May 2nd, 2012
02:12 PM ET

This week on 'The Next List': Quirky.com brings invention to the masses

By The Next List staff, CNN

(CNN) - How many times have you been in the middle of a routine day then - BAM! - a great idea pops into your head. Maybe it's a way to solve some annoying problem or to make a household chore easier. But for almost everyone, the next thought is this: "Never going to happen.”

That’s because bringing a product to market takes so much more than having a great idea. Invention, it sometimes seems, is largely the domain of large corporations, people with access to big time cash or big-time connections.

And that’s where Ben Kaufman comes in. He’s the 25-year-old founder and CEO of Quirky.com, a start-up website that gives would-be inventors a place to go with their ideas.

The CNN show "The Next List" will feature Kaufman on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Check out the preview video above. FULL POST

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Filed under: Innovation • Internet • Tech • The Next List • Thinkers • Video
The Big Idea: Robots should take our jobs
May 2nd, 2012
09:38 AM ET

The Big Idea: Robots should take our jobs

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) - At a time when computer programs are threatening to become competent journalists, capable of spitting out clear-headed reports on financial earnings reports and the like, this could get a little personal. But I thought I would draw your attention to a provocative statement posted on Wednesday by Kevin Kelly, the Wired magazine co-founder and author of "What Technology Wants."

Here's what Kelly has to say about robots stealing our jobs:

The fact that a task is routine enough to be measured suggests that it is routine enough to go to the robots. In my opinion, many of the jobs that are being fought over by unions today are jobs that will be outlawed within several generations as inhumane.

If a job is so routine that it could be done by robots - usually robots that can't really think but are really good at doing mechanical tasks over and over - will it be seen as "inhumane" by future generations? And - gasp! - are today's punch-out-the-facts journalism jobs going to be seen by our future selves as harmfully routine and monotonous? This takes the idea of a "paragraph factory" to a whole new level.

This is obviously not an endorsement, just a conversation starter.

Feel free to debate in the comments section below.

Update: Some of your comments were aggregated by CNN's news blog, This Just In. Check it out. As always, thanks for participating in the conversation.

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Filed under: Innovation • Robots • Tech