottom line with those of their most vulnerable citizens, the unskilled and/or uneducated, who will desperately need well-paying work to support their families. 
Links
Harnessing Automation for a Future That Works - McKinsey Global Institute
Robots Will Take Jobs, but Not as Fast as Some Fear, New Report Says - The New York Times
Silicon Valley Has an Empathy Vacuum - New Yorker
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